Zoopla.co.uk under fire from NAEA for private advertising
Zoopla.co.uk and the National Association of Estate Agents are at loggerheads over whether the portal is allowing private listings.
The NAEA has written to its members to alert them to what it perceives as a private listings function on the portal.
Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the NAEA, says: "I've drawn members' attention to the fact that while on the face of it, it does look as though it's all agents' properties, [but] if you click on the TemptMe! [button], that appears to be a whole load of private ads. So it would appear that this site mixes agents adverts and private adverts."
However, Alex Chesterman (pictured), chief executive of portal Zoopla.co.uk, refutes the allegation.
He says: "We do not have private seller listings.We are very clear in our frequently asked questions [section] about how we don't endorse private listings and we push you [buyers] towards agents."
According to Chesterman, the TemptMe! tool has a twofold purpose. A buyer can use the tool to register their interest in properties that aren't on the market and give an indication of how much they would be willing to pay.
Alternately, a property owner, who is not necessarily planning to sell, can name a price that could motivate them into becoming a vendor.
Chesterman adds: "A private listing site is where an owner says my property is for sale at such and such a price. TemptMe! is not that at all - it is somebody who says ‘my property is not for sale', and when somebody sets a TemptMe! price, we ask them ‘is your property for sale? Why don't you contact these agents.'"
Luke Bennett, director of South West London-based estate agency SW19, agrees with Bolton King that Zoopla.co.uk accepts private listings.
He says: "The fact that they're [owners] are asking to be tempted is a form of marketing, regardless of how anyone looks at it. They might as well put a board up outside and have an agent marketing."
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