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Rightmove or Zoopla: Which One is Best for You?

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20th May 2020 (Last updated on 21st May 2020) 12 minute read

Whether you’re selling your property or buying a new one, using an online property portal can be a great way to speed up the process. Instead of checking the local papers or high street estate agents, buyers can browse online and increase the amount of interest a property receives. 

Rightmove and Zoopla are currently the most popular property portals, with newcomer OnTheMarket increasing competition. That is why it’s vital you discover which portal your estate agent will be using when marketing your property so that you can research the benefits each one offers. 

With our expert reviewers providing accurate advice and information, Compare My Move creates insightful guides to ensure you’re fully prepared for the selling process and everything it entails. In this article, we will discuss the two popular online property portals, Rightmove and Zoopla, and the key tools they offer to aid you in the process.

This article will cover the following:
  1. What is Rightmove?
  2. Rightmove’s Key Features
  3. What is Zoopla?
  4. Zoopla’s Key Features
  5. So, Which One is Better?
  6. Other Portals to Consider
  7. Online Portals vs Estate Agents
  8. Saving Money With Compare My Move

What is Rightmove?

A previous survey carried out by the property valuation website, Property Price Advice, discovered that 94.8% of people use online property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla when house-hunting. This is an incredibly large proportion of buyers, helping increase interest. However, you may be wondering what exactly these popular online portals are. 

Rightmove is the oldest property portal, created in 2000 by the top corporate estate agencies at the time (Countrywide, Connells, Halifax and Royal and Sun Alliance). This range of experience and expertise has amassed a large audience over the years, helping them generate close to £267.8 million in revenue in 2017 alone. 

Their business enables online estate agents to advertise their properties, ensuring a much larger audience than if the agent remained local. Their aim is to provide significant exposure, offer high-quality leads and to help businesses thrive through increased customer engagement. 

On average, Rightmove receives 127.5 million visits per month. However, in January 2020, they broke this record by surpassing 150 million visits for the first time ever. This is a 7% increase compared to January of the previous year. The number of time users spent on their website also increased, reaching 1.17 billion minutes.

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Rightmove’s Key Features

When deciding which portal is right for you, it’s important to do your research and try the different tools the companies offer. Some are prevalent on both websites but each tool is slightly altered to suit a different audience. 

Here are a few of Rightmove’s key features:

Keyword Sort

Rightmove’s ‘keyword sort’ can personalise your property search by prioritising certain words and phrases. If someone is looking for homes with a ‘garage’ or ‘utility room’, they can enter the phrase into the search bar to ensure the properties listed higher on the results page meet their exact requirements. 

Floorplan

Rightmove also allows estate agents to upload the floorplan of the property they’re trying to sell. A floorplan is an important visual tool that can help buyers visualise the home before even stepping foot into the physical building. Buyers often want to know dimensions and this is a useful way to accurately represent your property online.

Draw a Search

The ‘draw a search’ feature allows users to draw directly onto the virtual map to outline their preferred area. You can focus your search on a variety of other factors like street names, schools, pubs and more. 

This is a very visual tool that helps prospective buyers find the best properties in the area they prefer. If you have an account, you can even save the outline you drew on the map to visit it again at a later date.

Where Can I Live

‘Where can I live’ is a tool that helps users find an area that will match their budget and personal preferences. It helps potential buyers with a Rightmove account view homes that are close to work, school and other important areas. 

Sign in, state what places you need to be near, what your budget is and add your property criteria and you’ll be shown the most suitable homes. This then helps buyers work out accurate commuter times depending on the area they’re looking in. 

School Checker

Now that a user has found a property within their preferred area, they will likely want to use the ‘school checker’ tool if they’re moving with a family. This feature allows users to see if the home is within the vicinity of one or more good schools. It provides useful information such as Ofsted reports and admission criteria to help the buyer make a more informed decision. 

Market Information  

‘Rightmove Market Trends’ provides users with current information on what is happening in the property market in their local area. It uses the UK's largest set of property information to help users understand the market activity in their area and how it’s changed over time. 

View Notes

Finally, the ‘view notes’ tool allows users to add notes to any property they’ve viewed so that they can keep them listed on their personal account. This then makes it easier for them to view them again when needed.

What is Zoopla?

Another popular online property portal and Rightmove’s biggest competitor is Zoopla. Founded in 2007, Zoopla has garnered much support considering it was created 7 years after its biggest competitor. Throughout their existence, Zoopla has bought other real estate businesses to improve their growth. 

Zoopla also operates as a property and comparison search website and does not rely on estate agents for revenue, unlike Rightmove. Instead, they make 25% of their revenue from estate agents and 50% from their other comparison websites like uSwitch. They also own the PrimeLocation and SmartNewHomes websites.

Zoopla has around 50 million visits a month. But in 2018, they increased their monthly record with their highest month reaching 58.3 million visits. This may not be as high as Rightmove, but it is still an extremely large audience for sellers to utilise, with 11.2 million users downloading the app in 2018.

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Zoopla’s Key Features

Don’t forget to try the tools that Zoopla and Rightmove offer. It’s a good way to gauge how user-friendly the website is and what users will likely gravitate towards. 

Here are some of Zoopla’s key features:  

UK Area Statistics

By entering a postcode, city, town or street name, users can work out the average asking price and rent in a particular area. This tool gathers all the data from properties currently on the market on Zoopla and works out an average for that area.

It breaks down the properties into different categories for those looking for specific buildings such as semi-detached or terraced homes. It’s also useful for families as you can enter a school name and discover the average asking price for the school’s local area. 

Smart Maps 

The ‘smart map’ is an interactive tool where users can isolate single streets, groups of streets or a general area. By choosing the 'draw from scratch’ option, you can mark out your preferred area much like the Rightmove ‘draw a search’. 

Travel Time

Zoopla’s ‘travel time’ search tool helps buyers find a prospective home within any given journey time in the area of your choice. From schools to offices, you can easily work out the time it takes to commute. 

Heat-map Tool

If a user isn’t sure which area would be most suited to them and their budget, they can use the ‘heat-map tool’ which will highlight the most expensive areas of a town, village or city in red. The cheapest areas will be marked in blue. It’s a very insightful, visual tool that can help buyers narrow down an area to start their house-hunting process. 

Price Reductions

One way to filter your search results on Zoopla is to search for the homes with the highest reduction rates. This will then also provide you with a reduction history of the property you choose to view. 

You can also use their ‘advanced search’ tool to target specific requirements such as ‘garages’, ‘garden’ or ‘double garage’. It’s similar to Rightmove’s ‘keyword sort’ and will provide a more personalised result. 

Estimated Running Costs Calculator

Built into every listing, Zoopla’s Running Costs Calculator works out an estimate for the monthly bills you would have to pay. It includes estimates for your mortgage, energy, water and council tax bills so you can budget the total cost of buying a house

Claim My Home

This tool is particularly useful for sellers. Some people are not immediately open to selling their home and would prefer to advertise their home as ‘open to offers’. If you ‘claim’ a property you’re admitting to ownership and can edit the details to your personal preferences. 

You can then use the ‘tempt me’ tool which will set a price that you would personally consider accepting to increase interest on the property and to ease you into the selling process.  

New Homes Search

This tool allows users to specifically locate new-build houses. It filters the properties by development so they’re much easier to sort through. 

So, Which One is Better?

Both Zoopla and Rightmove are high-quality portals, each respectable businesses in the field. To discover which is best for you, you have to go by your own personal preferences. They are both useful tools that can help sellers reach a wider audience. 

Both companies have an app you can download for convenience. Browse through each website and play around with the key features to determine which you would prefer working with. Try to think like a buyer to also determine how easy it would be for potential users to view your property and its information. 

Many users seem to prefer the tools offered by Zoopla as they allow you to get an instant valuation of your property and seem easy to use. Zoopla also lets you define your search area by drawing on the map. The travel time tool lets buyers see how far the property will be from important areas like their work and local amenities. This may encourage more buyers to view your home. 

It’s also important to think about traffic and which portal can increase the number of people viewing your property. Rightmove is typically the best for traffic with around 127.5 million visits per month. This is significantly higher than Zoopla’s average of 50 million.

Rightmove also has the most properties listed on the website, with the company currently at 1.1 million properties. Zoopla, however, has 927,000. This could mean that Zoopla has less competition for you, but it also shows how many users and supporters Rightmove has compared to its competitor. 

No matter what the facts and figures prove, both property portals are worthy competitors and can greatly increase the chances of your property being sold. Personal preference is key so discuss each company with your estate agent and visit their websites as research. Play with the tools they offer so you can see which could benefit you and your property the most.

Consider how easy it is to navigate, whether the tools work and how beneficial they are to potential buyers. Both websites will be a great aid to sellers but it’s still important to branch out and discover new tools.  

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Other Portals to Consider

There are smaller local portals to consider which can help with growing businesses. However, when it comes to selling your home, you’ll want the biggest audience possible which is why larger companies like Rightmove and Zoopla are often chosen. The larger the website’s audience, the better chance you have at attracting potential buyers. 

Another option you could look into is the fairly new portal, OnTheMarket. OnTheMarket was launched in 2015 and claims to advertise properties 24-hours before they appear on both Rightmove and Zoopla. It was created by estate agents to break the duopoly of these two larger companies. Any agent who posts a property onto OnTheMarket, can then only use one of the other two portals. 

It’s important to note, however, that OnTheMarket is still a new and growing company and so its reach may not be as far as it’s well-known competitors. It is still a fairly big and successful business but whether potential buyers are also aware of it is a question to consider before deciding. 

Ultimately, the choice is up to you. Don’t forget to browse through each website as though you were a potential buyer and see which features you believe would help you sell your home. Whatever you believe will provide a bigger reach and easiest experience is the portal you’ll likely want to use. 

Online Portals vs Estate Agents

It should be noted that online property portals are not online estate agents. They are simply a means for prospective buyers to view properties and contact the corresponding agent. 

Estate agents can be found either online or on the high street. They will list properties onto property portals to help increase the number of potential buyers viewing them. The portal’s users can then contact the estate agent marketing the property they like via the link on the property page.   

Whilst some estate agents will only list properties they are marketing onto their own websites, property portals will include properties from a range of agents. Estate agents do have to pay to advertise on these platforms so don’t forget to discuss the cost with them first and to factor in the price when calculating the cost of selling your home.

Saving Money With Compare My Move

When selling your home, it’s important to find the right professionals for the job. Whether that’s deciding which online portal to use or which local removal company can best help you move. Don’t be afraid to shop around and compare quotes to ensure you save both time and money during the selling process. 

If you’re looking for a reliable service to help you compare quotes in advance, then Compare My Move is the place to be! From conveyancers to property surveyors, we have a strong network of verified professionals to help you move house with ease.

Zenyx Griffiths

Before Compare My Move, Zenyx once wrote lifestyle and entertainment articles for the online magazine, Society19 as well as news articles for Ffotogallery.