Date Published 03 October 2012
The UK’s oldest surviving property portal, FindaProperty launched 15 years ago, is now powered by Zoopla, triggering suggestions that the brand is on its way out.
Users who visited the site on Monday morning found to their surprise that, although they appeared to be on FindaProperty, the website address was actually Zoopla.
The same does not apply to PrimeLocation, whose website functionality seems vastly improved as from this week – although the changes did spark some consumer anger that ‘saved’ properties had been lost, with one saying that he was off to Rightmove.
Notably, however, the FindaProperty ‘site’ is plastered with Zoopla promotions, and email correspondence from staff at the group ends with links only to Zoopla and PrimeLocation. New multi-million pound marketing campaigns have been launched for both Zoopla and PrimeLocation, but not for FindaProperty.
A Zoopla spokesman did not directly answer EAT’s questions about FindaProperty’s possible demise, but said: `The FindaProperty brand still exists and will be retained for the foreseeable future for the benefit of all loyal followers of this brand.`
The website change to FindaProperty follows the integration of all three brands on to a single technology platform.
It means the whole Zoopla group is now operating as a single entity. It was also clarified that Globrix is not part Zoopla, but is separately owned by the Daily Mail group and is now a ‘partner site’ being powered by Zoopla. There is no information as to Globrix’s future.
Alex Chesterman, founder and CEO of Zoopla Property Group, said: `Following our merger at the beginning of the summer, we have been working very hard to consolidate all of our brands and partnerships on to a single technology platform in order to deliver the benefits to our users and members.
`We have taken the best-in-class features and tools we offer to our users and members and combined these in order to ensure that we are the most useful online resource for property consumers and most effective marketing partner for property advertisers in the UK.`
FindaProperty was launched in 1997, just two years after the similarly named Propertyfinder.
It remained largely a southern brand for some years, restricted by the fact that its original sales force consisted of just one man, Ferenc Schuster, who worked from his home in Surrey and got around by bike – although it did fold up so he could hop on a train. That`s him pictured below. The site was sold to Associated Newspapers, owners of the Daily Mail, in 2004 in a £13.8m deal.
Propertyfinder underwent several changes of management before finally morphing into Zoopla, whose main stakeholder is the Daily Mail group.