Is Primelocation the secret weapon in Zoopla's defence against annihilation by Agents' Mutual?

Agents' Mutual is coming. It's like the Coca Cola adverts at Christmas. It's almost inevitable. You can taste it. Feel it. You get the picture.

Or do you? There are naysayers. But really quickly: 4,000+ estate agency branches are now members of Agents' Mutual and will be removing their advertising spend from either Rightmove or Zoopla come January. That will equate to almost £20m of annualised revenue disappearing. And it'll likely be Zoopla that is most affected.

Unless, Zoopla does something.... Smart.

A little background: Zoopla hoovered up all the failing property portals, in the face of Rightmove's ever-increasing dominance of UK online property classifieds. This M&A activity resulted in Zoopla being the de-facto number 2 in the market. 

During this process, the online 'audience' from brands like PropertyFinder, Globrix and FindAProperty were redirected to Zoopla.co.uk. All except Primelocation.com.

It seemed strange to retire amazing terms such as FindAProperty, in favour of a brand that just doesn't resonate with anyone, yet keep Primelocation alive. 

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Not only has Zoopla Property Group kept Primelocation going, but it has begun to really spend money on outdoor advertising to promote Primelocation.com. And people don't spend money without a reason:

Primelocation.com was started by Prime Central London estate agents. They still have an affinity to it (many are already off Rightmove). Could this be Zoopla's bargaining chip to get the likes of Savills, Knight Frank et al to drop Rightmove in London and stick with Zoopla/Primelocation?

Stranger things have happened. But if Alex Chesterman can pull this off, in the face of such overwhelming sentiment toward Rightmove's invincibility, it will likely be a greater achievement than any of the previous deals (which were amazing in each of their own rights).

And of course, this would suit Agents' Mutual perfectly: splitting Rightmove and Zoopla, in terms of listings inventory, is preferable to every Agents' Mutual member coming off Zoopla and handing Rightmove extra dominance.

So, London estate agents, is Primelocation.com useful enough to ditch Rightmove?

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