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  • Deal Finding

    Rightmove vs. Zoopla - getting the most out of the portals for property research

    As I am sure we all agree, the data provided by Rightmove and Zoopla is extremely useful for due diligence purposes when analysing a property investment.

    Rightmove is the largest property portal in the U.K. with the most listings.

    Zoopla is No. 2.

    Find a comprehensive list of property due diligence sites >>> here.

    The portals are constantly adding new features and ways that researchers can use the data to drill down on property metrics.

    I would like to create a guide of how to get the most out of the portals for property due diligence, starting with my own tips. Please share how YOU use the portals and the features that you find give the most value to an investment property search.

    I am now going to take you on a journey of looking for a £250K 2 bed house in Guildford.

    Rightmove:

    I put the search criteria into Rightmove and I tick the "Under offer" box as I like to see how active the market is and how much stock is under offer, compared to on the market.

    I find a house that has not been sold and click for more details.

    On the right hand side, there is a box that gives me recent sold comparables and I use this as a guide. Always take note of the date of the sale and use the most recent one for your comparable. Bear in mind that this may be a completely different type of property to the one you are considering, especially if there is a significant price differential.

    If you click on the "Maps and Schools" tab, it shows you the schools in the locality and also distances to the nearest transport links.

    There is also a broadband availability and speed finder.

    See - Slower broadband speed could affect house prices and rent-ability

    You can use the "Draw a search" function to create an even more bespoke selection of suitable properties for you.

    Remember: Asking prices are simply that - they are not actual SOLD prices.

    Properties may sell for significantly less - or more - than they are marketed for, depending on demand.

    If you click on the "House Prices" tab, you can find lots of helpful information:

    Sold prices:

    Rightmove bring the latest Sold House Price Information to your computer, straight from the Land Registry and the Registers Of Scotland.

    Simply enter the postcode of the area you are interested in the box, and RM will give you the low down on average and individual sold prices since May 2000.

    Price Comparison Report:

    Looking to sell, but not sure what your property is worth? Maybe you are just wondering what competing properties are being marketed at?

    The Rightmove Price Comparison report brings together Rightmove, Land Registry and Registers of Scotland current and historic prices in one place.

    Market trends:

    If you are looking to sell, buy or just want to know what's happening in the property market in your area, then Rightmove can help.

    Rightmove Market Trends uses the biggest set of property information to provide you with an insight into market activity in your area. See how many properties there are available to buy, average prices paid and how many have sold.

    House Price Index:

    The House Price Index is the largest, most up-to-date monthly sample of residential property asking prices. The index monitors changes in house prices both annually and monthly, providing a comprehensive view on the current state of the property market in England and Wales.

    Download the latest report >>> here.

    Sign up to notifications:

    You can use the "Create an alert" feature to be notified when properties meeting your criteria are added to Rightmove.

    London property:

    You can search for property close to tube stations using the London tube map feature.

    New homes:

    The drop down menu of "For sale" allows you to select new homes only.

    Zoopla

    Zoopla is similar to Rightmove in terms of how you define your search.

    The listing gives travel times to nearest station and also recent sold comparables.

    On the right hand panel it also tells you the price the property achieved last time it was sold.

    There is an "Area stats" tab that gives a snapshot of the local market including average values and average £ per square foot prices.

    The new Travel Time Search helps you find the distances to nearest transport links via different modes of transport such as walking, bike, car, etc.

    One of the major advantages of Zoopla is that it has a key word search function, so you can drill down on niche words such as "tenanted", "no chain", "refurbishment", "cash buyers only". Click on the "Refine Search" button to access this, and you can also create an "email alert" for any properties that meet your specific criteria.

    The "Filter your search" function allows you to define your search further and the "chain free" option is worth clicking on as these might potentially be properties where a deal can be done.

    Situated bottom left on the search page, the "Currently available in ... " shows how many properties of each property type are listed in the area you are searching on.

    Zoopla also has all the usual house price comparisons and valuation tools as Rightmove which can be accessed by clicking the tabs on the top of the page.

    Zoopla discussion:

    Understanding Zoopla valuations

    Rental comparables

    You can use both Rightmove and Zoopla to get a feel for:

    1. How many properties of the type you are considering are on for rent.

    2. A rough estimate of what different property types are achieving for rent in the area.

    3. How long the property has been marketed for - this can give an indication of the health of the local market.

    4. Click the "Let agreed" button to see how many properties of your type have been let. This will also show you which agents area achieving lets in your area and these will be the agents worth calling to get their view on the market, and also to list your property with when you have bought it.

    [Image: house.png]Related content:

    The hidden dangers a Land Registry search can reveal about a property

    How to become talented at finding property deals

    10 tips for spotting deals others might have missed

    How do I find a Below Market Value deal in my area?

    Not such a great deal after all ...

    Those are my thoughts on using the portals.

    Which portal do you use and why?

    Any further tips of how to get the most out of the portals in terms of research?
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    Just adding the "Property Bee" add-on to Firefox.

    It keeps an archive of each Rightmove page and, when you are looking at the current Rightmove page, it displays all of the changes that have been made to it over time - when the property was listed, what the price was, what the asking prices were and when they have changed, etc.

    It is extremely useful to see how long a house has been on and how motivated the owners are by measuring how much their asking prices have decreased.
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    Hi Vanessa,
    My input will not be of much use for your objectives. I have not changed the way I search for properties for years. About every six months, I search for properties sold in the specific post code areas in which we invest to get an idea of momentum. To date, there have been very few sales, so I do not spend much time looking. It is important to stress that I am not currently actively looking to buy, but looking to substitute properties to improve average cash flows. We have not bought, or substituted since 2008 and have sold two (they were both purchase options).
    Last week I sat with a colleague in London who is searching for his own purchase. He was using the Zoopla feature that allows you to draw a polygon around a specific area, then use the filters such as price range or property type to further refine the search. It was then I realized that things have moved on a lot since 2008, and I did think I should get up to speed with recent developments with Rightmove and Zoopla. Of course, this is much more important when you actually have a business goal to buy or sell. Right now I feel like a window shopper only.
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    London is hard to search in, as a property that 5 miles more travel distance, but very close to the tube station may provide a better commute, yet I don’t know of any site that makes use of tube and bus time tables to find all properties within a given travel time.
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    I use RM more than Zoopla . Habit more than anything.
    I once spent a few hours with a guy who wanted to build a rival site
    He wasnt an investor but he wanted to see how an investor minds works.
    There was only one feature that i recommended which wasnt there.

    I think i came to conclusion that RM has got all I needed really.
    I started investing before it came on the scene
    It has helped in many respects but hindered in others.
    Before it was born I had an added edge
    Now everyone has that edge
    I have to rely on my other edges now

    It is a double edged sword though
    I can use its data too prove a point
    But sometimes its data frustrates negotiations
    A vendor can misinterpret its data
    But so convinced they are right that they stone wall you
    Its a fascinating site
    Some investors will have made a killing by using it
    Some will have lost out big time though

    It should have a health warning attached
    .
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    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com


    Rightmove is fast being caught up by Zoopla, Not every property is on Zoopla as there are still a few agents who only iuse RM, but that number is dwindling.

    I use both as part of my DD, although they cant be relied upon, I use the 'current value' tab on Zoopla quite a lot, along with the 'sold prices' info.

    The 2 together along with Streetview are our starting point ,twhen we get offered a new property, If its not a location we know inside out. We then drive-by, view, park outside, walk the neighbourhood, talk to local residents and shopkeepers, read the local newspapers.
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    Phil Stewardson.

    Stewardson Properties.

    Stewardson Developments Ltd.

    Burson Land Ltd. & Jennings & Gilchreaste Ltd.

    http://www.stewardson.co.uk

    Follow me on twitter - @philstewardson

    I have a big curiosity: how many views have a property on Zoopla vs Rightmove?

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    Rightmove and Zoopla are two of the busiest websites in the UK.  

    Alexa ranks Rightmove at 40 and Zoopla at 100 in terms of busiest websites in the UK.

    ​That should answer your question.

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    No,you don'tSmile

    My question was: if a estate agent list a property on Zoopla and Rightmove, how many views get that listing on Rightmove vs Zoopla?

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    The question was for Phil , is an agent who advertise on Z and R

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    Thanks for all the comments.

    Jonathan C. - what is the one feature missing from RM that you would like to see?

    I recently took part in some market research for RM and suggested that it would be great if investors could search on "tenanted" properties.

    The portals are very much geared towards people searching for their own home. If one of them started to think about an investor's search pattern, it might give them a bit of an edge for attracting a niche user group?
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