NAEA boss Mark Hayward says portal juggling cannot be condoned

The potential scandal of ‘portal juggling’ has made it into The Times.

The story addresses the practice of repeated re-listings on the likes of Rightmove and the concerns about how this could be distorting the market and misleading consumers.

The story quotes Mark Hayward, managing director of the NAEA, who told The Times: “Portal juggling cannot in any way be condoned. A practice that seeks to misinform, manipulate the truth or hide inaccuracies that would influence transactional decisions must cease.”

A spokeswoman for Rightmove said it had a “dedicated data quality team to ensure people see the most accurate information when they search for a home, and we have technology that detects and prevents attempts to upload incorrect listings”.

Purplebricks, the online estate agent, audited a series of its adverts on Rightmove following concerns raised by Cornish agent Chris Wood, and said it found no evidence of portal juggling. It does, however, allow users to reload properties following a “marketing break”.

A review by Rightmove also found no evidence of juggling, The Times story adds.

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15 Comments

  1. Chri Wood

    The NAEA’s very belated entry into the fray is welcome but, with Purplebricks publicly admitting they have had to ‘audit’ some of their properties following being shown some of the mass of data provided to them* it beggars belief that Rightmove can continue to claim there is no evidence of such activity.

    #PortalJuggling in all of its forms is illegal and all agents can help stamp it out by reporting it to Rightmove, Trading Standards and, by joining the call on social media and by highlighting it to the public in their own blogs/ newsletters.

    *There are several Gigabites of data painstakingly amassed by PeeBee and Propcision which has been sent to PurpleBricks, Rightmove, The Times, The Telegraph and NTSEAT (National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team). This evidence has been strong enough to convince broadsheet business sections of The Times and The Telegraph (and their legal teams) to run stories, the NTSEAT to issue statements and, force PurpleBricks to admit they have had to ‘audit’ some properties as a result and that they allow some customers to re-list properties after a ‘marketing break’. In the face of this, Rightmoves statements are laughable.

    There is much more to this story that cannot be printed for legal reasons but, which will hopefully come to light over the coming weeks and months.

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  2. Robert May

    I suppose looking at a  large file of evidence found by someone else means the statement “it [Rightmove] found no evidence” is factually correct; someone else found it for them. Agent_PeeBee  (digital cousin of Peebee on here) sits up most nights manually screen-shotting confirmed patterns, systematic gaming, loading, deleting and reloading properties.

    There are multiple levels of  portal juggling some subtle, some less subtle, all are easily detectable.

    Contrary to what the Times claimed, #portaljuggling was first detected in July last year when  an agent was removing all their stock  systematically and reloading so no property  was showing as listed for more than three months, this supported advertising claims and performance stats to show the agency was performing better than it was. Since then  6 or 7 identifiable, individual methods of gaming have been identified and evidenced.  Gaming isn’t confined to one sort of agency model, traditional estate agents (high street and online) are doing it but it is definitely more prevalent by passive intermediary, internet listing, fixed fee agencies.

    Rightmove can continue to find no evidence of #portaljuggling but as soon as any agent has a problem with a competitor making claims that aren’t correct please get in touch, much as the spivs and portals might like the evidence to evaporate, it doesn’t.

     

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  3. AndrewOverman

    PeeBee, you may like to research 8 Mallow Road, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 2YD and its three / four appearances on and off market with Purple Bricks this year, amazingly only ever for a few days at a time before its withdrawn unsold and relisted about 6/8 weeks later. Its a four bed detached house with double garage, usually listed circa £250k.

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    1. PeeBee

      Mr Overman

      Already done – back in June, when it was relisted for the FOURTH time.

      I have forwarded the info to EYE – but I’m sure you already have it.

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  4. Herb

    Andy… https://s32.postimg.org/5mkmkz3wl/juggle.jpg

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    1. PeeBee

      A-Ha!  I see Herb beat me to it.

      Makes excellent reading material – does it not.

      A property which has been re-listed three times (making four “listings” in total) is dubbed a #quadruplejuggle by the way.

      So far – in amongst THOUSANDS of properties we have “audited” over the last year (seems like the in-word for this kind of thing…) and catalogued, we have evidence of more than one potential #octojuggle

      Eight listings – makes this one seem a relative newby in comparison…

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      1. Herb

        Screenshot of the octo please

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        1. PeeBee

          Here it is… hopefully…

          https://postimg.org/image/s6xudghtj/

           

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          1. Herb

            Burplebricks also swapped branches on it, there must be a new name for that game?

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            1. PeeBee

              Either #branchjuggling and/or #officejuggling – we tend to use either depending on which way the wind’s blowing.

              Add to that

              #doublejuggling… #triplejuggling… #quadruplejuggling… (you get the idea – so far the #octojuggle is the highest recorded number of re-listings – but I’m certain the first #nonojuggle will surface within the next 2-3 months…)

              #pricejuggling (both downward and upward)

              #salejuggling (aka known as #fallthrujuggling – latest in the line)

              And of course several forms of the art of f***wittery (credit: Jonnie) we haven’t even bothered to name… they’re just on the 1-7 list of #portaljuggle types.

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  5. LocalLens

    Well we’ve reported one local agent for portal juggling to RightMove twice this year (with the same properties) and I can’t believe we are alone in that.

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    1. PeeBee

      Well done – and keep doing it!

      EVENTUALLY, Rightmove will be forced to act.

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  6. Eamonn

    Rightmove’s IT team explained to me how to circumvent their system so a property will appear as a new listing.

    It’s quite easy actually.  Don’t mind sharing if asked but won’t be back online til this evening.

     

    For or the avoidance of doubt it wasn’t to joggle a property.

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    1. PeeBee

      Eamonn

      There are several (seven at the last count) differing formats of #portaljuggling – I am sure that your favourite nut-job would be happy to run through the various types, as it is Robert May who should be credited with originally coining the phrase which will I feel certain become (for all the wrong reasons…) a dictionary definition.

      I am genuinely appalled that a portal’s IT team was willing to give you a lesson in ‘gaming’ their own system.

      I have to confess that I have struggled to figure out why you would want to make a property that wasn’t a ‘new listing’ appear as if it was, if the reason was not to #portaljuggle – but I accept your assurance that your motives were not to mislead.

      I think that posting the ‘How to…’ on here would be totally inappropriate – although it is a given that those who wish to do it already know how… and are seemingly working hard at finding ‘new’ versions on a theme.

      So far – we’re ahead of them and have predicted the nature of the last two forms of this practice before they were even trialled.

      That being said – I am certain that Ros Renshaw, EYE’s Editor, would be very interested in the details – and would no doubt welcome your input via email – ros@propertyindustryeye.com

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  7. PeeBee

    Anyway… to the subject of the article.

    ‘Mark Hayward, managing director of the NAEA, who told The Times: “Portal juggling cannot in any way be condoned. A practice that seeks to misinform, manipulate the truth or hide inaccuracies that would influence transactional decisions must cease.” ‘

    I need help on this.  CANNOT BE CONDONED??

    We are talking, are we not, about activity which is almost certainly unlawful on several levels.

    NAEA need a serious reality check here – and DO SOMETHING ABOUT #portaljuggling – or are they going to turn the same blind eye policy that the portals, ASA and various other regulatory bodies appear to be adopting?

    A post on Tw@tter today summed it up:

    #Portaljuggling when are portals going to enforce their own T&C’s? starting to think, cant beat them, join them!

    I’m of the opinion – and there appears to be growing evidence which points towards it – that many are starting to think the same way…

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