Agent which used Rightmove data to claim it sold most scolded by watchdog

An agent which claimed to sell more homes in a postcode than any of its competitors, quoting Rightmove Intel, has been told not to repeat the claim.

Leftmove, which has branches in the north-west, said on its website in January that it was the official market leader in a Preston postcode.

It said on its home page that in 2017 “we successfully sold more properties in the PR4 postcode than any other PR4 agent. Source: Rightmove Intel”.

Leftmove also posted on Facebook last November a claim that “you can now find us in 12 locations” with a list of locations with a different phone number alongside each one, including a “Poulton branch”.

Competitor Farrell Heyworth complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, challenging whether the claim to sell more in the PR4 postcode was misleading and could be substantiated.

Farrell Heyworth also questioned whether the Facebook post misleadingly implied that Leftmove maintained an office in Poulton-le-Fylde.

Leftmove provided the ASA with a spreadsheet from Rightmove showing properties sold in the postcode.

However, the ASA upheld the complaint, saying the spreadsheet showed Leftmove’s own sales figures in the postcode, but there was no data about its competitors.

The ASA said it understood not all sales agreed completed, and that not all agents would list all of their properties on a portal.

The ASA said: “We therefore considered that there were limitations on the applicability of Rightmove’s data to the claim that the advertisers were the ‘market leaders’ in the area.

“Because we had not been provided with sufficient evidence, we concluded that the claim had not been substantiated and was therefore misleading.”

On the claim to have a branch in Poulton-le-Fylde, Leftmove told the ASA it did not have a physical branch but maintained a service office in the area with a receptionist who could help customers.

But the ASA said that consumers would understand the claim to mean a fully operational branch, staffed by individuals with local knowledge.

It said: “We considered that a photograph on the ‘Our Branches’ page of Leftmove’s website contributed to this understanding.”

The ASA said that this claim was also misleading, and told Leftmove it must not repeat either advert.

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  1. Leespoon

    Yet ‘Local’ Property Experts who live 20 miles from their postcode are allowed to crack on…..

  2. EAMD172

    And what about all these agents that claim to have a Mayfair office? When in reality it is a small piece of window space serviced by someone who doesn’t work for them in a large branch shared by dozens if not hundreds of agents? Does that count as a fully operational branch?

  3. Mark Walker 2

    Colleague – “Farrell Heyworth complained???  They’re the worst for it!”

  4. Woodentop

    Opens the door to complaints about large companies using “National figures” in their marketing against local agents. Oh dear the colour purple comes to mind.

  5. Ted.Nugents.Shirt

    I don’t understand…


    What’s wrong with quoting RM data? Old boys club style Estate Agents are dying out and Online Agents are taking market share. We live in a day and age where EVERYONE should be making data driven decisions. Estate Agents that utilise the data they have access to will thrive and continue to do so.


    If an agent is achieving success in a market then they should be shouting it from the rooftops! At least Leftmove used a data source. Anyone who doesn’t agree with sharing success through data is a moron. Numbers don’t lie.


    Note: The Farrell Heyworth website homepage is plastered with stats and reviews. What’s their data source?

    1. cyberduck46

      >What’s wrong with quoting RM data?  
      Nothing wrong with quoting data if it substantiates what you are claiming. Leftmove couldn’t.  
      Lots of it going on. If you have upset people you are more likely to be reported though.
      If you’re a minnow you’re more likely to get a slap on the wrist.            

      1. MarkRowe

        I can’t think what other companies do that… can you, @cyberduck46…?

        1. cyberduck46

          Like I say, lots of it going on. Have you seen the blog on “Dodgy London Agents”. 62 out of 100 reviewed with a time limit of 1 minute were found to be  listing relisted, manipulated or very Old listings.  
          Even Agents who report other Agents have been found to be doing it which shows what a dirty business it is.  
          The ASA have prioritisation principles so small agents are more likely to get away with it than bigger ones.  
          For the less serious claims like “click on a member of the team who will get you started with the very best property advice!” the ASA probably won’t ask you to substantiate them so if you had something like that on your website then you don’t need to worry I don’t think. There are certain rules about endorsements but I think it’s OK to list all 5 star ones as long as you don’t incentivise, have been given permission and hold documentary evidence of it.  
          There was one Agent who posted on here criticising other agents for misleading and their main page had a list of properties with a large proportion of them marked as “recently completed”. On checking the land registry some of them completed almost a year prior. It’s amazing what you find when you spend a short time looking into it.    

      2. Ted.Nugents.Shirt

        Easy tiger… We all know RM’s T&C’s. There are two types of “Sales agreed report” they generate….


        Both can be exported as very nice looking PDF documents. One display’s ALL agency names that fall within the search variables. The other only shows the RM account owners name followed by Office 2, Office 3, Office4, Office 5 etc…


        Leftmove wouldn’t have been allowed to share the first which would have clearly indicated the other Agency names thus… the ASA sticking to their guns.


        There is only one agency in the wrong here. That’s Farrell Heyworth throwing their toys out the pram because another agent is providing a better service to its vendors and outperforming them.

      3. rsvstu97

        Read what the ASA said and you’ll have your answer cyberduck. Doh.

  6. rayleestefan

    In fact, each time an outsider approaches your information (scrambled or not), it’s not protected. Likewise having just a single reinforcement is an impractical notion, in the first place. So make a few reinforcements yourself, store them in various physical areas and have could based arrangement in which you store everything scrambled.


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