Agent who complained about portal juggling by competitor is ‘sent round the houses’ by regulators

An estate agent who complained about a high street firm’s alleged portal juggling of one property has accused various regulators of passing the buck back and forth between themselves.

David Mintz, of Normie & Co in Whitefield, Manchester, says he was sent round the proverbial houses when he complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, The Property Ombudsman, the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team, Rightmove and the NAEA.

Mintz alleged that the ASA seemed uninterested; TPO referred him to Trading Standards; and the NAEA was unwilling to talk to its member agent about the alleged activity until after Trading Standards had investigated.

Mintz claims that Rightmove sent email confirmation within a week confirming that the property had been correctly identified as re-loading and it would investigate. Mintz said Rightmove later said it had investigated the complaint and would ban the agent from using statistics and Rightmove Intel.

However, claims Mintz: “Despite what Rightmove might have said, the agent still has full access to the intel and is using it.”

He said that the upshot of his complaint to Trading Standards was that “apparently, it is talking to Rightmove about the matter”.

Mintz said: “This represents a worrying cycle of toothless institutions passing the buck.”

Mintz, who has previously blogged on his estate agency website about portal juggling, has also accused the membership bodies of sitting on their hands.

He said: “What the RICS and the NAEA do both have in common is their total failure to campaign and lobby parliament effectively to ring-fence and guarantee the livelihood of its members.

“Just look at the banning of letting fees and the introduction of increased landlord taxation. The silence from the flag bearers of our industry has been deafening.

“Don’t get me wrong, there has been a bit of rhetoric, but it’s been mere lip service and is totally unlikely to ruffle any feathers.

“Behind closed doors, these organisations don’t have the power to effectively lobby against changes which will literally wipe thousands off their members’ bottom lines.

“So where does that leave us? One organisation with its trousers round its ankles most of the time, too lax on some issues but not brave enough to properly lobby parliament nor police its own members adequately.

“Another organisation too elitist to be relevant to the vast majority of agents in England.”

Mintz said that when his previous blog on portal juggling was the subject of a story in EYE, there were disparaging comments – even though he had not named the agent he was accusing.

He said: “What I didn’t expect was the massive outpouring of warmth and support from agents I’ve never even heard of before, as far north as Scotland and as far south as Bournemouth, who all got in touch to say that they too have suffered in silence for too long and were too afraid to speak out. No one wants a turf war.”

He called for “proper and real support for thousands of honest and well-meaning agents in the country”.

Yesterday evening, Mintz said: “If Trading Standards settle with Rightmove’s stance, and take no further action, it’s a ridiculous situation which ensures that these offences will never be effectively policed. I have informed Trading Standards that this needs to be looked at without wearing Rightmove’s goggles and hopefully some meaningful action will be taken.

“For any agent forced into taking a stand, this represents a worrying cycle of toothless institutions passing the buck. Being charitable, it is perhaps a case of these institutions lacking the resources to tackle juggling effectively.

“Perhaps, like some of my detractors have said in online and offline comments, the underlying feeling is that juggling is a victimless crime  – but  if this is the case they would be mistaken on several levels. Members of the public are being defrauded and honest agents will sometimes lose business on the basis of incorrect statistics.

“The fact that no money changes hands in these transactions does not make it any less worthy of the correct and proper attention from our industry ‘champions’. If the NAEA and TPO defer their investigations to NTSEAT in the belief that NTSEAT have the resources, manpower and expertise to forensically investigate these matters as they claim, then they will achieve the feat of disappointing everyone but the guilty party.”

Mintz’s two new blogs are here and here

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56 Comments

  1. Chris Wood

    It is not so much the portal juggling that affects the public (though it is still illegal) it is the misuse of the statistics from Rightmove and Zoopla used by some agents to claim better results than in fact, they are achieving. Obtaining money by deception is fraud

    The NTSEAT urgently need some money to police this. It is time that the NAEA and RICS etc. grew a pair and offers financial support from its coffers. It is also time that the portals started to actively dealing with this problem.

    Some progress has been made with the portals but it appears on the face of things that there is one rule for large customers and another for the rest of us. We are all your customers, stand by your civil contracts with us and your obligations under civil and criminal law.

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  2. AgentV

    I am really very surprised at the experience David has had……not!!

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  3. LondonR90

    Best case scenario:

    – agent is less likely to do it again

    – Rightmove will limit some of the agents access to Intel

    Rightmove won’t ban this agent, especially, as they see it, for their first offence. I think we have to get to terms with that fact.

     

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  4. Eamonn

    Shocking behaviour.

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  5. Ric

    Really simple this.

    RM, Z and OTM just do ALL your agents a favour.

    Hide the date on a listing including the words “just added” or “added today” etc, then the public could call the agent selling a property they like (novel I know, but ring ring) and ask the question “how long has it been on the market?”

    Two things you might achieve doing this:

    1) Make portal juggling a tad pointless, but behind the scenes you (the portals) still do the things which stop agents making properties appear at the top of the list if punters order their search in newest first order.

    2) you direct buyers and sellers to agents – wow imagine that….. “giving back” you could call it.

    Now as I know at least 2 portal reps read my specific comments (proof last week and this week)…. see you both soon 😉

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    1. Shaun77

      This wouldn’t stop agents from de-listing/re-listing properties in order to inflate their market share stats, so wouldn’t solve the problem

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      1. Ric

        It would however first and foremost stop the agents who do it to “get their stock to the top of the pile” which was always the initial reason behind portal juggling: ie make a property look like it has “just come on” based on the date.

        So as a step 2: drop the intel access. Personally I would be more than happy to do it the good old fashioned way of knowing my areas stock…. if the system will not catch those who manipulate the data stop the feature!

        Would any good agent lose sleep if Intel was out of their lives?

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    2. Russell Williams

      We list with Onthemarket and Rightmove and I think you’ll find that Rightmove don’t show the listing date anyway (they do show ‘Just added’ though)!

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      1. Russell Williams

        B***er.  Onthemarket don’t show the dates, Rightmove do.

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        1. Ric

          and we all know which matters most now.

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  6. PropertyPortal94

    Shocking Story…

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  7. Shaun77

    Interesting how in all the debate surrounding portal juggling nobody had ever commented on how changing agents should be viewed.

    Is it right that a property previously on with another agent for months should have its marketing date reset when changing agents? Although in one sense the property would be “new to the market” with the new agent, it wouldn’t actually be new to the market from the consumers perspective.

    However, if the original agent was incompetent is it fair the vendor’s ongoing marketing efforts should be tarnished by the original agents failings?

    Bit of an elephant in the room, I think…

     

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    1. AgentV

      Agreed with all you say…..but I think there would be no way of policing this and how, for instance, do I tell rightmove the property I am listing through my real time data feed was actually on with another agent? I f I was honest enough to do it….. would everyone else?

      I think we have to accept that it’s ‘new marketing’….because it would be very difficult to monitor and police, and would happen for a relatively minor number of properties. In many cases it is usually accompanied by a price change as well…..so it would have been re-alerted to people anyway. Presumably the number of times a property is relisted with another agent at the same price is so minimal compared to the other deliberate ‘portal juggling’ activities.

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    2. PeeBee

      Shaun77

      This was previously well and truly covered under The Property Misdescriptions Act (Specified Matters) Order 1992:
      15.  The length of time during which land has been available for sale either generally or by or through a particular person.
      I seem to remember that it was accepted practice that a property could be advertised as ‘New to the Market’ only if it had not been previously marketed by any Agent for a period of time (there is some debate as to the actual length of time – it is suggested that it may be as much as six months from withdrawal to ‘new’ instruction).  Alternatively, the nervous corporates (who were seen as the easy targets by Trading Standards because they were on pretty much ever street corner) decided to state ‘New to the Market with ABC’ as their ‘get out of jail card’, having no doubt agreed it with their home TS Department.
      Now you’ve got CPRs and BPRs 2008.  It’s in there… somewhere…
       

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  8. Realitycheck97

    “What the RICS and the NAEA do both have in common is their total failure to campaign and lobby parliament effectively…”

    NAEA are a trade body.  Nothing wrong with that.  However, RICS are not a trade body but a professional body. They regulate their professionals (members) to their Standards (Blue Book and their global agency standard, for residential agency) and “promote the usefulness of the profession for the public good.”  RICS make a point of not being a lobbying organisation but will make representations to Gov when it considers there is a public interest at stake.

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    1. Chris Wood

      The NAEA were set up as a professional body but, they appear to be acting more like a passive trade body/ affinity group at present.

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      1. AgentV

        And the worst part is they allow some members (the online listers), through marketing and advertising, to publicly ridicule and rubbish what other members (the traditional estate agents) do….including the professional fees they charge for operating their businesses.

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  9. FromTheHip64

    More like…..”David Mintz, of Normie & Co in Whitefield, Manchester, says ……… I have a lot of time on my hands”

    As my old boss used to say at the end of each morning meeting “Let’s get on and sell some houses”

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    1. PeeBee

      FromTheHip64

      From this and other posts, it seems your old boss spent a lot of his time ‘saying’ stuff.

      Did he actually DO anything?

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      1. PeeBee

        Sorry – I obviously should have said ‘he or she’

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    2. gk1uk2001

      FromTheHip64, are you one of the agents David Mintz is referring to by any chance? Your reply would seem to suggest so……….

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  10. Property Peep

    Correct me if I am missing something but could Rightmove / Zoopla not just insist on agents providing the actual house / flat number, before the property is listed ?

    If the same property, by the same agent or another agent is relisted within a 4/5/6 month timeline, then a red flag should be raised on the property itself, stating ‘this property has previously been sold within the last 4/5/6 months, and show the previously uploaded photos – this would allow people the compare the photos, to see if it is a property that has been renovated.

    This is necessary information for anyone looking to get a mortgage anyway. Could stop serious fraud. And would show which agents are fudging the sales figures (one agent in my area apparently sold the same flat four times last year, the said agent sent an e-mail out at the end of the year boasting that they had sold the most in our area …………. )

    Unfortunately our relevant bodies, designed to police us are a tad toothless, and probably don’t have the resources ( Robert May’s juggling detector is a glimmer of hope in this instance ).

    I would suggest this is something that needs to got into mainstream media, rather than just PIE. If our governing bodies rallied, got the support of their members and called for a property blackout and re-list day, this could get coverage and highlight the issue.

    The story being that suddenly there are very few listings left on RM and Zoopla. Then mark the properties as sold / let and let them reload a massive amount of new listings the following day all sold and let, the following day, make them available again. The story would then disrupt anyone’s confidence in the RM Intel figures, as the press release would point out that this has upset the statistics massively, so they now cannot be trusted for that whole 12 month period.

    I know that this would not necessarily be true in regard to the figures as the properties have not been off the market long enough, but hey, since when have the online competitors let truth get in the way of good marketing …… average sales fee of how much? average selling price of how much?

     

     

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    1. Russell Williams

      Back in the day we advertised with Findaproperty and I remember a long chat with a guy there asking me to start supplying house numbers, so that they could make the listings more accurate.  I was a bit loathe to, as suspected there was a bit more to it, but he said they were asking all agents to do the same.

      We did it for a while, but not on every instruction.  I spoke to the same guy much later, when we were having some upload problems and asked about the above.  He said they had spoken to every single agent about it, but that only about 5% had bothered to do it.

      I suggested they make it mandatory.  He suggested if they did, Findaproperty would only have about 5% of the stock it had that day.

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    2. PeeBee

      Property Peep

      If only it were that simple!  The addresses of many ‘nearly new’ properties are not registered on the Rightmove system, making it impossible to use that as a listing requirement.

      Besides – ‘X’, ‘Y’ or ‘Z’ portals are simply the advertising medium chosen by the Agent to promote the property to buyers searching those sites.

      Portals do some things wrong.  They take actions and make decisions that can and do potentially affect the marketability of a property; they give (whether intentionally or unintentionally) a route to unfair advantage over competition both between properties AND Agencies; and they effectively provide the facility for ‘Savvy Agent’ (ain’t used that one in a while…) to game the system to their advantage – which can be in more than one way.  BUT they are not responsible for an Agent’s illegal/immoral actions to game the system – only their own.

      There are reasons why #portaljuggling is actually beneficial to the portals.  They must ensure that their own backs are covered and that potential commercial gain does not take precedence over their primary purpose – which is plain and simple a source of information for those who seek it.

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  11. Ric

    and that’s how you still portal juggle today if that’s your ting….. Nobody sees the house number!

    Relist 20 Acacia Avenue as number 16 Acacia Avenue until the listing shows as new, then change the number back to the correct 20. The listing then sticks in its new place at the top of the tree.

    What RM, Z and OTM could do is show the house number live on the listing to perhaps to over come this! Then screen shots will ALWAYS prove naughty behaviour!

    The worry of “but someone will write to the vendor and try and pinch the business” well they can find the number out by looking at the EPC so, really must we all be so worried about displaying a house number. I don’t think we need fear about house numbers being shown to be honest, someone with half a brain will work out which house from a photo if required.

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    1. Ric

      The above would also mean the owner of the “fake address” could and would have valid reason for complaint to the offending company….. and Rightmove themselves will start to see a clear pattern of “address changes” if the write a bit of code to monitor the changes…..

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    2. Russell Williams

      True, the claim of “but someone will write to the vendor…” will happen and many agents will force the portals to backtrack.

      Currently, you’ll probably see that when a full EPC is uploaded (ie rarely – and remember the full EPC doesn’t have to be uploaded, you can simply say what the rating is in the write-up) the house number is usually hidden.  So there goes that argument.

      Also, by providing more accurate address info, that will help Zoppla identify which house it is and attach the previous sold prices to the listing.  Currently they often get it wrong, or sometimes don’t attempt it.  And many of my vendors have understandably not wanted this info so readily available.

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      1. AgentV

        What about when said portals decide to sell the full addresses, including house numbers to the ‘online listers’ who want to buy them?

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        1. AgentV

          To mass market via email

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      2. Ric

        Hold on…… If I wanted to mass mail Acacia Avenue I would mass mail number 1 to 30 anyway (obviously assuming there were 30 houses on the road)….. not sure I would need RM to tell me which one to mail… perhaps specific direct marketing ie a removal company or conveyancer, but on this scale locally, pretty sure they could get a house number within 5 minutes or so anyway, if they had a someone concentrating on Business Development Opportunities.

        As for Z, pretty sure they can work out a house number and add the sold price anyway.

        Anyway off to purchase electoral roll to find names, address and numbers.

        Point being, I am selling number 20 Acacia Avenue, lets tell the world….. the owner wants me to sell that house and not number 16 anyway!

        I am being a bit grumpy today, so maybe I am not looking at this straight.

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  12. Hillofwad71

    Seems that my transcript of a chat with Purplebricks regarding their  “just added” and ” marketing rests” have been removed. Also an   earlier post detailing  3 properties which have been hanging around  bricks portals  close to their their 2nd  birthdays unsold and dates confirmed by Bricks chat team as well  . I hope the bricks  police tentacles  havent  stretched  to this site!!

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  13. Chris Wood

    The system has been built that can and is already searching the entire UK property market in real time, and is identifying, comparing and compiling reports on every agents’ listing numbers, withdrawals, sales, anomalies and, importantly, juggles.

    It is a system designed to help decent, law-abiding agents of all types and business models as well as leveling the playing field for all engaged in estate agency, corporate, independent, call-centre or hybrid without fear or favour.

    If you juggle, it is being identified and logged.

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  14. LondonR90

    Does anyone have any information on how big portal juggling actually is? How many agents are juggling how many properties in, say, a 30 day period.

    I ask because there doesn’t seem to be many agents on here complaining about their competitors wrong doings. David Mintz has complained about a competitor and RM has ‘investigated’ and ‘resolved to their satisfaction’ his complaint. So the agent in question was identified as a portal juggler – be it just one property. He or she would be a fool to make the same mistake.

    Another reason I ask is that Robert May recently stated, if memory serves me right, that portal juggling is 10% of what it was before. Quite a significant drop.

    Of course we want this problem gone but how big is this issue? It would be interesting to know how concerned we should be.

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    1. Robert May

      Portal juggling is now a pointless exercise, a waste of time.

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  15. LondonR90

    Another question I have for either Robert or anyone else interested in answering.

    I am just concerned around the legal issues with the software being used to detect portal juggling.

    Are the OTM, RM and Z websites being scraped for property URL’s and then scraped again to make a comparison to detect possible juggling?

    Also, how does Rummage4 search and Rummage4 property work differently to how you could search using Google itself? Can’t we just add quotes to search for an exact match on Google for example?

    Plus you can play Atari and “tilt” the Google screen and you can…do a barrel roll

    🙂

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    1. PeeBee

      If you think that the architect of the world’s most stable skyscraper would freely share the secret of his design with the whole of RIBA; that the designer of the world’s first hypersonic jet airliner would happily pass on his blueprints to a rival company/nation – then you know far less about commercial enterprise that I previously credited you with.

      If you think that Robert May would risk an industry reputation spanning I believe four decades by creating a legally unsound method of detecting legally unsound practice to get a few pats on the back before the penny dropped – then you’re frankly loopy as a goose.

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      1. LondonR90

        ‘loopy as a goose’

        I like it, however, it’s possible this software could be offered free…

        My dad always told me ‘sharing is caring’ and I agree with his sentiments.

        But more seriously, there is a lot of software which is open source and benefits the world in general. World class developers have coded software and made the source code available FOC. So you copy and paste hours and hours of code written by someone else, modify it a little to make it work just the way you want and off you go – you save a lot of hours. A lot of website templates are offered for free. A lot of live chat plugins are offered free – you copy and paste a line of code into your website and off you go – chat live with your customers on your iPhone while you’re in bed 11pm on night – if you so wish.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software

        A great example is WordPress – it’s the worlds most popular self hosted CMS. It’s completely free. Not only is the actual CMS free to use but so are the thousands of plugins that developers have spent hours and hours developing and providing support for.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WordPress

        I am not saying this software will be/could be offered for free but it could obviously benefit a whole industry in a similar (if on a smaller scale) way to what WordPress has done…

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    2. Robert May

      Rummage4.it and Rummage4.property  don’t work any differently to advanced google search at all, they aren’t designed to. If you don’t understand the difference it isn’t down to me to explain it.  Both of them are  there for you to use free of charge (or not use)

      Both products were designed to  demonstrate individual points to an audience,  I used both yesterday to demonstrate concepts to  some of the most influential stakeholders in the property industry only yesterday, they are my demo system.

      I have a bit of time and money invested in what I have built, I have given parts of the product to people who need it so they can do their job mere effectively so please don’t suggest I should do anything more philanthropic  than I  already  have done but moreover do not attempt to insult or disparage what I have achieved.

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  16. LondonR90

    Sorry you misunderstand my angle on this.

    On your website it states:

    Rummage4 is a search engine interrogator (a world’s first). In its simplest form it operates in exactly the same way Google does and delivers Google results. As the name suggests it interrogates Google.

    The big difference is you have 3 search boxes not 1. You do not have to use all 3 but once you get used to the concept you will see how breaking down a search will produce more accurate results. We call this veracious searching.

    Firstly, it is not a worlds first. Yes it does operate in the same was as Google. Exactly the same way as you’ve said. That’s why I did not understand why you built it.

    You don’t have to explain to me if you don’t want to.

    I understand how Google works, if you use quotes it searches for an exact match, you can use hyphens to exclude words, use a colon to search a specific site, an asterisk as a wild card, etc etc etc. What I didn’t understand, and still do not understand is why you built this and I thought I was missing something…

    I didn’t suggest you do anything more philanthropic and I don’t think I said anything insulting or disparaging – that’s not my style at all. I’m sorry if my comments came across that way.

     

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    1. PeeBee

      Oh, dear – this could get messy…

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      1. Robert May

        It won’t get messy,  I’m not going to argue or be lured into a lengthy debate about something that yesterday changed our industry for good (the positive version not the forever version)

        The people who have seen what the technology does know how powerful it is. They don’t know what it is doing different but R4 pulls the legs of SEO and PPC almost instantly and at almost no cost.

        LondonR90 don’t look at it, don’t use it, don’t even wonder about it.  Please forget you ever went looking for it. You don’t get it now, one day you might.

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  17. LondonR90

    Another curt reply – but why? I even let the first one pass.

    I am not trying to start an argument and I am not luring you in to a lengthy debate, therefore I fail to understand your defensive stance on this issue.

    But, have it your way.

    1. You said it’s a worlds first but that is a misleading statement. You also once stated in a comment that you ‘work for PIE’ – that was also shown to be a misleading statement – or, if you’ll allow me to be blunt, a lie.

    Any comments?

    2. You state above:

    ‘LondonR90 don’t look at it, don’t use it, don’t even wonder about it.  Please forget you ever went looking for it. You don’t get it now, one day you might.’

    But you’ve stated in the past:

    ‘I am keen to share that with readers  like Smile Please, Ehenderson  HarryN or anyone else who would like to see my vision of Agent centric property searching.

    ‘I am  asking anyone interested to call me to see  how a sortal is different from a portal’

    So which one is it? Why don’t you want to engage with me?

    3. You also once stated that what you have built is:

    ‘designed to out-Google Google’

    But above you have stated

    ‘Rummage4.it and Rummage4.property  don’t work any differently to advanced google search at all’

    Which one is it?

     

    I will let the readers decide what is going on here.

    My final comments on this are:

    a) Rummage4 is nothing new and I could code a bot that does better in about an hour

    b) I hope you are not scraping Rightmove, Z and OTM in the same way that some software companies in the past scraped Yell (and the like). If you are then you will be sued. Yell sued. Google and Yahoo also sued yahoogle. Rightmove and Zoopla and OTM could well do the same.

     

     

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    1. Robert May

      I am telling you to forget all about Rummage4, not them,  you don’t need what I have, you can do it better in about an hour. The problem is you don’t know what it is or what it does, how it outperforms Google, Rightmove or Zoopla

      The ironic thing about your accusation yesterday over the legality of what I’m doing  was posted while I was sat in Soho square discussing the power and accuracy of my system with the Rightmove data team.

      You seem surprised at my attitude towards you after you insulted my integrity yesterday and because I was unable to reply instantly to your demands screamed  like an infant for attention.

      When your father was giving you adviced what he thinks other people should and shouldn’t share he should  have  given 5 minutes over to a chat about respect and what’s likely to happen if you accuse people of wrong doing.

       

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    2. PeeBee

      LondonR90

      I really need your assistance here.

      Above, you state

      “You also once stated in a comment that you ‘work for PIE’…”

      Please point me in that direction – I read every comment on every thread here on EYE – whether the subject is of particular interest to me or not – and that one seems to have overshot my runway.

      In respect of your second mention of ‘scraping:

      ” I hope you are not scraping Rightmove, Z and OTM…”

      I will simply reiterate my previous comment – you’re loopy as a goose.

      I stated earlier today that this could get messy.  Unfortunately it is going that way – and I for one wouldn’t want to be the one with the spoon looking for dirt to stir.

      And questioning Mr May’s integrity or professionalism is somewhere you REALLY don’t want to go.

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      1. LondonR90

        PeeBee it was definitely said and Nick definitely replied to the comment to make some sort of clarification. This comment in itself does not really define someone’s integrity but I made other points as well. I will find it and post the link.

        I have a great deal of respect for Roberts comments and views. As I think I told you before, I have been reading PIE for nearly three years now.

        I’m still a kid, this is a comment section, things get said, twisted, misunderstood, misinterpreted etc etc. I am old enough to know and understand that, I think. I was trying to find more information, that’s all.

        I only asked whether the sites were being scraped – no where did I attack Robert. Well, I do not feel like I did. I do not think I deserved the reply I received. I didn’t suggest Robert be more philanthropic – that at least, is plain to see. 

        I feel the next comment from Robert was not warranted either, especially as I had apologised for what I said previously.

        When Robert failed to address my points (his choice) I thought it best for readers to read and decide.

        I don’t want have a slinging match because there’s no need. I asked whether the sites were being scraped. If they aren’t being scraped then cool. I just wanted to learn how it’s being done…

        Stay hungry, stay foolish…

         

         

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        1. LondonR90

          http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/righmove-testing-virtual-reality-viewing-platform/

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          1. Robert May

            “I get paid to monitor and post on here, that is one of my jobs”   I do get paid  by agents to monitor what is posted on Eye and twitter. I start most mornings at 6:30 and finish  quite late.  If there is suspected false claim I go off and investigate it.  Please can you provide a link to where I have claimed to be employed by PIE?

            I have been  doing tech for agents since 1994, I have an unblemished record of honesty and integrity I will not allow that record to be tarnished so hopefully you will forgive me  for taking you to task on the suggestion I am  scrapping data or as you bluntly put lying.

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          2. PeeBee

            Ahhhh… THAT comment!

            The old memory comes flooding back!

            So – just to clarify – you stated that Robert had previously claimed he ‘worked for PIE’. You then commented

            “…that was also shown to be a misleading statement – or, if you’ll allow me to be blunt, a lie.”

            But the thing is – that’s NOT what he said – was it?

            His actual words were

            “I get paid to monitor and post on here, that is one of my jobs, a bit like the Tweeters and Facebook staff paid to monitor social media. My job is to detect and protect agents and agency from  wrong doing, bad products  and false claims. The perceived negativity comes from the requirement to be honest.”

            Which effectively dumps YOUR statement right up there in the ‘misleading’ box.  I can see NO claim whatsoever that he is, was – or even wants to be – employed by the site.

            But let’s not dwell on that – let’s go back to his actual words.  Was it, in reality, a “misleading statement”?

            I’d suggest it be better described as misunderstood.  Or maybe misinterpreted.

            In order to ‘know’ Mr May you need to have been able to walk in his moccasins, so as to speak – otherwise his tracks are sometimes a tad hard to follow.  I struggle sometimes – and he and I have been batting off each other on industry news websites like EYE for best part of a decade!

            He’s the only person to ever get me close to breaking a sweat in a ‘discussion’ – and Lord knows, plenty have tried…

            ANYWAY – I would suggest there’s some rebuilding to be done here – so let’s get on with it.

            You say you respect Robert’s opinions and comments.  I would suggest that today you picked a pretty unusual way to demonstrate that respect – but as I always say, how you interpret what you read (usually defined by what ‘tone of voice’ you assign to what you read in your own head) can produce a DEFCON-1 situation out of the most innocent of comments.

            Been there – wore that particular T-shirt out years ago. (Just as well – couldn’t get the bu99er on now even if my life depended on it!)

            And never mind playing the yoof card, sunshine – we’re in our extremely late 30s (I wish) and still fear the setting off the claxons to a eardrum-busting pitch!

            I’m not Robert’s BDM – but I AM one of his greatest supporters – simply because I’m 100% convinced that he’s batting for the industry and its’ customers.

            I don’t know if I’m making this better or worse – but I sincerely hope that the former prevails.  You quote Robert above

            “‘I am asking anyone interested to call me…” 

            Maybe that call would have avoided the unfortunate events of this afternoon.

            Maybe you would both have come out with something better than that which is evident tonight.

            Maybe you should pick up the phone. Who wants a DEFCON-1 threat hanging overhead?

            Let’s get back to normality and ***** about f*****g onlinies and b*****d portals – and not each other!

            ;o)

            (readers note – a certain amount of irony and sarcasm was used in the production of the above post but precautions were taken to ensure that no animals were hurt… unless they bl00dy well deserved it!)

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            1. PeeBee

              LondonR90.  I see that while I was compiling my own response to you, Robert has replied himself.

              If you intend to follow the advice in my post – I’d suggest waiting a couple of days before ringing…

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              1. Robert May

                And here we are again before  the 0630 new news release catching up with what has gone on overnight, seeing what’s what. I am working, getting paid to read, monitor and post on property industry eye but it is not Ros, Nick or John who are paying me.

                 

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  18. LondonR90

    For the sake of everyone reading, I must insist on replying. Especially now you’re throwing around accusations.

    My words were: I am just concerned around the legal issues with the software being used to detect portal juggling.

    So…….. ‘what’s likely to happen’?

    Does that comment constitute an accusation and/or does it question your integrity? Nope. Therefore the rest of your comment is a moot point. As is now seems, the reason for me making that comment – to find out how you are doing it.

    I did not scream like an infant. I think you’re possibly trying to wind me up by talking nonsense. It wouldn’t be your first time on here would it? I replied to PeeBee’s comment in a pleasant and civil manner.

    I did NOT accuse you of doing anything wrong. That is a fact. So I’ll let my father off on that one.

    If you want to talk about respect, and for the sake of being courteous and showing the readers your integrity, why haven’t you addressed my other points? Is it just me that wants to know why you said you ‘work for PIE’? Why did you lie? Do you think others are questioning your integrity? Do you think Nick@PIE questioned your integrity when he had to make public a comment to the effect… ‘Robert May does not work for PIE and never has done’?

    It’s a shame, I had a lot of respect for you prior to this conversation. You talking non-sense, being defensive, accusing me of things I have not done, being curt and evasive will not make the questions go away.

    So, here I am, left wondering what just happened and why. From the very start my intentions were honourable and clear. I am not sure why you think I would attack you. Maybe you read my comment in the wrong way. You do not know me and my background – if you did, you would think differently of me and possibly have more respect for me.

    That’s all from me.

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    1. PeeBee

      “You do not know me and my background – if you did, you would think differently of me and possibly have more respect for me.”

      Nope.  If you quack like a duck then you get the orange sauce treatment from me – regardless of “who you are”.

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  19. AgentV

    Adding properties, taking off, altering price, down, up, under offer, SSTC are all fine when done genuinely and accurately…..but when they are done to manipulate statistics is is not only very wrong, it is extremely damaging to the overall marketing of a property and its chances of achieving a good sale result. It is using stock for the gain of the company rather than representing properties properly for the advantage of the owner.

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  20. Chris Wood

    Please tell me you have a recording of that conversation or, you’d be willing to testify to its content.

     

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  21. LondonR90

    It should be noted that a vendor with Purplebricks is also able to login online and ‘take a marketing break’ and then log back in again after a week and ‘relist’ the property – presumably ‘as new’.

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  22. aSalesAgent

    Looks like a ‘live chat’ conversation.

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