Agents quit Rightmove after paying more in subscriptions than rent

A number of agents have chosen to remove their listings from Rightmove, saying they were paying more to the portal than for rent.

OnTheMarket named three of the agents who were deserting Rightmove for this reason, saying that they have instead signed up to OTM on long-term contracts.

They are Albion Sales and Lettings in Northampton; Camerons, a lettings firm in Bournemouth; and Jungle Property, a lettings firm in Somerset.

Sally Knights, of Albion, said: “We have cancelled our Rightmove subscription. We were paying more in fees each month than our office rent so it’s high time there was an industry disruptor.”

Her firm has signed a three-year contract with OTM.

Aleina Cameron of Cameron has also signed up for three years.

She said: “I was a customer of Rightmove’s for over ten years but the price increase of 20%, which put the monthly fee up to £900, was too much so I cancelled.

“Annually, that’s more than I pay for my office rent.

“I refuse to be dictated to by Rightmove.”

Tom Morgan of Jungle Property has signed up to OTM for five years.

He said: “I’ve joined OnTheMarket on a five-year contract because it’s offering a fair proposition and has an excellent online presence.

“I’ve chosen to terminate my contract with Rightmove after nine years because of the successive price increases – many of which have been eye-watering and above inflation.

“We are even paying more to them than we are for our office rent.”

Altogether, OTM says that five agents have recently joined it after giving notice to Rightmove. The other two are Clintons Management in Ilford, Essex, and James Pyre & Son, a sales and lettings firm in Skipton.

Ian Springett, CEO of OTM, said: “We know that many agents are paying more to Rightmove in fees than they are for their office rent, and while they face ‘decision time’ as they try to reduce their costs, we believe the value provided by each portal will become even more important.”

He added: “In March, Rightmove’s latest annual results showed a decline in agent offices to 17,328 – a reduction of 2% since the beginning of 2018.

“Meanwhile, the results showed another year in which Rightmove generated increases in revenue, profits and profit margin by hiking its average revenue per advertiser by a further £83 to break through the £1,000 per month barrier for the first time.”

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31 Comments

  1. Jrsteeve

    I’m in Manchester and have been paying them more than our rent for about a year, would love to leave but otm doesn’t yet bring in quite enough enquiries.

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    1. Ric

      Morning;

      Our lettings lead count is pretty much 50/50 with OTM and RM

      Sales leads are still 70/30 in favour of RM however the quality of the RM lead is getting worse in terms mainly of people never responding after they send you the “Request to view”. I reckon around 50% now fail to call us back or respond to the emails when we ask them to call us to clarify / qualify the request.

      As for the fee’s… I remember a head of steam a few months back… everyone was going to jump…

      I think the stories of people ditching RM are more last ditch attempts to stay afloat rather than what should be the better choice of saving money even when the going is good. (I remain on RM though, too scared to act alone)

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      1. smile please

        The poor quality is probably down to all these third parties carrying out unwanted mystery shopping exercises.

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        1. Ric

          true… very true… ****** mystery shoppers! Is it not illegal anyway, calling a company (or anyone for that matter) pretending to be someone or wanting something you don’t.

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      2. cyberduck46

        Ric,

         

        When you get customers phoning you up or coming into your branch how do you know that these leads didn’t originate with Rightmove?

         

        I would imagine a lot of people use Rightmove to see what’s available and then go and have a look at the house. Then phone the Agent or pop into the branch to arrange a viewing. This is what I have always done. I don’t think people know who OnTheMarket are where I live.

         

        Are there any website visitor figures provided by Rightmove and OnThe Market?

         

        It will be interesting to see how Albion Sales and Lettings do as they are the only sales agent mentioned.

         

        From their current website “Every property we are instructed to sell or rent is listed on our right move site at Rightmove which is the UK’s biggest and most viewed property website. It’s the first place potential tenants and home buyers look when they’re ready to make their next move.”

         

         

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        1. Property Pundit

          James Pye & Son dopey.

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          1. cyberduck46

            And this is what they say on their website:  
             
            “Two of the UK’s market-leading sites are Rightmove & On The Market. Good agents list their clients’ property on one of these, but very few list on both. But if you want maximum coverage leading to more buyers and therefore the chance to achieve the very highest price for your home, then you really should use an agent who subscribes to both of these major portals.”
             
            Sounds like they’re admitting they can’t achieve the best price for your home and are recommending homeowners use somebody else.    

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        2. Ric

          If you read my posts recently, I have been monitoring where people first “noticed” the property they were phoning about when they came via RM.

          At least 50% came from the board, or a friend mentioned it… So I agree, whilst RM is a unique lead generator, it has also become a channel to call me or see more about the property where a board has just gone up!

          IF I chose to keep property off RM for a week, I would have as many good enquiries! Perhaps less nosey ones, but for sure the house hunters keen to buy would get to know about the house via my mailing list and staff.

          Likewise, we monitored Valuation Leads, from all sources, and overwhelmingly 90% called us due to local knowledge, boards breed boards and 28 years on the High Street means we are pretty well known! Hardly anyone came because RM informed them about us.

          I am not saying and have not said RM doesn’t give leads, just the leads they do give are not always the place the person first noticed or heard about the property and OTM is ahead on quality! Just not quantity.

          Far too many 123456 phone numbers on RM leads, which to me is the first sign of W.O.F.T.

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          1. cyberduck46

            Ric,

             

            >Likewise, we monitored Valuation Leads, from all sources, and overwhelmingly 90% called us due to local knowledge, boards breed boards and 28 years on the High Street means we are pretty well known! Hardly anyone came because RM informed them about us.

             

            Yes, that is what I would imagine. I don’t think many people looking for an Estate Agent would go to Rightmove. I would imagine the vast majority pretty much know the high street agents and for the few like me who can never remember the exact name they would probably just search in Google for “Estate Agents in ***”.

             

            >If you read my posts recently, I have been monitoring where people first “noticed” the property they were phoning about when they came via RM.

             

            What I am saying is that people who don’t appear to come to you via Rightmove may actually have done so. Even ones on your mailing list!

             

            >but for sure the house hunters keen to buy would get to know about the house via my mailing list and staff

             

            And what is the original source of these people on your mailing list? How many of these first came to you via Rightmove?

             

            I know I have enquired about properties directly with an Agent because I’ve seen a property on Rightmove and I’ve also been added to mailing lists because of this. I didn’t use the “email agent” functionality because a phone call is quicker and after a couple of enquiries using the RM “rightmove is connecting you” phone number I started looking up the phone number on Google or if I went to look at the house first copied the phone number off the “for sale” sign.

             

            So I think Agents will be underestimating RM’s value if they just assume the ones they receive via their service are the only leads they generate.

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

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            1. Ric

              Not going to get too involved in a “The Values of RM” debate..

              BUT for me…

              WE (and I include you) the agents have more value to RM than RM has to us. That is fact.

              Buyers will still want to buy without RM, they will simply find property in which ever way the market allows them to. RM can only be a first point of call whilst it has market share of stock (and indeed stock full stop)

              For me (my gripe), is the fact whilst RM watch HS EA’s fees drop, they continue to raise membership. My problem, leave Ric! (nah.. too scared and I am pretty ballsy as an agent!)

              Eventually (as I am sure you know) if you watch your P & L accounts, something has to give… We live in a world where everyone wants products cheaper but to be paid more salary, so again something has to give! I think we (the public) in our bid to live cheap but earn more, will one day become our own worst enemies.

              PS I would only class a lead which BUYS or LISTS as a true lead to put on the “value” list, otherwise I go back to RMs own 5% CT target, as they know themselves, 95% of their users are WOFTs

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        3. iansimons

          Knowing Sally and the team at Albion, they have a great team in place who have built a fantastic company with a solid reputation. They are a great little independent. They will be fine without Rightmove.

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    2. renown76

      The whole thing revolves around agents leaving RM and having the nerve to wait until buyers realise that there is nothing there.

      They know that many agents are scared at the thought of jumping. Build your brand. Don’t rely on them.

      Things will change but  it’s  up to us.

      BTW I’m not on RM, never have been.

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  2. Emily Hannan

    I have now been back in the industry for 3 years, this time a new brand so it has taken me a while to get my brand out there.  I note you fee to RM of £900, I am £1850 and it is killing me, they advised in December that all agents had been put on the same fee this appears not to be true.  I applaud your bravery and desire to break free I wish I could but I am worried how I will be seen by others..

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    1. MaryStone

      Hi Emily,

      My business is independent and now three years old. I am not on Rightmove and this is a decision I made at the start to keep overhead costs down. I have found that the serious buyers look on all portals and the quality of leads coming through are impressive. Yes, the other agents ‘batter me over the head’ by telling all prospective vendors that I am not on Rightmove- the last instruction I gained used the phrase ‘I didn’t like it that the other agent was trying to put your business down, so I am placing my house with you’. I always make it clear to prospective clients about the portals I advertise on and I use the phrase at market appraisals ‘Rightmove is an instruction gainer not a property seller’ and provide evidence that I am the top agent in the area.

      My business stats are eight weeks from launch to sold stc, achieving 95.7% of the marketing price and I hold the largest portfolio in the town.

      Be brave!

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      1. Town Agent

        Hi Mary,

        Well done you. I had been with RM since 2005, and the increase year on year has frustrated me. The leads were lacking in substance. We would ring, email back to arrange the viewing they requested and hardly anything became of them. Decided to jump beginning of the year. Of course when its a bit slow, I ponder if its because not on RM, but to be frank i would rather the savings go towards my pension than their shareholders.Its like business rates, there comes a point where you have to reevaluate the expenditure with high street shop fronts, extortionate business rates and certain property portals. Its wasted money in my view. I do believe office suites will be the way forward. Role back 30 odd years when i started, it was all local paper and foot flow. How many clients actually visit your gleaming offices in a month? That’s the real question.

        Recently down sized premises, lowered rent and rates and saving more . Good luck fellow agents. Dont be a sheep and follow others take control of your purse strings.

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  3. Realitycheck97

    I remember, back when RM first started, their salesman said the corporate ambition was to get the income that was being spent on newspapers. Job long since done.

    Logically, next step is to get the income that is being spent on rent.

    With the internet, you don’t need newspapers. With the internet and modern IT, you don’t need big/profile premises. Arguably you don’t need premises at all.

    RM can’t carry on taking increasingly large amounts of money out of your finite business model, so if RM want to grow, they have to change your business model to free up more cash. Given the influence they have over your business, that seems do-able to me.

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    1. Bless You

      So all agents get rid of offices and are judged by where in the list their name is.. Be alot of agents called Abode… absolute disgrace.

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  4. letstalk

    Our last day is 31 May….. I have been very nervous, but this saving will buy me another member of much needed staff to push the business forward so, in the long run it really was the only decision right for the business. When we first started up we only had Zoopla and we were letting as easily as we ever have done with RM.

    Truth is we have put RM in the position they are in, the only way to change it is to pull up our big girl/boy pants and put our money into better placed things than RM to send a clear message to all portals that if you get too bullish we will go elsewhere. The public will go where the properties are, they always have so it’s up to us as agents to lead that charge!

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    1. Chatty Cathy

      I know for a fact that this has been posted by an OTM rep

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      1. Property Pundit

        Prove it.

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      2. letstalk

        @ChattyCathy, rest assured I am most certainly not, I am non too keen on OTM at the moment either given they have displayed a very similar bullish attitude as that displayed by Rightmove! I have grave concerns that they may well end up the next Rightmove if we all give them too much opportunity to be so!

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    2. Town Agent

      Exactly – we have been off a few months now and in truth not missed them.
      More money in our bank .
      Stand Tall

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  5. gardenflat

    Let’s be honest, the majority either do not have the confidence to drop RM or they don’t need to, with enough sales the cost albeit high can be justified somewhat.

    I dropped RM end of Feb, I have seen a decline in enquiries but not enough to stop me doing business. I will continue to monitor and go from there. I gave them notice for two reasons:

    1. I do not want to be dictated to by anyone and their continued price hikes coupled with their inability to discuss anything other than spending more money with them got to me in the end.

    2. We are saving £1500 per month right now and that is coming in very handy in the current climate. I don’t think there is a better time to have a break and monitor the outcome.

    The sales properties that are coming to the market are spread so thin, you are either an agent who has been around 30 years and get generic business or you are heavily networked in your local area and this will see you through. Smaller agents are picking up scraps between them but there is not enough to go round.

    Lettings IMO have tailed off a little, perhaps due to the tenant ban, perhaps it is just me that has seen this? But they have. So for me the decision was quite simple, give notice and monitor. I’m not saying I won’t be back if it proves to be a bad business decision but I’m happy to have a go.

     

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  6. Property Pundit

    Will keep posting this whenever RM fees are mentioned:
    Today’s action plan for agents:
    1. Cancel your Rightmove subscription
    2. If you’re not ready to give up Rightmove membership, only subscribe to the most basic package, ditch micro-sites, banners and featured properties
    3. If you’re not giving up RM membership just yet, remove all Rightmove stickers in your office, logos from stationery & web sites
    4. If you share property details on social media, use links to your own website not to the portals
    5. Upload your content to your own website first.  Upload to the portals (if you must) a couple or a few days later
    6. Ensure you promote YOUR website FIRST, don’t give any portal traffic
    7. Stress that people register their details with YOU rather than the portals. Remind them that property does sell ‘off market’ or without the need for a portal upload
    8. Make your feelings known to Rightmove. OK, they’ll probably ignore them but you never know
    9. Finally, put the action plan together for when you finally give Rightmove the heave-ho
    10. Don’t moan on industry forums about Rightmove fees if you’re not prepared to carry out any of the points above. TAKE BACK CONTROL.

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    1. christinaestateagent68

      Property Pundit – do you mentor? Like your style!

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  7. MrsF

    And I bet they were offered lots of shares for signing up for a long contract.

    Take the shiny red Apple……..

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  8. KC54

    I am one of those mentioned in a release on another news site as having dropped rightmove

    Ric” you suggest people are leaving RM as a last ditch attempt to stay afloat – far from it.  We are a long established and consistently profitable company specialising in property management and lettings.  I have just been careful where we waste our hard earned £’s to make that happen.  If you bother checking the value for money of a RM lead against other portals and then see how many of those leads are a complete waste of time because the number doesn’t answer and emails never returned, you have to wonder the reasons why the applicant bothered sending the enquiry in the first place?  In addition to the cost per lead is the cost of my staff’s wasted time, phone call etc. – it all mounts up.

    We left at the end of February and we are still doing very well – no looking back.  We have a one year agreement in place with OTM, so no incentive of shares and we continue to advertise with Zoopla.  I remember these “new fangled” portals launching (rightmove, findaproperty, fish4homes, homesandproperty) and trying them out in the days it took the computer ages to “dial up”.  Yes the portals then took over from the newspapers, but everyone was worried about dropping the printed press at the time – we were again one of the first to do so.  I remember the rep at Loot telling me “you need us more than we need you”  How very wrong he was.

    Now have a look around you, the market is changing rapidly and there are now more “new fangled” ways emerging and on the horizon to engage with clients, generate leads and get your message across.

    In five years time unless the portals change significantly in their offering, they will go the same way as the old newspapers.

    Over the years the portals have been great for tenants, but we have only ever received a very small number of Landlord inquiries, which are the real lifeblood of the business.  Get the property and the tenants will follow.  Unfortunately none of the portals are very good at achieving that!

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    1. Ric

      I applaud you KC54 – I think most rather than all (my mistake for not saying most perhaps)
      Lettings, totally different to sales!
      We pay literally peanuts for the dual lettings account for our lettings department, so geuninely not wotrh coming off.
      However, we I do not think my lettings stock coming off would make a single difference to the business!!!
      Sales is a completely different ball game.
      From what I see, most (MOST) lettings companies would be better to not show their pretty awful attempt at property presenation on the web!! But (sorry to my chaps too) that is lettings for you… list em and let em the same afternoon!
      Find me a Sales Agent who has 100 plus stock per branch market leader or joint, who is on now and would come off knowing (or thinking) it would not impact their business.
      I am one of the more confident in my own ability agents out there… (probs not justified, but I beleive) and I would not risk it, even though I know that RM is not the answer, it is the reason the next agent will get enough time to hammer my unsold stock and therefore have an impact on future stock! The traineth-goeth-to-fasteth.
       
       

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  9. Trevor Gillham

    If you were searching for your new home would you only visit Rightmove? I would be visiting every portal i could.

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  10. HIT MAN

    The top agent in North Shields is the only one not on RM, more listing more sales than any other agent. How does that work then?

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    1. Ric

      Only one agent in North Shields? 😉

      No internet in North Shields? 😉

      No Houses in North Shields? 😉

      Nobody wants to buy in North Shields? 😉

      Nobody in North Shields was hurt in the making of this reply? 😉

      If true! Result. Not reason to not believe you. You aren’t a real HITMAN are you…?

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