Agents ‘would turn the lights out’ before giving up their Rightmove subscriptions, claim

Rightmove has proved a stock market winner for a fund manager who calls it a “mission critical” tool for estate agents.

James Thornton, who manages the Rathbone Global Opportunities fund, said agents would turn the lights off before giving up Rightmove.

Featured in yesterday’s Mail, writer Sally Hamilton said of Thornton: “His aim is to pick stock market winners whatever their business and wherever they are in the world, and Rightmove makes the grade.”

Hamilton says that given housing market conditions, it “might seem reckless” right now to back such a business.

She continues: “But Rightmove has an advantage – it is the largest online portal used by 80% of Britain’s estate agents.”

The tougher the market gets, “the more help these agents will need – and will upgrade their packages with the website, or so it hopes”.

Thornton himself says: “Estate agents will need to pedal harder to sell homes.

“Rightmove is a mission critical tool for them.

“They are more likely to turn the lights off before giving up their Rightmove subscription.”

Rightmove has been one of the fund’s best performing stocks, with its share price jumping about 1,500% since the stock was purchased in 2009.


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  1. gardenflat

    Sorry James, you are either behind the times or have lots of shares in RM.

    Pretty sure numerous agents have turned off Rightmove before their lights with more to come!

    1. leelee30


      Rightmove are a disgrace to independent estate agents, they lie touch over the fees and packages, then hike them to £1750.00 pounds a month for a basic package..

      Our clients like the family run, local independents, but  smaller companies,  struggle with these shocking fees that Rightmove screw you over for …

      taking advantage of the little people that got Rightmove to where it stands today..


  2. Jrsteeve

    Wrong, they’ll ultimately be their own demise as agents invest more in their own online presence and capturing data to have a good quality database.

    Rightmove don’t sell property, agents do. Without our instructions why else would a customer go to their website?

  3. JamesB

    I think this is called vested interest

  4. Property Poke In The Eye

    James Thorton needs to do a bit more research.


  5. ArthurHouse02

    Upgrading packages does nothing for agents, it doesnt draw more enquiries it just robs thick agents of their money.

    I remember an article a few months ago regarding Rightmove not forwarding every enquiry to their agents, due to quality control or some bs. Any chance this can be looked into further? Surely that would make a good story.

  6. GPL

    James? … need to quit vaping on those Rightmove e-cigarettes.
    Rightmove have already reached their tipping point – Rightmove are not essential anymore – Rightmove know it – Agents know it …’s just you that doesn’t.
    To Quit Rightmove – Call 0800 G O O D B Y E!    

  7. charlie.wright

    The mistake being made here is to think that portals “help” agents. People who need to sell or let will always find their agent, without a portal, and people who need to buy or rent will always find their home, with or without portals.


    Portals merely add a layer of perceived convenience by aggregating listings. But it’s also a layer of friction, because you cannot deal directly with the agent from portals. Movers have to fill out a form and wait for a response, which may or may not materialise, because agents have always prioritised direct enquiries over portals enquiries. Stock markets don’t get this. If there were no portals tomorrow, the moving industry would be unaffected. Agents and movers would still find each other.

    1. Covlets

      Well put! I came off Rightmove in December last year and have not seen any decrease in inquiries. Work smarter and stop relying on these portals to be the be all and end all of your business.

  8. EAMD172

    I’m sure someone said the same thing about local newspaper advertising before the credit crunch!

  9. LetItGo

    Not so, I do get a lot of customers from RM but I would ditch them before going under…..other portals are beginning to proving their worth and RM is going to have to wake up.

    For some strange reason they think that juggling RM+ around and calling it ‘new’ proves value. In reality what has RM delivered differently in 5 years?

    1. Property Pundit

      what has RM delivered differently in 5 years?


      Make it 15.

  10. Philip Norgan

    I think this is a very outdated opinion. Rightmove’s business model is unsustainable when the quality of the enquiries (not leads) is so poor. As i have commented before, I see RM as nothing more than a property referencing service, similar to Yell. People, me included, use RM to see what the house next door is on for. Serious buyers or tenants use ZPG or OTM for their search.

    Factor is the exorbitant charges that RM invoice for, plus their “high & mighty” approach, and their appalling customer service and it is no wonder agents, both big and small, are leaving in their droves.


    To lose 4.8% of your client base and then send out interim price hikes shows how out of touch they are with the current market conditions, their customers and, more importantly, good business practice.

    We left in June and can honestly say we haven’y missed them one bit. In fact, we now have approximately and extra hour a day to do other work that would have been taken up with RM enquiries that went nowhere.

  11. NotAdoctor32

    I think for a certain section of the market he is right, for another section he is wrong.

    You have to remember that the regular posters on here are very good, even great estate agents and we know can survive without RM.

    However, there are 1000’s of poor estate agents out there that are not proactive and do rely on RM to make the phone ring.  Some of them wouldn’t have a clue what to do it you took the portals away.

    RM’s problem is that when these people eventually do go bust because of their rising costs, they won’t be there to feed them.  And hopefully, the good agents will be getting along fine without them.

  12. simon cooper

    Misguided arrogance James.

    I trust you are still putting your clients money into RM, I wonder if it will turn out to be a wise investment?

  13. propertyguru11

    We’re one price increase away from stop using them. Not sure about the rest of you..

    1. Property Pundit

      Why wait? You know it’s coming.

  14. HIT MAN

    All talk and no action, YOU DO NOT NEED RIGHTMOVE THEY NEED YOU! I get most of my enquires through OTM I promote them to every customer, RM has gone the journey, you all need to get a pair of Ba..S and back yourselves. Agents have had enough and many are dropping them by the end of October they have called it RMEXIT. Have you got the Ba..s?

  15. EstateagentSEO

    Rightmove are nothing without the agents listings. This is psychological warfare! Agents who think they need Rightmove are brainwashed.


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