Angry estate agent tells Rightmove: ‘I’m off – and here’s why’

An estate agent has vented his feelings by telling Rightmove that he is “sick to death” of its price rises.

Copying EYE in on his colourfully-worded resignation letter, Paul Sawyer, director of 365 Residential Sales in Soham, Cambridgeshire, says: “I haven’t paid you for May, June or July and have no intention of doing so.

“Take us off and we will continue with Zoopla and OnTheMarket – you know, the portals that charge a fair price.

“I am not going bankrupt because of you. Along with one redundancy, I have freed up £50,000 per year by coming off.”

Sawyer told EYE that he had previously tried the “nice” approach, but it had not worked.

He said he has had to let his sales manager go: “As director, I have now taken that role to save money.

“Originally, it was sales manager or Rightmove, but neither are sustainable in this climate.”

Rightmove has responded to Sawyer’s letter – although it did not copy EYE in on its reply.

The letter tells Sawyer that because of unpaid bills, he can come off the site immediately, although his last official day is August 31, due to previous contractual arrangements.

It says that Rightmove’s credit control division will communicate about the money owed by Sawyer’s agency.

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45 Comments

  1. Ostrich17

    Quick survey:-
     
    RM will pursue him for the unpaid part of the contract – thumb up.
     
    RM will kindly let him off the amount owed – thumb down.

    Report
  2. Property Poke In The Eye

    RM days are numbered, it can’t dictate the price as it use to. It reached its price point for value a few years ago.

    Well done to Paul for taking a stand.

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  3. GPL

     

    The arrogance of Rightmove is truly spectacular.

     

    It strangles its paying subscribers and demonstrates zero interest in the views of its paying subscribers yet its running an Online User Survey for the public asking them to provide feedback?

     

    Nothing lasts forever …….even Rightmove!

     

     

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  4. brownsea

    Totally agree RM are ruthless, no care attitude, fee’s having no connection to the business world we are all in now, we left years ago, but still recovering from the cost.

    You will have to pay, we did and just leaves a sour taste!!!

    There fall will come, thanks to the other portals, but my apprehension is that once RM goes will the rest then jack up their fees?????

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    1. michael138

      Quite agree. RM wanted to put their charges up by about 30%. I told them we  could not afford any increase and would have to leave. Was told fine and no chance of any alteration in their fees.

      Went to Zoopla and onthemarket. RM came back later  and offered to take less than their existing charges before the proposed increase.

      I explained it was too late as had signed up elsewhere and did not want to pay them as well even though the charge they proposed was cheaper than it had been They seemed quite surprised!

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    2. Property Poke In The Eye

      Let’s bring down RM then worry about the others later.

      This will demonstrate agent power and the other portals will think twice before raising fees.

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  5. Andy Halstead

     
    I have said for years that Rightmove do not have any customers, just 1000’s of hostages. It’s incredible how they keep going, I suspect the cliff edge gets closer by the day……. When they fail it will be a perfect case study of self-harm and how to destroy a brilliant business through hubris and a complete disconnect with customers.
     

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    1. DASH94

      Totally agree.   We’ve all been fired by clients I’m sure, but  if I’d received a letter of that nature in that tone from one of my customers I’d be bitterly ashamed – and rightly so.      The sad thing is, he’s stating  what lots of RM’s customers feel and are just a little bit too worried to put into action.   For now.  I hope the trickle becomes a flood. I’d love to drop it – Vendor pressure is the  main reason we stay on. 

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  6. letstalk

    Well Paul, I am sorry to hear you situation, but it is a very real one in this climate. Rightmove have shown little to no sympathy at all in their bullish behaviour towards us agents, with further suggested price hikes even when they know we are under pressure. We left back at end of financial year and I can truly say it hasn’t made a jot of difference to our ability to do deals on properties. Good agents are good agents, whether they list on RM or not. When the decision had to be made in our office my team simply said ‘‘not a problem, we still have the phones to call out’, that’s when you know what type of team you have! We are listing more than we ever have too because we have redirected spend into other prospecting avenues, Had I known what I know now it would have been a decision I made a very very long time ago (almost kick myself I didn’t)

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  7. JoanneCoften38

    I had “the conversation” with them yesterday, regarding cutting extras and going back to basic package. We currently pay (inc VAT) roughly £1800 per month.

    They told me that if I just went back to their “Core Package” on Sales and Lettings – I would be paying £1650 per month !! Yet my bill reads as the Core Price for both Sales and Lettings as £650 + VAT.

    I think it’s a matter of Agents banding together in each town and coming off RM on block. Obviously the Corporates won’t co-operate – but I think it’s definitely worth a try, and have that conversation with the other Independents in our town.

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  8. smile please

    Rightmove proving yet again what an abusive relationship it has with agents.

    In the corridors at RM HQ they talk about working in partnership with agents. Great buzz word but totally hollow.

    More agents are now walking away mostly lettings but a few sales too.

    The next 18 months will be interesting as agents closing and others brave enough to walk away could herald a new dawn for agents and where they advertise.

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  9. watchdog13

    Agents need to stop moaning about OTM and get behind them. If OTM fails you can bet that RM and Zoopla will skewer agents in a way you can’t imagine.

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    1. smile please

      OTM are just as bad and cannot be trusted, they have shown this time and again.
      Whatever the answer is it is not OTM or Zoopla. 
      The newspapers once had the attitude RM now has and RM rode in on a white horse. And sadly not learnt from the newspapers mistakes.
      I think we are not far off a new advertising medium, more targeted, more traceable this is what will be the nail in RMs coffin.

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  10. AndrewM

    Bright Move

    National leave Rightmove day October 31st

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    1. Property Poke In The Eye

      We left July 2017.  It doesn’t make any difference.

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  11. WiltsAgent

    Having left 18 months ago I can confirm that on lettings my business is up 15%. My sales are down this year by 10% which has nothing to do with rightmove. Leaving them was the best move for my business. If you are a single office operation like mine Rightmove has long since ceased to be a sensible thing to spend money on.

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  12. GPL

     

    November 5th 2019

     

    National “NO RIGHTMOVE” Day! Raise awareness why Rightmove is bad for business and also raise money for charity!

     

    I’m happy (and I’m sure others would be equally happy) to suspend my Rightmove Property Advertising for 24 Hours and donate to chosen charities what I would pay Rightmove to advertise that day on their Website.

     

    As our 1st Poster suggested today re thumbs up or down – for this Post press Thumbs-Up if you would support taking a Charitable Positive from a Rightmove Negative on November 5th.

     

    It would be interesting to see how much money we could raise for chosen Charities.

     

    November 5th 2019 –

    NO to Rightmove

    YES to Charity

     

     

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    1. smile please

      For some reason my thumbs up do not work, But i am behind this providing enough agents do it.

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      1. GPL

         

        I’m happy to co-ordinate a…..

         

        ”Remember Remember NO Rightmove 5th of November – Charity Fundraising” if enough agents are behind it.

         

         

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        1. Property Poke In The Eye

          Happy to donate.  GPL repost this again on another post tomorrow to raise awareness.

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    2. BenHollis07

      Happy to participate, keep me posted ben@lancasters.org

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  13. surrey1

    I note Rightmove employees not featured in today’s article about the collapse of earning since 2008.

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  14. Property Pundit

    OK, here we go again, another Rightmove story so here is the usual checklist but with a NEW point Number 4:

     
    Today’s action plan for agents:
     
    1. Cancel your Rightmove subscription, make the call TODAY, don’t delay another day.
     
    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. Start the conversation with existing & potential customers that Rightmove prices are forcing the industry to have a re-think about membership and about whether it provides sufficient value-for-money. Stress that savings from leaving RM would enable your business to expand its marketing in other areas and improve service to its clients. Back it up by confirming that 100s of branches are leaving every month, that you expect this figure to increase and that you are preparing for the day you say goodbye.
     
    5. If you share property details on social media, use links to your own website not to the portals.
     
    6. Upload your content to your own website first.  Upload to the portals (if you must) a couple or a few days later.
     
    7. Ensure you promote YOUR website FIRST, don’t give any portal traffic.
     
    8. 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.
     
    9. Make your feelings known to Rightmove. OK, they’ll probably ignore them but you never know.
     
    10. Finally, put the action plan together for when you finally give Rightmove the heave-ho. Remember they thrive on your fear of leaving, there is life after Rightmove.
     
    11. 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 TODAY
     

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    1. smile please

      All excellent points.

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    2. MarkRowe

      Totally agree on all points!

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  15. MK James

    All be aware when dealing with RM

    we are trying to reduce our monthly payments

    we have what they call an enhanced package at £775 reduced to £350 due to all the useless add ons that don’t work for us.

    we have asked for the essential packed (same as enhanced package above) – the cost without the useless add ons – £775

    we are taking legal advice as this type of pricing cuts close to
    The Misrepresentation Act and The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Act.

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    1. fluter

      MK James, please keep us informed as to how you get on as would be very interested to see the outcome, as I’m sure a lot of agents would. I genuinely wish you all the luck in the world

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    2. Property Poke In The Eye

      Would this not be a b2b issue oppose to consumer?.

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  16. padymagic

    If you are running an advertising campaign for a large business the marketing department often go through an advertising agency who in turn, looking after a number of clients negotiate a bulk discount with the newspaper or TV or whatever.

     

    It seems to me we should have an industry on line advertising agency that everyone who wants to can sign up to and they would then negotiate with our on line marketing suppliers like OTM, zoopla and perhaps RM.

    Now I suspect RM et all wouldn’t want this and would probably only want to negotiate with the individual estate agent, but if a whole town at a time did sign up to the advertising agency then RM couldn’t do anything about it, in fact I rather think if there was an enterprising individual who could spend a little time and effort on this sort of idea it might actually work.

    Er Not me, too old now.

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    1. DASH94

      No such thing – or certainly not much of a thing, as bulk or volume discount with RM.   They’ll listen, nod and then say No.   You would have to get an entire town’s estate agents to agree unilaterally to leave – and for that all their current RM contracts would need to expire at the same time – to have any sort of leverage for a deal  and that, in reality is pretty much impossible.   Sadly.

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  17. The Outsider

    Shareprice is still rising and rising and rising

     

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    1. The Outsider

      And I still stand by my point here: https://www.propertyindustryeye.com/boost-for-rightmove-after-investment-bank-ups-shares-from-sell-to-buy/
      If you all moan that you are hostage to RM, and know that 10% fee increases are inevitable, and know that the vast majority of agents will just have to suck it up and pay it, then why on earth are you not investing in them?   You have legal, insider knowledge of how efficient they are at increasing their earnings!  

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  18. GPL

     

    Picking up on what’s been posted here today, and previously…..

     

    It’s long overdue for representatives on behalf of the UK Estate Agency/Lettings Industry to meet with Rightmove to examine the service/value that they provide and determine what Rightmove can offer moving forward.

     

    If Rightmove openly confirm that the views/requirements of their paying subscribers are of absolutely no interest, Our Industry can take a different direction.

     

    In effect Rightmove have and continue to snub their paying subscribers, consistently playing a game of divide & conquer.

     

    Our Industry needs to meet with Rightmove directly and get answers to the questions which Rightmove deliberately bodyswerve via their “Sound of Silence” Department.

     

    Only when Our Industry formally meets with Rightmove, will we be able to decide whether Rightmove provides the service that we require.

     

    At present, Rightmove is a self-serving, bloated, overpriced online advertiser that seeks to dominate its subscribers, rather than interact positively with its subscribers.

     

    In real terms Rightmove are telling us to **** *** if we don’t like their service, however we need to meet with them face to face as a Collective Industry and have an open discussion.

     

    Their strategy reminds me of the way that Robert Murdoch ran his empire.

     

    ……..and OTM? …….they just keep missing an open goal with a strategy that only they understand?

     

     

     

     

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    1. Property Pundit

      They won’t meet, they won’t talk. Just as agents have been described as hostages held by RM, in turn, RM is a hostage of the City. They are ONLY concerned by what the City says. When the momentum of leavers increases and revenues FALL (for the first time), the City will get jittery. The analysts will change their recommendation. Imagine the trickle of leavers we currently see turning in to a deluge with the resultant profit warnings, share price slumps, job lay-offs! THEY HAVE PUT THEMSELVES IN A POSITION  WHERE THEY CANNOT REMEDY THE SITUATION. In football terms, they have lost the dressing room. And it’s not coming back. Remember when agents fled the control by the local newspapers from the mid 2000s onwards? How did some papers react? They slashed their rates. Did it work? Absolutely not. Same scenario here. In fact it’s probably the opposite, we know they will turn to existing members to make up the shortfall.
       
      More and more I am becoming convinced that they’re just playing things out; the ‘well, we’ve had a good run, the party had to end sometime’ attitude. If it ended tomorrow (by agents switching off their feeds), the investors have had a brilliant financial run and return. The staff haven’t done too badly either. They don’t appear to have a ‘Plan B’; if it turned out they did and it was to serve private buyers, they will have a very small company very quickly.

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      1. WiltsAgent

        Agreed, we are way past trying to talk to them. They don’t have any consideration for the people who pay the fees and are making so much money that they will need to loose half of us before panic sets in. So far they have lost between 5 and 10% including yours truly, not enough but if the momentum of leavers continues to build they may see sense before their business collapses. Like any dictatorship, the end comes quickly.

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      2. GPL

         
        …..and, Property Pundit, I accept much of what you say, however, Rightmove (like the dominating school bully) has never been challenged with having to conduct a “face to face” with UK EA/L Industry Representatives….. and so, it has never had to refuse to meet its paying Subscribers?
         
        Rightmove happily meets/engages with brokers/potential investors however it has never met with a “Collective” from Our Industry.
         
        So, imagine today I open ????? as an “Association” that represents UK Estate/Letting Agents …..with the only active item on The Agenda being …… Rightmove – Service/Subscribers/Subscriptions
         
        …..with the sole aim being to represent the collective views of Our Industry in relation to Rightmove as its predominant service provider.
         
        Clearly individual agents voices are either not being heard or are being ignored.
         
        If Our Industry is to remain using Rightmove for Advertising, it must make its collective voice heard ……and if Rightmove, in light of our pro-active approach, chooses to ignore etc, then we have a clear unambiguous answer, that despite Our Industry wishing to engage collectively with Rightmove (to resolve a number of “issues”), Rightmove refuses to respond/engage.
         
        If we act like sheep (as we currently do) then we are treated like sheep (as we are) and the end result is……
         
         

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  19. LTree

    ….and so it begins -I can’t tell you how sweet it is to not get that bill dropping through the post every month (especially the annual increase) they have taken us for fools for so long and we have all been so accepting – from reading the steady stream of posts  I now think Rightmoves day of reckoning will come sooner rather than later and no one would shed a tear I have never known a company treat its customers with a more complete disregard than Rightmove and I say that as an ex hostage …..whoops I mean customer !

    Goodluck to you Paul Sawyer and trust me after eight months ‘freedom’ I feel qualified to say the grass is not only sweeter and greener it’s also a darned site cheaper too.

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  20. bobserver

    There is a very simple solution that tells RM what we think without needing to ‘gamble’ cancelling membership.

    ALL members who feel they are being badly treated and over-charged agree a specific day where they make ALL property adverts invisible, for 24 hours.

    If RM don’t react and seek to resolve, a further ‘outage’ takes place, with each becoming 12 hours longer than the last.

    This means no agent is risking lost business as we are all in it together and sends a powerful message.

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  21. HIT MAN

    Rightmove are scared of losing stock from the site, i asked how much they would charge for just bog a standard Sales package as I wanted to drop lettings, they told me it would be more than my current joint Sales and Lettings.

    I see many on here moaning but not doing anything about is it the general consensus is that you will drop RM when everyone else does, which puts it at a bit of a stalemate, has anyone got any ideas as to how we can all agree a mass walk out.

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    1. Property Poke In The Eye

      Everyone start by sending an email to  customer support just asking.
      “How many months left on my contract and what is the process on cancelling my membership”
      This will get the ball rolling.

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  22. The Outsider

    Why are the vast majority of you on here all words and no action!?

     

    Rightmove won’t meet with you about your concerns.  They give you an account manager for that.

    They won’t start reducing prices.  They are a publicly owned company with shareholders who demand a dividend and growth.

    It’s no wonder your businesses are going under and you can’t afford them… You’re all stuck in the dark ages and have no idea how to make best use of your best asset!

    Remember when you were paying just as much as now for a ad in a crappy local newspaper that cost hundreds of £ per lead??  Compare and contrast what you are getting now for the same money, and if you still can’t afford it, then good luck without it!

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    1. Property Pundit

      Clueless.

      Report
  23. GeorgeOrwell

    The Outsider

    An “Account Manager” ???

    You make me Laugh Out LOUD!

    I have a better chance of talking to God than a Rightmove Account Manager!

    Last time I asked for a meeting with my alleged “Account Manager” I was told that my Region didn’t have one as they were short-staffed!

    F*** Me! – Millions of Pounds in Profit for Rightmove, leeching off Estate/Letting Agents, yet they can’t afford enough staff?!!!

    Laugh Out L O U D!!!

     

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    1. Bagheera

      They can but they go through them at a rate of knots.  Have to be a certain type to be a long term rightmove account manager

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  24. GeorgeOrwell

    The Outsider

    Yes, take yourself Outside

    You know what to do after that!

     

     

    Report
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