Nearly one-third of applicant leads from portals ignored by agents – but do the portals deliver?

Up to almost one third of all inquiries coming through portals from people asking to be registered as applicants are ignored by agents.

But compelling new research from proptech firm Reapit also shows the small percentage of portal leads which actually convert into an offer or instruction – just 7.5%.

The research shows that the figure for buyer applicant registration inquiries ignored by agents is 27% for sales and in lettings 32%.

The figures vary markedly between individual agents, according to the Reapit research.

The top 10% agents have practically zero unprocessed applications.

However, in the bottom 10%, 85% of all applications to register as applicants for sales and 43% of lettings inquiries by potential applicants are ignored by agents.

If agents are unconvinced by leads from the portals, the research shows how few translate into actual sales or tenancies.

The new Reapit research covers leads delivered by portals in the first six months of last year.

Reapit researcher Daniel Hare said that preliminary results for the second half of last year show little difference, with still just 7.5% of established leads from portals leading to a sale, tenancy or instruction.

Simon Whale, of Reapit, said agents were nevertheless sidelining potential leads.

He said that agents’ failure to put inquiries on their lists of applicants was likely to be down to human error, apathy – or sheer business.

Reapit looked at how agents handle inquiries received via the internet, from which portal most of them come, the proportion that are ignored or are duplicates, and how many registrations are converted into actual sales and tenancies.

Its study covers the first half of last year, with a ‘snapshot’ taken of progress six weeks later.

The analysis shows that just 2.6% of letting applicant registrations converted into a tenancy – ie, one in every 23 registrations. However, the top 10% of agents did far better, with a success rate of 6.6%.

In sales, 3.2% of applicant registrations result in an offer being accepted.

In terms of the source generating the applicant registration inquiries which resulted in the most sales, Rightmove won hands down.

In the six-month period studied, Rightmove generated 4,088 successful leads for agents, Zoopla (including Primelocation) 864 and OnTheMarket 141.

Reapit looked at 278,937 records – 175,944 sales applicant registrations and 102,933 lettings applicants.

Its follow-up snapshot showed that at August 18, 808 (29%) of all internet applications to be registered were unprocessed.

The study also confirms just how much sales applicant interest waned between January 1 and June 30 last year, while letting inquiries rose.

The research notes that the volume of sales applicant registration inquiries steadily declined by 26% between the start of last year to the end of June, whereas letting inquiries rose 24%.

The ratio between sales and lettings inquiries narrowed over the six months from 68%: 32% in favour of sales to 56%: 44%.

In total, throughout the half year, sales inquiries represented 63% of the overall total.

Almost all the Reapit agents used  Rightmove for lettings (92%) and even more so for sales (95%).

By contrast, 46% of agents used Zoopla (including Primelocation) and 36% OnTheMarket for letting registrations, while 52% used “other sources”, including their own websites.

For sales, the comparable figures were 46% OnTheMarket, 57% Zoopla and 85% “other sources”.

Of actual letting applicant registrations, 62% came from Rightmove, 28% from Zoopla (including Primelocation), 7% from OnTheMarket, and just 3% from “other sources”.

Rightmove ended the half year with a 25% increase in letting applicant registrations, Zoopla with 10% growth, while OnTheMarket effectively doubled its volumes, albeit from a modest base.

The actual figures for the month of June were: 12,181 letting registrations via Rightmove, 4,651 from Zoopla and 1,623 from OnTheMarket.

In sales, the volume of registrations fell for both Rightmove and Zoopla over the period, by 30% and 31% respectively. OnTheMarket sales applicant registrations grew by 29%, although volumes were much lower.

In June, Rightmove was responsible for 14,929 sales registrations, Zoopla for 4,601 and OnTheMarket for 1,194.

Interestingly, almost half of all registrations applicant inquiries (48%) were received out of office hours, with Monday evenings the busiest.

One thing that no portal has yet cracked is delivering leads from sellers and landlords.

Reapit’s report describes the volume of vendor conversions from applicant registrations generated by portals as “surprisingly small”, representing under 1.5 instructions per office.

There were 6,000 direct vendor inquiries from the major portals during the six-month period, while landlord inquiries were almost non-existent.

Reapit has since teamed up with training organisation Agency Mentors to launch the Prospecting Champions League. Reapit customers can enter by sending their best prospector to one of a series of four regional courses to receive tuition from Stephen Brown and Iain White.

Entrants will then participate in a qualifying round where their performance will be tracked. The entrants from each league who generate the most real business from their prospecting activities will then go forward to a final round to decide the prospecting champion.

Simon Whale from Reapit said: “We know from our analysis that even the best-performing agents have plenty of additional opportunities to win business hidden in their databases.

“Our recent research into internet registrations found that just 7.5% of leads convert to an offer or an instruction. This competition will help agents to exploit the opportunities that exist amongst the other 92.5% of their contacts.”

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  1. The Outsider

    Massive amount of leads ignored, yet people still moan about the cost of being on a portal.  It just doesn’t make sense.

    1. PropertyPortal94

      The major portals are to expensive

      1. AgencyInsider

        Too expensive compared to what?

        1. wardy


    2. wassy34

      I doubt they’re ‘ignored’.  More likely that, like many of the ‘leads’ that come through they are a complete waste of time or  have given phone numbers like 00000 000000.  Or leads where they are looking in a 300 mile radius for a property that doesn’t exist.

      1. AgentV

        Like ‘looking for a four bed semi being sold at the same price normal for the area of a two bed terrace’.

        1. londoneye

          Plus …..please do not telephone me only use email.

      2. Bless You

        Hi, we are looking for a property in 6 months time. we need a cottage with work..i believe iam the only person in the country who wants this kind of property.    ‘This lead has been sent to 56 agents in your area…



        1. Bless You

          Looking to get a valuation on my property. Reason: Just curios…sent tp 12 agents in your area.

          ok ok i’ll call them otherwise the rep will say its my fault i get no value off £1000 per month…..

          ring ring…oh wrong number

          1. AgentV

            ‘I must see this property today….can I knock the door, as I’m outside now…just seen the board’

            ‘I’m sorry but the owner needs us to give them 24 hours notice of viewings, and we need to be there….we can set it up for you tomorrow no problem ….would you be able to view tomorrow’.

            ‘Yes I can view tomorrow ….but I want to view it today…I’ve been looking for a while now and I really think I need to see this one soon.’

            ‘I’m really sorry, but we can’t get access until we have confirmed with the owner and we cant do that until they get home from work tonight…….out of interest how long have you been looking for a property?’

            ‘Three and a half years!!’

    3. P-Daddy

      All leads should be followed up and then their quality judged. End of. Don’t be defensive. These stats are consistent and when I was working in the world of corporate’s, there were frightening stats about how long it would take for agents to respond…if at all.  If the telephone number on the lead is 000000 then there will always be an email, use that and if there is no response or a hoax then deal accordingly. Agents must be proactive. 1 issue I do have, is that quite often leads come through as vendor lead, when they are just enquiring about details. Do not let complacency rule though

  2. The Godfather

    I agree.

    Doing business with one in every twenty leads was always my benchmark, so this data shows a better performance than that. Just imagine how much better the numbers would be if every email was turned into a phone call

  3. clarky46

    I think the stats may be a little distorted. We often find people use the portal enquiry method as they sit at home browsing at 10:30 in the evening, then the next morning they pick up the phone or even walk in the door. The portal lead goes unresponded to as we’ve dealt with the enquiry.

    1. Whaley

      Clarky46, yes that’s correct these are only dealing with Internet leads processed through our Lead Importer.

    2. DanHareReapit

      If you had spoken to them and registered them by phone or walk-in before or after the internet enquiry, then they would show in the Duplicates stats. RPS looks for matches to the email address, so Unprocessed means they’re not in the database – limiting the scope for matching other properties and marketing other services.

  4. FromTheHip64

    Amazing isn’t it. Purple Bricks gets mentioned on PIE and there’s a deluge of negative rhetoric and criticism from agents all over the country, hammering their lack of service and professionalism. The same agents who can’t be arsed to pick up a phone and reply to a new customer. An industry of hypocrites. Yes I am an estate agent and yes I call every single portal lead. I also don’t take every opportunity to slag off the competition (PB), something I was always taught not to do and something that is most definitely the sign of a weak, desperate salesperson lacking in self confidence and belief in his service…..but you’ll all carry on doing it. End of sermon.

    1. agent orange

      Have you had your Knighthood yet?

    2. PeeBee


      “I also don’t take every opportunity to slag off the competition (PB), something I was always taught not to do and something that is most definitely the sign of a weak, desperate salesperson lacking in self confidence and belief in his service…”

      From the above I assume you’ve either been asleep or just not interested in industry news in general for the past half-decade or so.

      Those that see themselves as ‘disruptors’ of the industry have been taking every opportunity to ‘slag off’ their traditional counterparts (forgetting that it was from that side of the fence they had all slunk under the fence for whatever reason).

      Give them something – they very rarely name names… but they don’t need to if the shadow they cast is dark enough to block out all sources of light.

      But their attempts at slamming the efficiency of the wheel in its present round form and re-introducing it’s new, square, replacement model is shall we say ‘work in progress’.

      And it’s clear that some of their ‘innovating’ methods may well be their undoing, as the homeselling public cannot be herded like sheep and in the main know that if something looks too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true.  Regardless of how many seem to endorse it as the new ‘Hovis’.

      Give credit where credit is due, though – some would argue that they have been responsible for the introduction of what is now a worldwide-recognised phrase… thanks to Mr Trump’s Office:

      “Alternative Fact.”

      1. AgentV

        ‘but they don’t need to if the shadow they cast is dark enough to block out all sources of light.’

        love that phrase PeeBee. Very Tolkienesque…….actually is it too much of a far fetch to imagine them as being the Dark Lord Sauron, the Lord of the Rings, and his ‘Ringwraith’ followers. Wonder who  the Witch-king of Angmar would be?

    3. Bless You

      tbf i think its experience that stops agents calling..its like when your new to the business an dyou spend a day with a timewaster and then when you call them they say stop harassing me. You don’t do that again in a rush.

      1. AgentV

        I once took a visitor from out the area round seven of our properties for sale….took me all morning pretty much….never heard from them again. Soon learnt to narrow down what people are actually looking for in those circumstances.

  5. Londonveteran

    Judging by the withering response we get when calling up these enquires – it would be more relevant to find say how many of these “leads” bother to get back to US. Also a large proportion these days seem to leave deliberately incorrect phone numbers.

    1. PeeBee


  6. urbanite

    We added about 25percent to our turnover and doubled our profit as soon as we stopped wasting our time randomly registering everyone who wandered in on a Saturday or wanted a three bedroom in six months time with a one bed budget. In my experience people (especially on lettings) only ‘register’ when they see nothing specific advertised which suits their requirements and budget – usually because their requirements are unrealistic.

    This aside we never advertise non existent or unavailable property and still have the courtesy to acknowledge each and every email. The leads that are specific yield a very good return.

    When the price increase letter comes through from Rightmove we feel helpless but have been in the business long enough to remember the necessity for Evening Standard ads and our monthly portal bills are still less than once a week, in one newspaper previously!

  7. PeeBee

    This article raises one question with me…

    inquiry or enquiry?

    1. LondonR90


  8. LondonR90

    If you’re one of the agents who replies to every single lead they get then I am willing to pass some of my leads to you. Here are the last 3 leads I have received:

    We have clients who are currently looking for Freehold buildings for Resi Conversion, or existing apartment blocks in need of refurbishment with the potential to break up. • MUST HAVE PLANNING or STP • Minimum 3000sqft • Budget £2-£30m • Must be Freehold and Unmodernised • Minimum conversion to 4 Units • London Zones 1-6 • Cash purchasers who can move quickly We also have clients currently looking for residential, development sites (With or without planning) in Zones 1-6 Please call me if you have anything suitable. Thank you

    Please i am interested in one of your properties and want to make purchase as soon as possible. Thanks

    Hello, We are a spanish couple interested in the flat but we won’t arrive in London for another 3 months. If the opportunity is still available for end april we would be happy to arrange a visit. Of course, if you have other offers in the same line as this flat we will are very pleased to have regular contact with your agency. Best


    Message me for contact numbers and emails.

    1. mrharvey

      You’re going to be rolling in wads of cash after you complete on all these three. Congrats!!

  9. Trevor Mealham

    Good work Dan and REAPIT. The research highlights even when leads are taken that more is coming from agents efforts than portals alone.

  10. BerksSurreyAgent

    I reply to every single sales lead that comes in, but it’s amazing how many ‘buyers’ never respond having received the information they’ve asked for, in many cases they specify that they want to arrange a viewing then don’t reply to emails or phone calls.

    Oddly so many disappear when you ask for their address and buying position info, and as above so many give incorrect phone numbers, non-existent addresses……..

  11. gk1uk2001

    We genuinely respond to every single rightmove lead that comes in, but I can honestly say that in just under 8 out of every 10 righmove leads we have to leave a voicemail, and never hear back from them, despite following up the voicemails for over a week or so after the original lea came in (usually leaving further voicemails and sending emails as well which go unresponded to). Hardly good quality leads, are they? That said, because of the sheer popularity of rightmove you have to be on there as vendors are unlikely to instruct an agent that isn’t.


    Got us by the short and curlies really, haven’t they…………….

  12. PeeWee


    Not one itty-bitty mention of concern from anyone about integrity of data whilst said company was looking at 278,937 enquiries during this “research”

    Not a peep.  Nothing.



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