The sheer scale of the challenge facing online agents has become apparent after Rightmove analysed market share of homes – both sales and rental, and including both available properties and those under offer – on its site.
The analysis took in emerging models of estate and letting agency – including online and ‘hybrid’ agents – to establish that they have just 2% share of listings.
The analysis was of listings only – so any property that was listed by two agents will have counted twice.
The 2% market share has barely changed in two years, according to Rightmove, which chose the month of May for its analysis as being a generally very busy month for listings.
It is the first time that such a definitive figure has been put on the market, and shows that online agents have barely dented the market share of traditional agents.
The figure does not take into account private sale-by-owner companies that do not list on Rightmove, but whose market share is usually reckoned to be tiny – and may be smaller than has previously been thought.
The 2% figure does, however, underline the vertical nature of the uphill battle that lies ahead for the new wave of agency models – notably, Purplebricks, Estates Direct, Tepilo and easyProperty, all of which can list on Rightmove.
Rightmove terms such businesses as “non-local agents” that cover a large geographical area.
Rightmove commercial director Miles Shipside, going further than apparently ever before, seems to weigh in on the side of high street agents.
He told Eye that a local office still looks to be important to the public – even if they barely go there.
However, he emphasised that Rightmove does not “make a judgement” as to whether an agent is online or has a physical presence.
Rightmove’s analysis looked at property listing listings between May 2012 and May 2014.
In May 2012, listings on Rightmove from non-traditional agents were 1% of the market.
In May 2012, they were 2% of the market – and the proportion was unchanged a year later.
|Group (% of stock)||May 2012||May 2013||May 2014|
|Established estate agency models||99%||98%||98%|
Shipside said: “While recent research by The Property Ombudsman and Rightmove established that there are over 20,000 sales and lettings offices, this study indicates that the vast majority of offices cover their ‘local’ patch.
“Emerging models, typically those that are online-only or who have offices that cover a wider geographical area than usual, make up only 2% of property stock on Rightmove.
“We provide different types of membership based on geographical coverage and stock levels.
“Therefore someone covering a wide area with above average stock levels would pay for additional branch memberships to reflect the amount of stock they are advertising.
“In our vetting process for new joiners, we make sure that they perform all the relevant legal requirements of an agent, but we don’t make a judgement on whether they have a local high street presence, a secondary presence or an admin office.
“Our research shows that both sellers and landlords welcome an agent with a local presence, and while many may not actually visit the local office before instructing, the research reveals it to play an important role in assessing service and trust when choosing an agent.
“Consumers now have more choice than ever before with a record number of agents in the market, and ultimately they will decide what level of service they want or need.”