Rightmove boss insists portal ‘continues to deliver’ for its estate agent customers

Rightmove boss Peter Brooks-Johnson has issued a robust response to critics, saying that the portal “continues to deliver” value and innovation for its agent customers.

EYE had requested an interview with Brooks-Johnson, saying that we would like to ask about Rightmove’s pricing strategy, including the claim that it simply puts up its prices without doing much else, and also about any potential conflict between duty to deliver value to shareholders and customer care.

While our interview request was not granted, Brooks-Johnson wrote a response which he said was to help answer our questions.

His response revolves around some 900 changes that have already been made to Rightmove’s platform, together with other changes that are coming up.

Brooks-Johnson said: “For Rightmove to be valuable, it has to be a long term viable proposition.

“It can only be a long term viable proposition if it continues to deliver for its agent customers.

“We are always trying to balance the needs and demands of both agents and home hunters to make sure we deliver value to both, for now and in the future.

“Rightmove continually upgrades its underlying technology encompassing advances in technology, and we make the changes gradual to make it easy for all to adapt and change with us.

“For example, a few years ago we moved our entire search to use a tool called Elastic Search to speed up searches and allow us to add new features such as Keyword Sort.

“When talking to agents there are three key things they say they want from us: more ways to win more instructions, quality leads, and tools and products that don’t take up too much of their time to use.

“So that’s what we continue to focus on. As there are so many different local markets with very different challenges, we always look at our products and tools to make sure they work for both over-supply and under-supply markets.

“We’ve been making improvements to our tools to make them quicker and easier to use like the recent upgrade of the Best Price Guide, and we’ve been creating new products that work without an agent having to manually do anything, like auto featured property.

“We have a new product launching in January, Sold By Me, that gives agents a prominent place within the search results pages to shout about the properties they’ve sold, which again works automatically.

“We’ve also created a new tool called Opportunity Manager, which is a way for an agent to prioritise the leads they receive by highlighting to them people who are the most likely to be selling their houses.

“Our teams work with agents continuously, helping them come up with new ideas for their marketing campaigns on Rightmove, making sure they’re kept up to date with the latest industry news and best practice through hundreds of hours of webinars available on the Rightmove hub, and showing them how best to use our tools to help them grow their business.

“We will continue to innovate for agents in 2020.”

On pricing, a Rightmove spokesperson told us:

“Agents can choose from three packages, Essential, Enhanced and Optimiser, and the cost of the package reflects the amount of exposure an agent gets on Rightmove.

“There are wide variations of the business needs of different agents which is why we have different levels of packages and products that an agent can choose from.

“Some agents use Rightmove to help market their stock and find new opportunities, others use Rightmove to grow their business by choosing to pay for additional products that help advertise their brand to home-hunters. The higher level packages have a reduced core membership fee because they purchase additional products.

“All agents get a breakdown of all the costs of their core membership and products for the package that they choose.”

 

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25 Comments

  1. GeorgeOrwell

     
    Peter-Brooks-Johhson-Dinosaur      
     

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    1. The Outsider

      Sick burn George!

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    2. ValueCounts31

      Comes down to % of revenue agents spend on Rightmove.

      I’d imagine most have seen their Rightmove bill increase as a % of revenue over the last decade… that i’m afraid Rightmove, clearly illustrates as deduction in value return.

      The higher that % gets, the bigger a market Rightmove creates to tempt investors to fund incumbents to ‘disrupt’ them.

      It will happen, just don’t ask me when…

       

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  2. surrey1

    In the spirit of panto season “oh no it isn’t!”.

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    1. GeorgeOrwell

      You’re right, it’s Peter Brooks-Johnson-DINOSAUR

       

       

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      1. JordanBrooks88

        Even better the second time round!!

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  3. leelee30

    After 20 years in the business, they do not support any small independent estate agents, only look to cripple them with poor sloppy service, hand full of leads, valuations leads are also down.

     

    Can you remember 10 years back we use to get 15 valuation requests a day with Rightmove, then they changed the goal post to featuring agents and buying an area for the valuation leads..

    if you cover 8 areas that’s 1000s a month..

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  4. J1

    Their pricing structure is designed to confuse and frustrate their clients – have never seen anything like it.

    They hate their clients and the feeling is reciprocated.

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  5. Robert_May

    The portals were a point in time service that allowed agents to get on the internet and reach an audience they individually couldn’t reach. They appealed to  consumers because there was one place to go.

    Now that being on the internet is much easier than it was 20 or 10 years ago and because technology  has moved the internet from  desktop system to smartphones  there is an opportunity for change that agents can grasp and which Rightmove pricing structure will make it hard for them to  access.

    Rightmove now has two legacies, the 900  changes mentioned in the article shows the mammoth challenge they face moving to the new platform of  multi device, multi operating system  multi browser access with something as BIG as Rightmove. The second legacy issue is that the new technology doesn’t support  £1000/ month branch fees;  the fragmentation of property search means #local  micro portals can be a thing and they don’t need the brand awareness or  traffic of a behemoth system to work on a local level.

     

    There are people  commenting on social media how the changes  on Rightmove are being driven by the challenges they face. All that point to the realisation Rightmove has finally blinked!

     

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    1. Property Pundit

      Rightmove reps active on this thread.

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  6. scruffy

    Rightmove has been kicking us where it hurts each year, even taking a run up this year.
    Could our industry make it blink? Seems unlikely based on our collective failure so far. We need a slogan

    GET RIGHTLEAVE DONE?

    I am sure there are better ideas out there!

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    1. HIT MAN

      RMEXIT is the way forward.

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  7. NewsBoy

    I’m off. Please follow as we all depart and leave this dinosaur behind. It is well past the time that Wrongmove lost their monopoly. It seems their relevance is fast disappearing

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  8. GeorgeOrwell

    Remove “b” and substitute “t”. That slight alteration makes it a more palatable opening to an article.

     

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  9. Woodentop

    “continues to deliver” value and innovation for its agent customers.

     

    Nothing more than any other web portal and ‘black mail’ add on’s their customers never asked for. Crippling fees and strategy that was never in the wildest dreams focused on supporting their agents. You are no longer the only child in the play ground and nothing more than a bully who steals the pocket money.

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  10. Local Independent

    So – In my humble Warwickshire province my questions are;

    Does RM generate the “right” volume of sales and lettings leads for stock? No it’s down each year and out of the “big 3” is becoming one of three rather than the stand out leader as FB market place, OTM, Zoopla and OneDome dilute this.

    Does it genreate good (if any) valuation leads? Yes if you count non geographical leads from  “outer wherever-shire” becasue RM tells my that they are still valuation leads as more agents are selling “off patch” (then they charge you more for this)! Oh the irony).

    Do I have to stay on RM (for the moment) because vendors used the site the last time they moved, and see it on the TV and only ****** care about rightmove? Potentially, but each year the bill hits the desk we are a step closer to telling them to Foxtrot-Roger – Oscar!

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  11. smile please

    Let’s all be brutally honest where we are and where this is going so we can be as the kids call ‘WOKE’

     

    We all hate RM pricing policy, it will not change they will continue to increase and treat us like dirt.

    We will not all walk away as we are scared of other agents.

    We have 3 choices.

    1, We wait until a new advertising form becomes available and we are brave enough to wean ourselves off.  Much like we did with the papers.

    2, Local associations get together and with negotiate with RM on mass or institage a shift away from RM favouring another portal or set up their own local portal (remember a portal does not have to work nationally only locally).

    3. We accept what it is and just reduce our spend with them by cancelling all the add ons.

     

    These are the only real options available to us as agents.

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    1. Property Pundit

      You forgot Option 4. Close your doors and walk way because the portals are eating up all of your profits.

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  12. JRK1121

    I agree with the above.

    We will be removing most products very shortly as most of the add on’s offer little value to us.

    Time to try take some control back of our marketing. Our brand can still grow without many of the useless products that we are took out.

    Their latest “innovations” like sold by me are nothing more than additional banner/carousel type adverts. The best price guide could be so much better too……

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  13. Ostrich17

    RM are losing members – at a rate of 5%+ per annum according to the half-year results.

    The recent announcement that the FD is leaving early next year is perhaps a further clue that dramatic changes are needed to prevent the “supertanker” running aground.

    RM have the money (they spend c.£100million p.a. buying back their own shares) – but do they have a plan?

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  14. JimCricket

    We have just removed every add-on as RM haven’t produced a new business lead through any of the banners etc. We are on all three of the portals and RM is the third most productive. We are paying 5 times as much for RM as we are for Zoopla and four times as much as we are paying for OTM. We receive 55% of our leads from OTM and 24% of our leads from RM.

     

    From a VFM perspective, RM is a dismal last place costing 10 times as much per lead as OTM. When we spoke with them, their response was that we could cancel and good luck in justifying to potential clients why we weren’t using them. The arrogance is unbelievable. I’m slowly bit by bit working around to cancelling them. I’m hoping to get my head around it going into 2020.

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  15. GeorgeOrwell

     

    Let me be serious, absolutely serious.

    Rightmove have run their course, they know it, they hope we don’t, they’ll just keep on charging until they expire.

    Rightmove’s tipping point arrived around a year ago, they are simply treading water.

    Deadmove.

     

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    1. Property Pundit

      Couldn’t agree more. It’s like they’re on their chaise longues at Rightmove Towers counting all this money coming in thinking; ‘Hey, this isn’t going to last forever so let’s milk it for everything we can. Maybe one more price rise, agents will finally leave and then we’ll get to pack it in and retire to some Far East island’. Sound about right?

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  16. HIT MAN

    Everyone’s talking about Rightmove costs and the way they treat by them yet none of you have the ba**s to drop them, it’s clear by some of the comments that these agents clearly cant sell without RM and they have them by the short and cur-lies… all mouth and no action Suckers! I’ve saved over 6K since we dropped them, come on vote RMEXIT…

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  17. LTree

    Saved around 18K this year – get your head around it guys and walk away if people did it on mass at the start of 2020 the beast would fall quicker then you think and the buyers/renters would simply start looking on Zoopla/OTM.

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