Rightmove launches new School Checker feature on all properties

Rightmove is launching a new School Checker on all properties on the site, following research that found it to be the most important factor that influences people when choosing a location.

The feature will make Rightmove the only property website to include catchment indicators and inspection report information for the whole of Great Britain on over one million properties for sale and to rent.

Various focus groups facilitated by Rightmove found that finding the right home near the right school can be a minefield, as up until now there has been no destination that connects the two.

Rightmove has partnered exclusively with School Guide, an independent resource which provides the most comprehensive schools data-set.

Each listing on Rightmove will now display a catchment area indicator using heat maps based on the last available historical admissions data.

The latest Ofsted/HMIe/Estyn rating is also included, along with links to find out more about the school from the School Guide website.

An extensive nationwide multi-media marketing campaign will accompany the roll-out of the School Checker across desktop and mobile platforms in May and June, including outdoor and TV.

James Micklethwait, Rightmove’s head of product development, said: This is a resource which will provide home-hunters with valuable schools information, including catchment indicators, that they cannot find anywhere else, and we hope it will help them find the right property.

“This launch has been made possible by the creation of a strong partnership with School Guide and more than 5,500 hours of design and development time.

“Rightmove customers will now be able to tell potential vendors that not only will their property be marketed to the biggest home-hunting audience, it will also include one of the most important pieces of information to help consumers decide if a location is right for them.

“We hope that agents will be able to use this feature to augment their own local expertise and help them win more instructions.”

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29 Comments

  1. Robert May

    “up until now there has been no destination that connects the two”  Excuse me but  Rightmove are overlooking the 20,000 destinations all  very capable of connecting  applicants with exactly that  information; Local estate agents!
    This feature might help Rightmove keep applicants on their site , out  agents offices and off Agents’ own websites, it will undoubtedly  be an assistance to  central office bedroom billy agents who don’t know this information. For the very vast majority of agents this is something that is all part of the day to day job.
    An agency owner would do well to consider whether this is actually  a help, my suggestion is that this is exactly the sort of usp that should be driving traffic through their doors rather than their service provider’s.

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    1. Harree

      Robert May, you say “Excuse me but  Rightmove are overlooking the 20,000 destinations all  very capable of connecting  applicants with exactly that  information; Local estate agents!” … No, they aren’t, what they are doing – as with the basic customer centric principle of a property portal – is putting that information all under one roof.  All businesses, whether product or service led, should be driven by what THE CUSTOMER WANTS not what is good to protect the self interests of that business. To even consider that RM’s inclusion of this feature is a further example of ‘taking traffic away’ from EA’s is exactly the same attitude which has led AM to exclude valuation tools etc., from OTM. I agree with your often expressed opinion that EA’s should optimize their online activity via their own website to a far greater degree … but to complain that RM and Z features such as School Checker drive traffic away from EA’s and their sites shows a distinct lack of marketing and consumer understanding IMO.

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      1. PeeBee

        “All businesses, whether product or service led, should be driven by what THE CUSTOMER WANTS…”

        Exactly WHO are you referring to here as “customers”, Harree?

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        1. Harree

          The customer in this instance is the person using the portal not the agent paying the portal. Why? Because portals exist and are hugely popular  – be it property, insurance etc – because people like and want to compare things under one roof without the hassle of having to do a ton of individual searches. If agents aren’t happy with the services that portals provide in response to consumer demand – stop complaining and don’t advertise on them. And that includes RM. Simples.

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          1. PeeBee

            Harree – I need your help on this.

            Remind me… or, rather, enlighten me… HOW MANY portals and websites do you advertise your properties on?

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            1. Harree

              As many as I want to.

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              1. PeeBee

                Oh, come on – stop playing the tease.  Three?  Thirteen?  Thirty?

                Just a rough guess will do if you don’t actually keep count…

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                1. PeeBee

                  Still counting?

                  Wanna lend some fingers…?

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      2. Robert May

        For the time being Harree consider me a fool, there are people  who have seen what I am up to and can see why I can claim to be able to satisfy both paying agent customer and give the consumer a far better experience from a far wider choice than currently exists.

        With Peebee on here I would not be able to make that claim if it wasn’t true;  he  has seen it and he is a tough audience as I  can guess you can imagine.

         

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        1. Harree

          I’m only interested in my opinion and what affects my business. PeeBee’s opinion on what you have shown him doesn’t validate whatever it is that you propose.

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          1. Robert May

            You are exactly right so you are welcome to have a look ( anonymity assured)

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  2. Mark Walker

    Tried it.  Inaccurate.  Moved on.

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    1. Chrispy

      Mark, how is it inaccurate when its last years data from the schools?

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      1. PeeBee

        Sorry, Chrispy – that is incorrect – it is LAST data.

        Yesterday I checked four schools in my patch – reports were carried out in 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011.

        The local ‘school of choice’ is the one that the report is three years old, by the way…

        Like MOTs – only as good as the day the inspections are carried out.

        An ‘Einstein’ is destined for brilliance wherever he or she is schooled.  Similarly, a dullard cannot become an Einstein by where his/her parents move to get the ‘best’ schooling.

        Welcome to the world of ‘portal-powered property segregation’.

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        1. Robert May

          I don’t normally vote on posts Peebee but you get one for the word ‘dullard’. That is how my English language teacher used to describe me in the days before Duncan Goodhew invented dyslexia.

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          1. Robert May

            Sorry Nick! When are you going to get someone  who can fix Word press or add a spell and grammar check for us dullards?

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          2. PeeBee

            I can’t take credit for it, Robert – I seem to remember a certain Mr Hendry labelling me a dullard (among other things…) during one of his rantlets, many moons ago…

            If only your English teacher could see you now! ;o)

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            1. Robert May

              As I often demonstrate he wasn’t wrong and this blessed serif font doesn’t make things any easier. That is why when hurried I forget to go via notepad.
              I am actually very grateful  to him and the  requirement to get an O level in English; it taught me determination, perseverance and patience.   Who else on here has 8 English language  O levels? (7 D’s and a C!)

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  3. wilko

    It is very dangerous for an agent or a portal to rely on a “school checker” to be near to good schools. An agent / portal could highlight a property next to the best school in the town/village, yet it may not be enough to get the child(ren) into that school.

    An agent/portal could never have the annual info re siblings/church/catchment etc which changes every year

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  4. Chrispy

    Robert May, yet another anti RM comment, who do you actually work for?

    We had the rep in last week who told us that this is actual data from last years admissions so If you’re trying to say that the public aren’t interested in it and its duff info then you need to a proper look into this before you instinctively slate it. Anyone who thinks that a member of the public would look at this and not look into the schools in far more detail before they offer is just deluded.

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    1. PeeBee

      So… how do you ‘sell’ a property that isn’t in the best catchment?

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    2. Robert May

      It isn’t anti Rightmove, it is pro Agent.  Who do I work for? since 1994 I have worked in the best interest of my clients, all of them Estate Agents or Property Managers.

      I am not saying the information isn’t in the sort of thing the public are interest, in fact can prove that catchment properties was a motivator I identified and specified before Rightmove had  Rodney sat in the back of his parents car (mid 1990’s) and if you look at the data set of RM v1 you will find  something almost identical to the SAAS system I was driving around the country selling.

       

       

       

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  5. Ric

    Most of my clients/buyers have no idea what schools they want their kids to go to and will find this very useful. I usually get people coming in and asking about the schools before the property. Great news and I am hoping they link to trip advisor for the best places to eat next.

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  6. stephenjury

    Amazing update, great work rightmove.

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    1. PeeBee

      Okay – come on then, Mr Marketeer – you can have a pop at a question I posed to another contributor earlier today:

      How will your company ‘sell’ a property that RMs widget flags up as being in a poor school’s catchment area?

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      1. Robert May

        Sometime you surprise me Peebee you can’t spot a deliberately vexatious post  even when you should have been expecting one. He  even told you to expect one and when.
        Stephen is tasked with making good Russell’s  attempt at humour which went horribly wrong because 140 characters isn’t enough to carry off a  good cliché MasterCard gag, let alone a weak and snidely one.
        Instead of asking him detailed questions about selling property which he  doesn’t understand you ought to be asking him why he thinks this is amazing and great.
        To answer the question he would have to think about the fundamental flaw in a company  like the one he currently works  for ever having use of  such a tool. With that rationalisation  would come the realisation of what he is tasked to do.

        The owners of catchment properties are the people most in need of  decay curve valuations ( you know what that is he doesn’t) and they know it, they are the least likely people to instruct an agent reliant on the  random unknowns of the internet to save  a  percentage of  1% when a  full 10-15% is riding on detailed local knowledge and  competition between multiple applicants. With any desirable sector property catchment, quaint, waterside, landed and all the other sectors  Rightmove have  forgotten to factor into this functionality,  there is always a symbiotic specialist who will simply do better for clients due to reputation invariably the Agent who sold the property to them in the first place; the agent with the reputation for selling just that sort of property. Cheap doesn’t feature!

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        1. PeeBee

          Apologies, Robert – you are right to expect better of me!

          “To answer the question he would have to think about the fundamental flaw in a company  like the one he currently works  for ever having use of  such a tool.”

          LOL – I typed (and almost posted) the following without realising the significance and relevance of the above sentence.  I must say I wouldn’t have quite called him that – but I suppose if the cap doth fitteth… ;o)

          Thing is, this all reminds me of when the good old apprenticeships were done away with in the building industry, and time-served tradesmen were having to work next to ‘diluties’ – who flew through a YTS or Government Retraining Scheme and set loose with all the shiny tools in their bags – but possessed neither the basic skills or knowledge to put them to good use.

          It is a poor tradesman who blames his tools – and a good tradesman can still make a decent job with even the poorest of tools.

          But whatever you give a dilutie to work with, you get at best the sum of their capability – which will be a p!$$-poor imitation of a proper job.

          See you after the shipping forecast, no doubt! ;o)

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          1. Robert May

            You are determined to get me in trouble,  that isn’t what I meant!
            I had one such bloke come to help me with some building work, a  chippy. “I will be a bit late tomorrow Robert I have to get a new set of chisels”. Why? “These are blunt”. You do know that even new  chisels  haven’t been sharpened don’t you?  “No, aren’t they disposable just like modern saws?”

            From his  short simple post Stephen portrays the wrong message, it shouts he has no idea about catchment properties and those people who he is working for don’t understand that unless one has won the instruction such a feature on Rightmove will never  be used by their sort of agency.  It is local agents who win those instructions. Agents who drop their kids off at the school gate in the way in and  Agents who stand at the school gates between afternoon appointments to pick their kids up.  Agents who  turn up for sports day, agents who turn up for the  school play and school fete, active members of PTFA,  school governors and those who help with school clubs. Local agents  in the  local community.  Fees don’t even come into it.  Because central office agency isn’t in community it can’t win contact instructions; School, Church , WI, Golf , Round Table, Rotary, Soroptimist  and  all the other sports and activities that go on locally. Catchment applicants know where to look and if they are smart who to schmooze!  Smart agents use these instructions to make  the phone ring and the office door open.  No need for portals on these
            Digital  ( not local) Agency is wholly reliant  on marketing but it has to be good marketing and to be good at  marketing one either has to know the game inside out or be working for a firm that does, if you don’t it backfires like a bad tweet! Marketing is about dressing up unpleasant truths; turning pig snouts, ears, tails and trotters into ‘uuuuuummm…. sizzling sausages!’

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  7. PeeBee

    Oh, dear – Mr Marketeer is avoiding confrontation.

    Looks like the Jury’s out…

    …just like his Gaffer.

    Runs like a cheetah on Ex-Lax.

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