Rightmove plans ‘new provisions’ to ‘crack down’ on non-paying agents

Rightmove says it will be stepping up efforts to stop estate agents marketing properties on its portal from non-paying branches, after it discovered an agency in west London had got away with not paying for 15 years.

We have decided against naming the estate agency, but a rival firm reported the company to Rightmove for marketing properties from two branches on the property portal without paying.

An email seen by EYE reveals that Rightmove will not just be taking action against the non-paying estate agency, but will also be implementing what has been described as “new provisions to address such instance”.

In the email, Rightmove’s legal counsel, Sam Al-Ani, wrote: “As this is a very serious issue, I have spent a significant amount of time since receiving your email to get to the bottom of this. I reiterate, as we would never discuss your account with another customer, I will not be providing any information on the measures being taken against XX [the estate agency], however I can tell you that we have picked this up and taken action with XX [the estate agency] to rectify this issue.

“Separately, I can assure you that new steps and initiatives are and were already being implemented to severely crack down on agents not declaring all of their offices and I would remind you that these types of actions directly affect Rightmove’s revenue, so it is something that we have a zero tolerance policy on.

“However, with that being said, we know that it is not possible for us to police every agent in the UK and unless we find such instances in our due diligence process or it is brought to our attention by another customer we cannot always be aware of how many branches every agent has. We also do not feel it is appropriate to discuss with any one customer our wider process in dealing with a breach of our guideline.

“We again would like to commit to continue implementing our new provisions to address such instance and as you know, commit to take action immediately whenever it comes to our attention that an agent has not declared or paid for an active branch. I would also welcome any suggestions from you for how we could improve in identifying undeclared branches.”

We approached Rightmove seeking clarity on what ‘new provisions’ they are planning to introduce, but they were not giving much away.

A spokesperson told EYE: “Agents pay per branch location or through our geographical advertising model to advertise on Rightmove. If we find branches marketing properties from a non-paying branch then we investigate and take appropriate action.

“We carry out regular detection in multiple ways to identify stock/branches in breach of our charging structure, so that all agents pay fairly for the exposure they receive.

“We’re constantly improving this process to identify any non-paying branches as early as possible.”



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  1. forwardthinker

    ‘I would remind you that these types of actions directly affect Rightmove’s revenue, so it is something that we have a zero tolerance policy on.’

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    1. Bless You

      So will they be charging builders who have a show home office on every site?

  2. jsmcr

    Rightmove, pipe down, you don’t have any morals so get off your high horse.

    To the agent that snitched, I hope your ‘account review’ is brought forward.

    To the agent who got away with it for so long, I salute you. Well done.

  3. Highstreetblues

    Rightmove doesn’t have the god given right for branches to use their portal. Their greed knows no bounds.

  4. Property Poke In The Eye

    Got away with not paying for 15 years?  How as that even possible with Rightmove.  Any chance I can have the 2 Year Free package if they cracking down on the 15 year package lol!!

    I would love to know who the agency is – what  legends!!

    If you are the agents who had 15 years free – please make yourself known 😉

  5. jsmcr

    They’ll just’ve put all listings on the one branch, rather than have accounts for both. Not really the crime of the century and actually no different to what the like of the now deceased Purplebricks did, and what Strike still does.

  6. Diogenes

    I am more concerned about RM allowing vendors to list directly through portals such as Mud Hut – how is that justified? Propertdealuk.com openly advertise this service too with the headline ‘How to list your property on Rightmove without an estate agent’.

  7. Hotwells84

    Agent in our town advertises four offices on their website. Has one Rightmove subscription. Three of the offices are in serviced office centres. On valuations they tell the client they have a local office. RM reaction to me asking if we can list our properties via one office instead and save 3k a month is no. If you have a physical office a customer can visit you have to pay a subscription. But no action taken against the agent even though in theory a client could attend a meeting in their serviced office location that is clearly advertised on their own marketing material and being promoted. All i asked for is a level playing field on the rules and i don’t feel RM are providing that. Us High Street agents are the majority of their revenue and income and i get the feeling we are taken for granted and abused by them in favour of the corporate and hybrid model subscriptions…

  8. james@wherewebelong.co.uk

    Rightmove has a big problem with this at the moment that they do not know how to solve.

    The Partner model agents can operate on Rightmove with tiny stock levels, and pay a small monthly subscription to their head office organisation.

    The head office does not pay a new subscription per new agent, but of course the new agent pays them a big chunk of commission per sale in return.  This lowers the risk at entry level for the new agents.

    There is a risk to the head office organisation because as they layer in more and more agents their RM subs grow pretty quickly as for sale stocks grow, but there is little to no financial risk to the new starters, thus giving them a market advantage.

    Whereas somebody wanting to open a small village agency with a shop front gets kneecapped for the full fee.

    RM gives massive discounts to the multiples and franchisees with their own one office operation (one company set ups, under an umbrella).

    The single office agent is subsidising the activities of the large groups.

  9. SouthCoastAgent75

    Unbelievable. Four years ago when starting out and two weeks late on my bill, they told me to fire staff so I could pay them, as I needed to wait another week for a completion to pay them.

    Disgusted, I went when I could, they told me in a particularly condescending voice, that I needed to understand that I won’t have a business in three months. I do and regularly beat agents on joint who are on RM. No one will change my mind that they are just scum. It’s just a shame that the whole industry seems to have Stockholm syndrome or this threat to us could go the same way as PB.

    Unless they have saved the money with interest and solicitors fees, It’s a shame that they will possibly put this agent out of business to get what they think they deserve. Im sure they will take this as far as they can to make a point of what happens when users get out of line.

  10. ScottL

    listed with onthemarket for years you dont need any of the other portals. Buyers find the stock and sellers and landlords don’t care as much as you think

  11. Charlie Lamdin

    Monthly branch subscriptions are a hopelessly outdated charging model. Huge corporate discounts make it worse, creating an uneven playing field.

    Agents shouldn’t need to pay a subscription to be on a national property site at all, because it is your listings which are the gold dust and hold all the value.

    The only workable, fair and controllable charging model is pay per lead, with no corporate discounts. Agents need to be able to control costs, and quality of leads. Paying for time-wasting leads is adding insult to injury. You should only ever be paying for something you want and choose to buy.

    1. jan-byers

      You are clearly not an agent and you do not live in the real world

      Suggest that to rightmove then

      Why would they do this when agents are paying a fortune to be on rm

      Tell rm monthly subscriptions are outdated when they make a fortune from them

      The world is uneven that is life

      Rm do not give a poo about agents costs they exist to make a profit which they are doing very successfully

      They are not a socialist organisation


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