Rightmove responds to suggestion that it now allows sellers to list directly on the portal

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Given that online property portals, dominated by a handful of websites, are by far the most popular home search method, it is perhaps unsurprising that a number of estate agents are spending significantly high sums of money on maintaining an online presence that goes beyond simply listing properties on their own website.

Zoopla, part of ZPG, has consolidated its position as the second largest property website in the country, while OnTheMarket continues to increase its market share. But it is Rightmove that remains the most visited UK property portal – by some distance.

Regardless of the ever-growing cost of listing on Rightmove, and the threat by a plethora of agents to quit listing properties on the platform, membership numbers remain high.

The benefits of Rightmove membership includes access to a suite of reports and tools, designed to generate fresh business and create new instruction opportunities, as well as free training, marketing support and webinars from the those working on the portal and people within the industry.

But the main reason agents spend so much money to list homes on Rightmove is because of the high level of traffic and leads the platform generates, and so when it was suggested this week that vendors may now be able to list properties on the platform directly, we sat up and took notice.

After spotting that Agreed.co.uk, an online do it yourself ‘property platform’ is enabling vendors to list their properties on Rightmove for £9.99 per week, property buyer Henry Pryor took to Twitter to find out more.

Addressing @Rightmove, he asked, “are you allowing sellers to list directly on your platform now?”

Curious to know the answer, EYE decided to get in touch with Rightmove to ask the same question.

A spokesperson for the portal swiftly responded, insisting that “Rightmove does not allow sellers to list directly”.

The spokesperson confirmed: “All sellers must go through an estate agent to be able to advertise on Rightmove and that agent must follow all relevant agency legislation.”

So does Agreed.co.uk, the “self-service property platform”, as stated on its website, qualify as an estate agency?

The co-founder of Hunters estate agents Kevin Hollinrake, who is now a Conservative MP, was a director at the company, which launched in mid-2019, from 21st December 2021 until 31st October 2022, and while nobody is doubting his estate agency credentials, it would appear that the firm itself does not operate as an agent.

Kevin Hollinrake

But Rightmove is satisfied that Agreed.co.uk is an estate agency, even though the company claims otherwise. See video below.

The Rightmove spokesperson told EYE: “We provide a platform for all estate agents who meet the definition of “estate agency work” and can therefore offer proper consumer protection under the CPRs.

“All prospective customers go through our strict vetting process and they must give evidence to show that they are providing estate agency services. If any customer is found not to be carrying out actual estate agency services then their membership will be reviewed immediately.

“Rightmove does not allow sellers to list directly. All sellers must go through an estate agent to be able to advertise on Rightmove and that agent must follow all relevant agency legislation.”

 

PLEASE NOTE: Agreed.co.uk removed the video this afternoon (1.30pm on 17/11/2022). It clearly explained that the company is NOT an estate agency, but merely a platform that enables vendors to list their properties for sale directly on the main property portals, “Rightmove and Zoopla”, without the need to pay estate agent fees.   

 

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21 Comments

  1. Robert_May

    What an estate agent is or isn’t is clearly set out in case law precedent, estate agents have duties to their clients that portal listing passive intermediaries don’t.

     

    Who the portals do and do not let advertise hasn’t got anything to do with the precedents that define agents. The portals are commercial businesses who once made a commitment to their customers that they wouldn’t allow their customers competitors to advertise on their sites. They’ve change their mind on that.

    Telling everyone a passive intermediary listing firm is an estate agent doesn’t make sense, a portal cannot overrule case law and doesn’t need to. it just has to run the gauntlet of reneging on the commitment it made to its customers a while back.

     

     

     

     

     

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  2. iainwhite87

    Strict vetting process , seriously ? At least for once be honest Rightmove you promised agents you wouldn’t do this and you have broken that promise .  I hope agents find the strength to push back with the only language you respond to by giving notice and once and for all coming off Rightmove . Buyers , sellers and tenants do not disappear if Rightmove disappears they simply find you and your listings wherever you decide to market them .

     

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    1. Robert_May

      It won’t happen Iain. You only have to read the first paragraphs of this article to realise why; there is a group-think belief that technology that was first shown to the industry by Nick and James Leeming in the mid 90’s is still, without any meaningful advances or innovation the best way for agents to reach  the buying or renting  audience.

      The MIRAS winter (89-94) brought about changes to the dominance of #local printed property advertising the newspapers never recovered from. The same conditions that  existed then exist now.

       

       

       

       

       

       

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      1. Champ20

        Just because their business model is different, doesn’t mean they aren’t an agent.

         

        Why shouldn’t they be allowed? Makes no difference to ‘traditional’ agents

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  3. #ImpressiveConveyancing

    It’s inevitable that they will, or some other .com will. A few more years max is my guess.

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    1. jan-byers

      I am amazed it has not happened yet

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  4. JWVW

    Why did Hollinrake leave? Not even there for a year….Companies House shows a business that isn’t particulalry well funded. Rightmove might want to question whether they’ll be paid….

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    1. Robert_May

      That’s not just true of the passive intermediary firms James. when I started my  individual income calculations a few years back I identified 6000 branches that  weren’t generating enough fee income to warrant what they were spending on  portal advertising.

      SDLT holidays in 2021 disguised what’s going but since October 21 the number of completions and the values of those completions means far far more agents cannot  really justify what they’re spending to advertise no available stock and a few SSTCs.

      Where some people are getting the money from to pay the portals is beyond my understanding.

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  5. Industry_Pro

    Agreed appears to be a copycat of Purple Bricks, other than it charges weekly for advertising instead of “ all up front” and no agents, yet. I can see a franchise model appearing soon.

    Hollinrake is still involved with the company as a circa 24% shareholder along with Malcolm Lindley (Guild, F&C) – his shareholding is via The Brookman Group Ltd, a family business.

    Hollinrake resigned as a director at the time of his under secretary appointment.

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  6. Industry_Pro

    Agreed appears to be a copycat of Purple Bricks, other than it charges weekly for advertising instead of “ all up front” and no agents, yet. I can see a franchise model appearing soon.

    According to filings at CH Hollinrake is still involved with the company as a circa 24% shareholder along with Malcolm Lindley (Guild, F&C) – his shareholding is via The Brookman Group Ltd, a family business.

    Hollinrake resigned as a director around the time of his under secretary appointment.

    A different way of doing business to that of Hunters?

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  7. KC54

    As available properties are low in number RM will do anything to increase their inventory to claim they are number one.  As far back as 2012 I was challenging them about ghost properties appearing on the site – same property at 3 or 4 different prices, sometimes properties that we had exclusive control over appearing on a competitors site.  RM did nothing because it was all about numbers.  I left in Feb 19 as many of their leads you could not contact (draw your own conclusion) the “valuable” back room tools were skewed in favour of competitors advertising many properties they didn’t even have and despite the evidence, they still did nothing.

    Maybe try for a month attending first to the leads from the other more cost efficient portals and see what results are achieved.  Attend to rightmove thereafter.  Keep a detailed log of the quality of enquiries and where viewings/sales/lets result from.  You may find you don’t actually need rightmove, in which case you know what to do!!

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  8. Russell121

    Let’s hope they don’t get knocked for for £83,000 like they have recently, with the members picking up the tab no doubt.

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    1. Champ20

      OOO £83k, that’s going to mean their xmas party will have to end an hour early

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  9. blunderbuss

    Does anybody know what the endgame of this type of company is? They lose money hand over fist, but still keep going. How? There’s a similar company in lettings that’s been going for years, sucking landlords away from real agents, and when you look at their accounts, they lose around a million quid a year! How do they keep going? What’s the point? I genuinely don’t get it, so would appreciate any thoughts.

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    1. Certus

      A loss making company to avoid tax elsewhere?

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  10. Certus

    I wonder if Hollinrake will attempt to slow/block ROPA, it now seems counterproductive to his business.

    As for RM, broken promises is their middle name. If this is allowed to continue then they really are doing harm to the many hands that feed them. They allowed the onliners onto the site and that door is wide open to schemes like this now.

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  11. LongTimeAgent

    For £9.99 a week this really is a direct seller to portal sale, lets be honest. Rightmove & Zoopla must have expected some backlash from this and therefore is the fee from Agreed.co.uk really worth any other lost fees from unhappy agents leaving (the straw that breaks the camels back as opposed to specifically for this reason)? Although with rightmove having a profit margin nearing 70% and complete disregard for the agents that pay them, maybe they just don’t care!

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    1. blunderbuss

      Unless they have a very, very sweet deal with RM, 9 quid a week per property will be mostly swallowed up by their portal fees. I’d love to see what their anti-money laundering checks relevant parties look like! And how much they pay staff etc.

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  12. Remus

    I challenged Rightmove about this practice many moons ago and was met with stony silence so I chose to leave and have not looked back. Perhaps we should all use Agreed or other similar companies for our own advertising as I would suggest given current conditions we would all save on our membership costs to both Rightmove and Zoopla! Loyalty really is a one way street when it comes to these companies.

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    1. blunderbuss

      Exactly. If you’re a small agent with only a couple of properties, why on earth would you take out a subscription with RM when you could just list it on agreed???

       

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  13. htsnom79

    OhhhKaaayyyy

    So let’s see if I’ve got this right, average well run office fully available in this low stock environment is going to be anywhere between 30 – 60 units, yes there will be superstar hubs/offices but that’s generally gonna be in the cities with swat team type performance ( and they’re probably miserable ).

    So I use Z and OTM, good board presence, sponsored roundabouts and stuff, longevity ( if we were wrong un’s we’d of been found out by now ) good staff retention and plenty of repeat business from former clients and relatives of former clients.

    Let’s say my current stock level is 45 fully available which can double in a harder market with more multi agency instructions and or distressed sellers in a hard economic climate. Why on earth wouldn’t eye ( see what I did there ) pick up the tenner a month on behalf of the client to get on Rightmove whilst still utilising all other marketing channels? Just tell the seller to pass all enqs via Agreed to the team in the office and we’ll take it from there?

    Suddenly a 2.5k bill pcm becomes 450pcm rising to 900pcm in a market which is more challenging.

    I’m struggling to see the downside here.

     

     

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