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.
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.