Rightmove’s deferral plan debacle a ‘bungle’ that will cause lasting damage, says City analyst

An analyst has told investors that Rightmove’s deferral plan debacle was a disaster that could tip its relationship with agents into demise.

Jefferies said that the deferral plan was “so universally pilloried by agents” that it forced the portal into an embarrassing U-turn.

The bank added: “Rightmove management may think that its four-month fee discount has now put its relationship back on a sustainable footing

“We see the opposite: we see its actions as directly leading to an opening of the floodgates.”

In its note to investors dated Wednesday this week, Jefferies has said that there is evidence of collective action by agents against Righmove because of the anger engendered.

The report goes on: “We’d highlight the Say No To Rightmove campaign as evidence, and having spoken to the campaign’s lead architect, we remain confident of our view that we just may be on the path to returning the UK to its agency-backed roots, Rightmove’s reckoning being one of the milestones along that journey.”

Jefferies goes on to say that the coronavirus-rated “bungle” will result in lasting damage.

In a reference to agent Rob Sargent, who set up the Say No To Rightmove platform, Jefferies said that “a campaign of sustained agitation is afoot”.

The note to investors says that the only way out for Rightmove “is a permanent fee cut”.

Jefferies says: “Rightmove is now in a very difficult predicament: it faces huge involuntary churn as a result of the impending housing downturn; it sits on a price point that is a multiple of its peers; that price point could actually exacerbate the involuntary churn . . and industry goodwill towards Rightmove has reached an all-time low, driving an all-time high risk of collective action.”

Jefferies, which has in the past advised Zoopla, has “comfortably” reiterated its ‘under-perform’ rating of Rightmove, and lowered its revenue and profit forecasts by 25% to 30%.

 

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39 Comments

  1. Property Ear

    Yup – they’ve hung drawn and quartered the goose that laid the golden egg.

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    1. 1906 Agent

      As an industry we must stand firm against rightmove

      They showed their true colours last week and the fact they changed their support offering last Friday doesn’t change the fact their business model and profit margin is – and will not be -sustainable in the ‘new world’.

      This is our only chance to take back control, cancel your next direct debit, give notice and when we all come out of hibernation reallocate a proportion of this spend to social media and other lower cost portals if required

      We can do this if we stick together

       

       

       

       

       

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      1. Jay2Oh61

        Rightmove blatantly shows itself as a wolf in wolfe’s clothing one minute, then tries to pretend it’s a sheep the next. Agents MUST & WILL stand firm on this. In four months time every agent that’s stayed will want some parity with the other portals. Rightmove think they are too big for the little agent so I implore every agent to join Rob Sargent. This is a game changer for the independent -don’t let your industry down! Word of warning to Rightmove sharers. This has only just begun.  

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      2. Typhoon

        If you are not on OTM, speak to them. They are our safeguard for the future to ensure Zoopla do not turn into RM

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    2. back33

      As an agent for nearly 20 years, i have been with Rightmove from the outset. They went from free, to costs we simply cannot maintain. Market share has four-folded since we started.The only time I have any human interaction with them is every January when I get some super cheery person phoning me relentlessly to ask what they can do for my agency, oh and by the way your costs are going up, substantially. Then I simply don’t hear from them again.

      Now they want me to pay 25% of my still extortionate rates to list property. Why? I can’t do any viewings. At the end of the day you are just a glorified listing portal. I have recently joined On The Market. To quantify the costs, after Rightmove discount my package during this crisis they are still twice the price of On The Market. Utterly disgusting.  Oh and we are getting good quality leads from our new portal.

      As we all know tenants are fickle, this weeks audience is unlikely to be next weeks audience, so no point keeping most of the leads. Do the right thing for once, and scrap your costs until agents can go back to work and try their best to recover from this.

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  2. Longinthetooth

    Goodbye rightmove

    Last person please turn out the light.

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  3. Chrispy

    Good to read the standard unbiased note from Jerreries who don’t have an interest in any other portals.

    Here come the usual dozen or so agents who ‘left and haven’t seen any difference’ and demand everyone else should do the same.

    #Playgoundmentality

    Has Rob Sargent lost his keyboard?

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    1. JimCricket

      Hmmm. You clearly aren’t an agent. Or if you are, you either have no idea how to run a business or are so junior that you have no idea about your business accounts.
      We haven’t left yet but are one of the many who have given notice and will be gone on 1st May. RM have given a discount of 75% which brings their charge down to the cost of the other portals. Which is about right given that the leads they provide is about the same, or often less.
      If we all stick together, we can make a real difference to our bottom lines. 25% of their current rate is their true value, not a discount!

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    2. OverHalfWay

      I didn’t have to leave Rightmove, to notice my leads were lower than OnTheMarket. What I was not happy about was the payment difference between the two portals. So left Rightmove and cancelled DD.

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    3. Property Pundit

      Don’t feed the troll.

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    4. WiltsAgent

      Those with long enough memories will recall Arthur Anderson, a vast global Management Consultancy which became an overnight disaster going from 25,000 employees to bust in little over 2 years.

      Turns out Rightmove’s Chief Executive trained at Arthur Anderson. You’d have thought he’d have learnt something.

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  4. Rebel

    Mr Bridger will drive them into the sea.

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  5. GPL

     
     
    It’s remarkable really, that a billion pound portal business committed commercial suicide by throwing its “Find Your Happy” Cash Machine over the portal cliff edge.
     
    The problem? ….it crushed everything in its path for YEARS, it milked, then it squeezed, then it screwed, then it hammered ……until it got so easy, and it got sooooo big, that it couldn’t hear …..NO! …..it would not hear the Agents annual cries of financial despair.
     
    Amidst the Covid19 battle that the UK is battling, along with the rest of the world ….Rightmove is firmly not important. Yet for Our Industry’s future, Rightmove’s spectacular implosion, by its own hand, is so important.
     
    Say NO to Rightmove ……should add the word FOREVER.
     
    It’s time to shut their door because they’ve been shutting us out for Years!
     
    No Tears shed for Rightmove ……. how can we, after the financial kicking they have given Our Industry?
     
    SAY NO TO RIGHTMOVE FOREVER
     
     

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    1. JimCricket

      Absolutely agree. Rob started a good campaign in saying no to RM but then it seems like his mission is 3 months free rather than fundamental change. It’s almost like their lawyers have got to him.
      Approximately 2,000 branches and rising have given Notice at best estimate. For everybody who remains, they will be charged more to make up for the deficit created by the likes of us.
      I’d be very worried about future costs and attitude of this company in recouping them if I were remaining with them.

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  6. Robert Sargent

     
    The SNTR campaign continues and is growing every day. I have reached out to Peter Brooks-Johnson and Simon Fielden of Rightmove every couple of days, just to simply do what we first asked… tariff free for 3 months?
     
    As the support of our campaign grows, we are learning more about some of the treatment we have all received at hands of Rightmove and the expense to our businesses. We now have a full time group working on SNTR and more will follow.
     
    I apologise to my fellow agents if I don’t get back to you personally – we are dealing with the same problems in our business as you are in the wake of Covid 19.
     
    The Rightmove charging model didn’t work before this crisis, it doesn’t work now and it will only work with change in the future!!
     
     Rob Sargent
    CEO – The Acorn Group

     

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    1. Property Ear

      On the basis of your last post and with no response from RM, can we take it that you’ve now resigned all your offices Rob?

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    2. Dean Ahmed

      I commend Rob on mobilising this movement. It’s never easy and is often a thankless task.

      I believe there is going to be a significant adjustment in pricing (upwards) from Rightmove after this period of difficulty. They will need to recoup losses and given their inability to innovate their go-to option will be price hikes.

      Those that remain will be made to plug the ever expanding gap, still convinced they don’t have a business without Rightmove.

      For Rightmove the good times will return (for a while). But for the agent’s who had left, a new era of highly skilled, motivated and innovative estate agency will begin.

      This is a defining moment for the industry.

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    3. Property Ear

      Hi Rob Sargent – On Monday evening you posted that Rightmove had put you into a corner you couldn’t back out of, yet this morning, with no disrespect, you remain on the fence. We all know there’s a fair amount of dog eat dog in estate agency but there’s also strength in numbers. It would appear that a great many agents would like to see the back of RM once and for all, for their common good. Your threatened course of action will significantly strengthen the cause for the common good so you are urged, especially on the basis of being continually ignored, to jump off the fence. It was a huge decision for my firm to quit last week but my belief in my decision grows stronger by the day. Not only have they killed the goose, there will be no need for them in the months ahead.

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  7. smile please

    Sadly I doubt anything will change.

    After the initial surge of agents working together it has gone very quiet.

    This is probably down to the agents unable to agree on a way forward.

    Some want to leave, some want a reduction, some want a payment holiday, some want to back another portal, some want to start a portal, some want to move 100% to social media.

    Sad as now is the chance to make a change (whatever it maybe).

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    1. htsnom79

      I don’t think there is anything ” sad ” in play SP, instinctively I can sense change, things are changing in society day to day but RM’s pre virus chokehold on agents, that we would use absence from their ( dated ) platform against each other, has gone in my competitive mind. In judo you are taught to use your opponents weight against them whilst deploying your own skills and RM have no community loyalty, no flags up, no local legacy, no staff at the school gate or in the local pub, plus as we have seen they don’t understand the job. Bring it, our clients still want the best person for the job and I’ll be pointing out that a buyer not prepared to do any other research than RM, no other portals/social media/office registration/just blimmin Google property for sale in htsnom EA area are not necessarily the buyer we should partner with over a number of months.

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    2. Property Pundit

      Why the pessismism? Most agents in the past few days have been busy setting up home-working and making sure they have the right systems to continue in business. Once this has bedded in, attention can then return to ensuring the demise of Rightmove happens.
      Way too early to be throwing in the hat here SP.

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    3. markus

      As much as I want to believe that this would be the breaking to heel of rightmove, there are too many in our industry who just won’t quit RM regardless.

      Getting agents to agree on anything is like herding cats – ain’t gonna happen. Hell, in my town it proved impossible to get 6 agents to agree to a collective move against RM so what chance even getting a quarter of the industry to pull in the same direction?

      It pains me to say it but SP is most likely right.

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      1. Property Pundit

        Let’s see how 3, 6, 9 months of no pipeline cash affects everyone’s thoughts, shall we?

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        1. htsnom79

          Amen Brother

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    4. smile please

      Just to be clear. i really hope i am wrong.

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  8. Typhoon

    Come on industry, those who have not given notice, do it now.

     

    With Zoopla and OTM, WE DO NOT NEED RIGHTMOVE. I

     

    It’s very expensive pig on pork. And never mind we don’t NEED them, soon, none of us will likely be able to AFFORD them.

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  9. Robert Sargent

    Just for clarity, at this stage I am pushing RM for zero charges for our industry for a 3 month period. This is purely so that each agent can make their own choices in a timely manner that helps their individual business.

    In due course, we will all be able to decide what is best for each of us, but as I stated above, it does feel that that the RM charging model is broken and we must all move on,

    Rob Sargent

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    1. Property Pundit

      The only question any company needs to ask themselves at the moment is this; ‘Do I trust Rightmove?’. It’s a simple YES or NO.

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    2. J1

      Are you content to pay a supplier who doesn’t care whether your loved ones contract Covid-19.?.

      It’s just a blip after all………

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  10. Louise2972

    I messaged a friend last night who’s other half owns an agency, hoping to bring the Just Say No To Rightmove campaign to his attention…..

    The reply……’Mike has already left them’……say no more!

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  11. GPL

     

    ……..I don’t care how strong your business is, none of us can consider Rightmove’s exorbitant charges acceptable, pre Covid19 …..and certainly post Covid19 ……for Digital Advertising???

     

    As a breed, Agents will always compete, until the light of this Planet goes out! ……however, compare Rightmove to a Toilet Roll, at £1000 per Roll? ……really, REALLY!

     

    I have no issue competing with any other Agent – we just don’t need Rightmove to do that, really…. we don’t.

     

    The groundswell of opinion I’m feeling is that we have moved beyond any sort of “vendetta” against Rightmove, because they are RIGHTMOVE …..it simply comes down to their relentless unjustifiable annual price increases for Online Advertising (dress it up any way you want) …….their “misjudged” Covid19 response? ……dress that up any way you like too ……in reality, they reacted with what they thought they could get away with.

     

    This is the Last Chance Saloon to remove Rightmove.

    Watch out for something I have been trying to work on, however I didn’t have the resources like Rob Sargent to simply pop a few people on it and pull it together. I don’t lunch, dine or meet with Peter Brooks Johnson  …….however I’m not interested in trying on someone else’s shoes to see if we are the same size.

     

    SAY NO TO RIGHTMOVE …..FOREVER seems entirely the Right Move Now.

     

     

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  12. Robert_May

    Rightmove should not be euthanised (a lot of agents just want revenge for  all that’s been done to them since 2007/2008) they should be bought into line  by the fact the non geographic agents and corporates  make up about 5% of the profits with  what I can estimate 95% coming from  the agents who don’t have much stock.
     
    Rightmove’s ARPA  in 2007 was about £250, if that  had risen in line with HPI  the average subscription would be no more than £350 now. No agent gets any benefit from paying more than that.   There is no more awareness , no more innovation, no more marketing in paying additional profit

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    1. GPL

      Hard to be sympathetic towards Rightmove Robert, in any business sense. They have crushed all before them and as yet there is no sign of them stepping forward of their own accord.

       

      It’s seems entirely the right time to place “Options” before Rightmove ……not hard to envisage what these would be Robert.

       

      However, each Agent will decide their own view of how Rightmove has “served” their business.

       

      With power comes a responsibility to also “do the right thing/be fair” …….otherwise one can be rightly slotted in the role of simply being a “Dictator” because of the “Absolute Power” they hold.

       

      Revenge is a “charged” word Robert and actually I think many Agents wouldn’t actually see it as being “Revenge”? ……it’s simply the inevitable conclusion to an abusive financial relationship, one that was dictated by Rightmove?

       

      There are a miriad of large companies that DON’T enforce unjustified Annual Increases on their Subscribers Robert. If you wish to defend Rightmove in any way, then lay out a case why have systematically increased their Annual Charge every year – based on what Robert.

       

      As you know Robert, I am a rummage4 supporter however if your business plan was to implement unjustified Annual Increases every year I would call time on my relationship.

       

      As always Robert, straight talking, nothing personal meant. Let’s just get the cards on the table……

       

       

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      1. Robert_May

        In actual fact I have been calculating how to implement both HPI index and  transaction volume indexing so subscriptions fully ebb and flow with regional markets.
         
        I have said it before on here Rigtmove is a good comany that charges too much.
         
        They have no respect for the agent customers and because if that it has been mu mission  to controll the   RPI +8/5% compound rise in subs since 2008.
         
        Between 2007 and 2008 the hpped prices up by 26% and got away with it at a time when the industry was on its nees through a world event.
        Because they got away with it the industry reinforced a dependency on  Rightmove as a drug
         
        I am actually trying to get the subscription back to 2007 level plus HPI increases since,  £335 everyone pays the same.    

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        1. Property Ear

          Robert – Pigs? Fly?

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          1. Robert_May

            Perhaps but if Rightmove want   a business they have to listen

             

            In the very best case for them I can model; with the non geographic agents at 5%, corporate agents at 15% and independent agent providing 76% of their income and others ??? 4%

             

            Independent agents  seem to generate about £165m of  £173m profit.

             

            It will take someone far more credible than me to  provide the numbers before anyone will take notice but Peter Brooks Johnson has to realise it is the ARPA and above paying agents who are currently providing most of their income and about 95% of the profit.

            For sure pigs might fly but last Friday saw the duopoly broken to the point where innovators and challengers have all come forward to innovate and challenge.

            For those who have made this so difficult for me, I have a very long memory and still nothing to lose.

             

             

             

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    2. htsnom79

      Euthanised, great word must use it to annoy my kids in home schooling spelling sessions….. Euthanised or taken out and shot, why not? What good are they and who do they benefit? ( rhetorical question ) Every piece of data they supply is publicly available if you know where to look, who misses Woolworths/blockbuster/ everybody just moves on, if they are ‘ worth ‘ 350pcm and anything over that is feathering their nest, well, as long as sufficient leave to culturally  shift the ‘ all in one place ‘ consumer customs and social behaviour they’re gone as a behemoth.  I want to buy a house, 6 out of 10 are on RM so I’ll probably go there first, but I might find my house on one of the other outlets and know what? Next time I might have a quick look there first and Rightmoves usp has vanished up in smoke, they are another shop on the virtual highstreet not THE highstreet.

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  13. Robert Sargent

    Dear All
    Rest assured I am not sitting on the fence or backing off.
     
    Whether you have come off RM already, are thinking about it or just need 3 months tariff free no strings attached,  please do not wane from supporting SNTR.
     
    Our industry should not be subject to a charging model of the type we have suffered for so many years.
     
    I now have assembled a team dealing with SNTR, although one of our key PR Managers has been taken ill and he is stepping away for obvious reasons to see how his symptoms develop.
     
    We are all remote working, but we have a nucleus of 6 people now galvanising support.
     
    Meanwhile my Co-Directors and I are managing the change in working practices in The Acorn Group.
     
    I hope that makes sense.
     
    Please also feel free to email me directly. Time is gradually coming to me in greater supply.

    Thank you

    Rob Sargent
    CEO – The Acorn Group

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  14. Budgie boy

    Well, Rightmove have signed their own death warrant in my opinion. I for one have given notice to terminate listing both my branches, never ever to return. Work out what actual value for money they are to you? They rely on agents trying to outdo each other and being afraid to make the leap. Human greed is one of the most ugly traits and Rightmove have it in abundance. Come on Agents, do not let this golden opportunity to pass us by, dump them and it’ll also serve as a warning to ZPG and OTM.

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