‘Say no to Rightmove’ campaign gains momentum

The “Say No To Rightmove” campaign continues to gain momentum and has now established a dedicated team to deal with supporters and registrations. This follows the launch of the campaign on 19th March.

The campaign says that, broadly speaking, agents who are pledging their support have either left Rightmove, are about to serve notice, are considering cancelling their direct debits, or are reviewing their current contracts and wondering what to do. This all at a time when getting costs off their books and holding cash to preserve jobs is their absolute priority.

The campaign has published a heat map of approx 1,500 offices belonging to their  900+ supporters thus far.

During the course of this week, Rob Sargent CEO of The Acorn Group is planning to speak directly to the Heads of Zoopla, Rightmove and OnTheMarket to establish clearly their short, mid, and long-term commitment to supporting estate agents through what is set to be the  “most challenging 18 months in our industry’s history”.

EYE asked the campaign what constitutes a ‘supporter’ and whether payment is involved. The response was:

“A supporter is someone who has registered with Say No To Rightmove, whether they just want to reaffirm the demand for a tariff free 3 months, intend to leave now or at some point in the short term or have just had enough of the cost and the way Rightmove treat their business. There is certainly nothing to pay. ”

We also asked if the campaign seeks to encourage agents to leave Rightmove. The answer was:

“We have always been very clear that this campaign is not about encouraging people to leave Rightmove. Agents have a choice and need to do what’s best for their individual business.”

Finally, we asked how many supporters the campaign expects to have on board by the end of April. The answer was:

“We expect to be at 2,500 by the end of the month”.

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44 Comments

  1. Countrybumpkin

    My Company is one of the supporters. A good friend who runs a stock broker business was explaining to me yesterday, in quite some detail, that even with RM 25% that is not good enough and they have truly shot themselves in the foot. We should be getting at least a six month free holiday, if not 9 months. When we all return to some normality, do these portals not realise that it could take 2 or 3 months after, before completion monies start to come back in (on a regular basis). On the basis above zoopla are offering 5 months free and thus far OTM not enough. Notice going to rightmove today.

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    1. 1TB

      Agreed.  But I’d be suprised if OTM are not fighting to keep afloat at it is.  Cash flow was already pretty low.

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      1. MarketThis

        Please tell me what companies are doing a six month free holiday, I haven’t seen one. I have seen some three month payment holidays, which are repayable but not free?

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  2. Scotland

    Come on Scotland, show your support and register. This is the only way we can see your true feelings and decide the appropriate way forward.

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  3. J1

    I think what is happening, is I am afraid, as expected…..

    Bob’s campaign is faltering – Rightmove are no longer engaging and have “done their bit”…..

    Bob’s campaign to get a free period is not the same as others who want to come off……and it is only by coming off that Agents will make a difference……

    Sitting on the sidelines and complaining will not work with RM – they are a soulless company lead by a CEO that seems not to care about his customers or his staff for that matter ……. or for the people who browse his website – after all the death of his site viewers is after all just a blip……..

     

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    1. biffabear

      Here here.

      Time for ‘words’, passed ages ago. My notice went in and is staying in. I get far more from OTM anyway.

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  4. Property Pundit

    Portals should be suspending all payments at the moment. End of.

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  5. Julian Dyer

    Many agents may not be aware that in addition to charging excessive fees, Rightmove are also selling the information and property details those agents are posting on line

    Surveyors looking for sales comparable to support mortgage( and other) valuations are being charged to use a service known as the Surveyors Comparable Tool ( SCT)

    This is initiated by entering the postcode and accommodation details of the subject property to bring up a list of similar nearby properties which have sold or are for sale

    The list can then be adjusted to produce a matrix of sales to support the surveyors valuation. While this is quite slick nevertheless the core information is derived from sales details posted on Rightmove by various agents

    So they charge agents for listings and then charge surveyors to use the information prepared and posted by agents

    A double whammy!  And still they want to charge more!!!

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    1. biffabear

      https://www.rightmove.co.uk/data/products/sct/

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      1. htsnom79

        I bit and read that, I don’t know if it’s because of this enforced downtime enabling some much needed serendipity but everything I read on their website just sounds so patronising, smug, pompous…..

         

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  6. RichardHill61

    Another campaign to leave Rightmove already doomed to end in failure! You just cannot get a consensus of so many individual businesses and even the ones that say yes now will bottle it later and go back with their tails between their legs! Been there done that..

     

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    1. Property Pundit

      Come back and tell us what you think in one month’s time.

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  7. downdoobydodowndowndubaduba

    Portal fees should definitely be suspended now. What use are they when we are not doing viewings

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  8. NewsBoy

    As someone once said – let’s just get it done!

    We are all completely nauseated by the unpleasant, arrogant, money grabbing Wrongmove and it is well past the time for ALL agents to get out.

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  9. GPL

     
    I would happily join Rob’s Campaign if it evolved into…..
     
    Say it was a £1 Fee to Join Rob’s “Portal Membership Group” …..and a mutually agreeable monthly portal payment agreed as a focal point…..
     
    for instance, imagine a “Buying Group” seeking to “Join a Portal Collectively” at an agreed cost of £250 plus Vat per month, per branch, or agree a per property listing fee?
     
    ……but let’s take just the £250 per month per branch example, and lets “x” that by say, 2500 initial members ….so, that’s £7,500,000 collective ANNUAL spend. Obviously 5000 members would spend £15,000,000 ……
     
    Just a thought, similar to a Supermarket agreeing a collective price for a supplier or vice-versa, the collective suppliers agree a collective price with the supermarket.  
     
    Yes, we need a “Portal Fee Relief Period” for sure ……however we also need a “Portal Way Forward”.
     
    Everyone needs to make a profit, a fair profit for their services. Rightmove’s problem was it abused its position and simply imposed unjustified annual price hikes.
     
    I think Our Industry would still benefit from a UK/National Portal, however, which one …….frankly, I don’t care, as it’s a DIGITAL ONLINE NEWSPAPER .
     
    If a major Newspaper Group stepped forward with an Industry Wide acceptable portal at a Fixed Price/RPI style annual increase etc ……I would consider that as an alternative, if none of the existing major Portals are unable to realign their product as a supplier to Our Industry.
     
    My £1’s worth……      
     
    Graeme Lumsden
     
     

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    1. agent123

      Would fully support this. One thing that can’t happen is that we lose the momentum we have gained this last few weeks.

      Had an email from rightmove this morning confirming they are not considering a free period. If you don’t leave you will all be back to paying full fees in 3 months with no prospect of the market recovering by then!

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  10. J1

    For some, the last cheque they write as they turn off the lights will be to Rightmove……..  
     
     
    Think about that for a moment ……….    

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  11. Countrybumpkin

    Come on Zoopla… This is your moment. A TV campaign Now along the lines of “More agents joining Zoopla and leaving their largest competitor than ever before” “the value for money site that gives its customers more…

    Good estate agents are excellent marketers too!!

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  12. thatmanwoody

    This is all well and good, but pointless unless people actually leave Rightmove. In small towns like ours, if we take the steps to leave Rightmove, the other agents will no doubt use that as a tool to gain instructions with the usual ‘they’re not on RM garbage’. I’d love to see it happen, but given that people have talking about it for a year, not a lot has happened, and as a new business it’s too risky for me unless everyone jumps ship.

    Zoopla – no comments about how they’re ‘helping’ us. Free months if you sign a new contract or leave RM. That’s a disgrace in my opinion. Our income is going to struggle for 9 months, and they’re quite happy to sit and take 100% of their fees.

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  13. GPL

    We would need to grow the “Buying Group” to a “Tender for Our Industry” level…. whereby if Rightmove are not competitive then they naturally lose the stock as its “lost stock” either migrates or is lost to them forever.

     

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    1. Countrybumpkin

      Is that not what kerfuffle offer for free?

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      1. GPL

         

        If so, where are they …..in this debate?

         

         

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        1. Countrybumpkin

          Good question !

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  14. Property Ear

    If only AGENTS MUTUAL was being launched now – it would fly! Probably hypothetical, but what are the chances of starting from scratch with it? It would need complete restructuring, reconciliation with all the original members who have forked out, etc, etc.  Make no mistake, Rightmove have cooked their goose, the market will never be the same again, there is no need for them now, or in the future. A fresh alternative will rise from the ashes and all agents sitting on the fence or thinking of sticking with them should give notice NOW. Rob’s cause is now a wasted one but the sheer numbers of dissenters show RM’s game is up. At the grand old age of 66 I’m a tad too old to take up the cudgel and set up the collective new portal we need but surely there’s someone out there who’s up to the task??  Please show yourself(s), there’s little doubt you’ll get a very warm welcome and massive support!

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    1. J1

      None

       

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      1. Property Ear

        Oh ye of little faith!

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  15. Steviex

    I would love to leave Rightmove, spending £24,000 a year, frightening. I have a problem that if I leave in my very competitive area, the other agents that stay on would be taking at least 80% of any new instructions off me but claiming because we’re not on it they are losing out. It’s partly the agents fault anyway for selling Rightmove’s virtues over the last 10 years. They’ve lived it, a couple of TV adverts and 1000’s of non employed sales people for them. It may go to having a strong regional or county website, I’d be more than happy to pay a couple of hundred quid a month for that but it’s going take a mass exodus plus some top social media advertising (which we have started to really invest in) Finally, what is eye opening is when you tell a client how much Rightmove costs per month / year they are completely shocked. Perhaps we ought to get that out more because god knows what we are going back too after 6 weeks of little or now new business

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    1. J1

      You won’t have any competition by October

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    2. Property Ear

      I had the same trepidation when my firm said goodbye to Rightmove last week Steviex. I believe I am the first  of 18 agents in my competitive town to have left but I deduced and firmly believe that if I have the right properties at the right prices, they will find buyers just as easily with my own site, social marketing, OTM and Zoopla.
      With great respect, your £24,000 can be so much better spent. Fear not your competition, they won’t be far behind you now, RM are a spent force. 

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    3. htsnom79

      Rightmoves biatchs are the indies as is well documented by Robert May, we are the cream to the corporate agent watery long life milk in the scheme of things. For those indies still being run by founders, remember how scary it was opening up with nothing to sell and no legacy?

      Leaving rightmove is a much lesser risk when you take that into account, only difference is 20 years older and more risk averse because of family now.

      I remember talking to my Nan before we opened, now sadly no longer with us but one of the most down to earth and wonderful human beings I’ve ever known.

      Nan: “you’ll be fine htsnom79 I know you will, you’re a grafter!!”

      Htsnom79: ” to be honest Nan, I don’t feel scared, anxious anything like that, if I had to describe it I just feel anger, I’m furious at the other agents, absolutely tamping, I just want to get stuck in! ”

      We then launched with 48 examples of my mum’s house in the windows basically saying if we had anything to sell this is how we’d do it. This was early 1999.

      Surely leaving rightmove is easier than that 21 years on and literally thousands of sales?

       

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      1. JoanneCoften38

        Love how your Nan called you htsnom79 🙂

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        1. biffabear

          Exactly bang on the money.  People need more confidence in themselves.

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      2. Robert_May

        Please don’t think I am being contrary  and making a U turn on a project I can demonstrate I have been working on since before the  duopoly was formed but I think there should be  urgent and immediate discussion with Mr. Shipside and Mr. Brookes Johnson how all of this unnecessaryness can be resolved to everyone’s benefit most of all Rightmove’s

         

        With £173m operating profit already banked supporting 17000 branches till Christmas will cost Rightmove about £35m- 20% of last years profits.

        With the space and time  for talks and discussions it ought to be possible to establish a framework that allows agents to remain on and return to Rightmove and going forward know that subscription will not runaway again if they are linked to HPI and transactions.

         

        With the opportunity to modernise  their woefully archaic platform and portal centred focus it ought to be possible for Rightmove to reinvent itself from a much lower cost base.

         

        With almost certain certainty Rightmove won’t ever be what they were again the industry and technology has changed and the agents that are left when all of this is over will have a fresh view of their reliance on portals

         

         

         

         

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        1. Property Ear

          Hi Robert, I’ve been hoping for some time that your concept would be the wonder drug for all those disenchanted with RM, in particular it’s exorbitant, ever escalating fees. Your latest post suggests they should be afforded a stay of execution. Why?- It must be asked. Also, any chance of that elexir, or have I misunderstood your intentions?

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          1. Robert_May

            I have to be careful not to promote or update the readership on progress but the very fact the duopoloy is irreparably broken now means there is a new fight and we enter a new era of the relationship between  agents and the portals.
            The project that must not be named broke the duopoly by introducing a level of competition and innovation that  won’t go away and cannot be paid off.  The whole idea of a portal for a portal’s sake is now laughable.
             
            I think at 2007 ARPA (£250) adjusted  by HPI (134%) since – £335 for sales , £335 for lettings and £500 combined  with everyone paying the same and no penalties for leaving in the lean times Rightmove would be good value.
             
            I have always said Rightmove is a great product it simply charges to much. Its high handed and arrogant attitude towards customer is something I detest but with agents realising  they don’t need Rightmove we have got  all the ingredients we need to adjust the relationship with the portals.
             
            r4p is ready and although I am the least able to afford to it is going to be free to all members until Christmas with no strings or conditions attached.
             
            At Chritmas I will assess the market for transaction volumes and house prices and suggest a subscription for next year. If transaction are down  40% I will charge 40% less. if prices are down 25% that will reflect too.
             
             

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            1. Property Ear

              Fair comment. I’m intrigued about r4p Robert and look forward v much to learning more in the hope of perhaps being invited to participate in due course!

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              1. Robert_May

                You are cordially invited to  participate Mx. Ear

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                1. Property Ear

                  Thank you Robert, I will be in touch.

                  Ear.

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    4. JoanneCoften38

      Have you considered telephoning your cometitiors directly ?We have 4 Indie Competitors in our area. Never really had much to do with them before last month.Spoke to all 4 Mid March – all have confirmed now that they have either already given notice, or intend to.
      Bite the bullet – give ’em a bell.
      Also worth sending messages via RM adverts to other agents in your say 10 mile radius to galvanise support – with the irony being that your using RM to enable it.

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  16. flockfollower102

    Notice already in, left for good after nearly 18 years. Paying £1600 a month plus vat. I can get an AWFUL lot of bang for my buck on social media. I am not even going to worry about the competition, as we can do this job well. Anyone who stays on Rightmove is going to find themselves squeezed! They can not help themselves, it is now ingrained into the very DNA of the company. Let the corporate’s support them, but we as independents are different, much different.

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  17. Robert Sargent

    Thank you to business owners who have responded today and registered with the SNTR site.
    The traffic to our site shows no sign of abating. We will update the heat map later and are hoping to see an up tick in support from Scotland by early next week.
    I have now had time to start talking to the larger agency networks and groups up and down the UK, and can confirm support is building.
    It’s vital that the industry voices its dissatisfaction with the portal sector as one. The focus should be achieving a competitive, fairly priced and serviced portal offering for all our branches.
    Robert Sargent
    CEO – The Acorn Group

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    1. htsnom79

      htsnom79
      APRIL 2, 2020 AT 19:03#39

      Rob
       
      Genuinely, as the Americans say, Thank You For Your Service.
      Whatever happens going forward, in over 30 years this is the very first time I’ve seen a collective from the indie community, North South East and West.
      If we have 900 business owners representing 1500 offices ( we have two but are market leaders and have been for 2 decades ) then we have a like minded formidable block already, it may of been your 30+ offices that gave you leverage to be heard however Acorn Group is 2% of SayNo, the other 98% are experienced, pi$$ed off and talented.
      Never think that you are alone.
      Good luck to us all

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  18. James Wilson

    Given that no one is going to be buying a house for a year or more, might as well save the Rightmove bill right?

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    1. biffabear

      Which makes complete sense.

      Report
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