Several pressure groups join ‘Say No to Rightmove’ campaign

Several pressure groups have pledged support to the Say No to Rightmove campaign which is now predicting that the current pricing model between agents and the portal is going to be ‘impossible to maintain’ in the longer term.

Meeting ‘virtually’ last week the heads of the groups agreed to unite as one voice in pressing for a better deal from the portal.

Estate Agency Union is a database of over 300 Agents compiled by Murray Lee of Dreamview Estates, North West London.

It is pressing for more realistic pricing from Rightmove and for agents to dictate the relationship, not the other way around.

Boycott Rightmove is Facebook group with over 1,600 members started by Paul Davies of At Home Estates in Horsham.

Most of the group are actively promoting leaving Rightmove; some are pushing for fairly priced contracts from Rightmove.

Revolution of Estate Agency 2020 is another Facebook group, though smaller, with just over 260 members, started by David Thomas of Nottingham’s Liberty Gate Estate Agents.

Among its aims it wants:  “To unite the estate agency industry and enable members to share and co-ordinate a new way forward from 2020 and beyond”

Rightmove has offered its customers a 75% discount period, but with many agents apparently considering their positions in relation to portal costs, Rob Sargent of Say Not to Righmove predicts it will be when the discount period expires that the tipping point will come.

“This will likely be when the Government’s support for furloughing ends and agents costs start to spike,” he says.

“With a depleted sales pipelines and an economy potentially in recession, it is going to be impossible to maintain a relationship with Rightmove based on their current pricing model.”

Sargent says that he has spent the past decade telling Rightmove that they need to review their fees and change the way their sales force engages their member agents, if they wish to maintain customer loyalty.

He believes a freer, more competitive portal sector will not be achieved until agents release themselves from the virtual monopoly that he says currently exists.

The campaign says it now has more than 2,500 members and expects 3,000 by the end of April. It has published an updated map showing the membership locations.

https://www.saynotorightmove.co.uk/

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34 Comments

  1. forwardthinker

    First of all the groups should definitely merge as one. There are a few campaigns, but unsure there is a clear aim in the SNTRM group.

    The ideas and aims amongst the groups and it’s members are ostensibly split. Some want a better deal, some want to bring RM to it’s knees, some want to see RM end completely.

    This is an opportunity to bring RM into line in pricing I understand, but I would rather not work with a company who only last month showed it’s true colours in their poor offer to agents. Showing a sheer arrogance and total disregard to agents, the very lifeblood of their business. Are all members of the RM board still there?

    I joined these groups to channel emotions through one professional voice. A show of force to RM that their antics could no longer be tolerated, even after making the decision to serve termination notice immediately after their crass announcement. Stronger together I thought. No interest in getting back to bed with such a company, but many agents want to continue with RM. Please can someone explain why? Not bothered about cosy relationships with corporate chains especially if the majority leave. The portal becomes weak, but many are afraid to cut the umbilical cord.

    A little bewildered, but regardless we’re out. I will watch carefully from the sidelines to see how this unravels.

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    1. Budgie boy

      The only way to say no to Rightmove, is to leave them. They’ve not listened to us up to now and I don’t expect them to change their pricing policy. We have been getting most of our leads from Zoopla, followed by Rightmove and OTM, with increasing activity via social media. When we are being squeezed on our fees, how can they possibly justify their relentless Mickey taking with Agents? By leaving, it will also put the likes of Zoopla and OTM on warning, that if they have any ambitions to milk us in the same way, the same will happen to them. We leave at the end of April, enough is enough.

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      1. forwardthinker

        Exactly. I don’t understand why we need a better deal. They’ll be back to their old tricks in a couple of years and we’ll all still be in the same position.
        By everyone leaving sends a clear message to other suppliers agents will come together and vote with their feet.

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    2. itsgreatupnorth

      I think it is quite clear that there may be some vested interests in there somewhere. You don’t ever really know who is working for who. Other than than you have to think that a lot of the remainers cannot be bothered to think of the added work of doing something different. they would rather sink on HMS Same Old, than float on HMS Moving Forward.

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  2. smile please

    I hope as a member of these groups Rob does get RM to do something with fees but I think its naive to expect RM to reduce for the long term. I think they would rather lose a few agents and ramp the price up higher for the remaining agents.

    If Rob is reading this, can he comment on the rumour I have heard that he himself is looking to launch a portal? Is it rumour or any truth in it?

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    1. Robert Sargent

       
       Good morning Smile please
       
      Other than being an original Gold Member of OTM,  I have no business interests in the Portal sector.
      Most of my time is currently split between growing support for SNTRM and working with my Management team on Acorn business.
      Rob Sargent

       

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    2. itsgreatupnorth

      I think it is quite clear that there may be some vested interests in there somewhere. You don’t ever really know who is working for who. Other than than you have to think that a lot of the remainers cannot be bothered to think of the added work of doing something different. they would rather sink on HMS Same Old, than float on HMS Moving Forward.

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  3. digitalfix

    Consideration should be given to what you would do if you were in Rightmove’s shoes.  To understand this is to defend against it.
     
    Their goal has to be to return to pre-pandemic ARPA levels, and strategically bring the subscriber base back to what it once was; in other words, return to ‘normal’ service as quickly as possible.
     
    It is likely that they have figured out this is not simply a case of yanking prices back up, but a gradual application of various ‘marketplace’ tactics.
     
    On the demand side (consumer) expect to see an advertising budget that will make your eyes water.  They will go hard and long on affirming Rightmove as the place to be – this will in turn reignite the argument from potential sellers that you *must* be on Rightmove to get the instruction.  This then leads you to sign back up, which then creates a local tension and eventually everyone signs back up.
     
    On the supply side (agent) expect to see deals being cut, incentives being given and perhaps opportunitistic pricing applied in areas where there has been an exodus.  This tactic of ‘buying the map’ was employed in the early days to ensure coverage in vital areas such as the North West and central London. 
     
    It’s almost guaranteed that if condition 1 (demand) is met, condition 2 (agent) will be an easy one to achieve.  It follows almost every disintermediator behaviour in almost every sector.
     
    Before you know it, you’ve walked straight back in to the arms of your captor. Remember that their share price is driven by (i) inventory (ii) consumer traffic (iii) and to some extent, brand/position/perception.
     
    You all have it in your hands to command all three; this is a black swan event. 
     
    Get together, unify, and have a plan (and a value proposition that does not include Rightmove) for the post-pandemic $hit storm that is coming.    

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    1. Robert_May

      The duopoly is broken so there is no chance of ARPA rising much  above £500.

      This world event is going to  drive a technical  change on the portals that should have happened after Fannie Mae.

       

      Local, regional and niche sector portals that are ‘small data’ driven for the benefit of the inventory providers are now possible so whatever the high handed opinion might be, it is time for a paradigm shift in property search systems, what they cost and who controls them.

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    2. Mrlondon52

      Digitalfix talks a lot of sense here. Thank you.

      Share price is driven by a) number of agents, b) growth (or not) of ARPA (rev per agent). it is precisely this obsession with squeezing fees higher to grow ARPA that has created both a) RM’s stellar valuation, b) agent anger.

      My view: the only long-term solution is to do what Agents Mutual promised – and move to a cooperative model. All agents move to it. Where agents can control the fees. Is this likely? Sadly not. Would it work? Yes.

      Also, don’t think that ZPG are the saviours. They can be ‘nicer’ than RM but they are private equity owned so under just as much pressure to grow ARPA (though, yes, they have a more diversified income structure, not just a portal)

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  4. Murray Lee

    If RM dont listen now, like Z have it will be their downfall. We now have the higher ground and this coming together only shows the strength behind the feelings and the movement to take control Come on RM wake up and smell the roses.   Never mind bombarding us with webinars come to us with a plan to reduce the fees going forward Im happy at my discounted rate. Keep it there I will stay Many others wont if you dont as you have seen already by the heat map  
    My thanks fo out to Alan Goldin of Alan Goldin Estates who started it all, Richard Dangoor of Hausman and Holmes for pushing it forward plus Phillip Wise of Ashmore and Co for his wise council. Well done the 4 mustketeers
    #allforoneandoneforall
    #togetherwearestronger
    Stay safe everyone

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    1. smile please

      Murray what have Z offered from what I have seen its a few months free with a few more if you commit to leave Z.
      Of course this is welcome in the short term but does it help medium to long?
      Granted if majority of agents leave RM and join Z it would be good but we all know that will not happen for various reasons.
      Secondly, Zoopla’s pricing is all over the show one agent could be paying a couple hundred pounds a month, when the agent next door is paying five to six hundred a month.
      Hardly a transparent, fair pricing system.

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      1. Murray Lee

        Ah ha …..they have ALSO told me that IF you then leave RM in 4 months (very likely if they push back the subs to normal) then me and may more will walk AT WHICH TIME Z will give us ANOTHER 4 months !

         

        Win win?

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  5. downdoobydodowndowndubaduba

    Their current “Mega” discount is actually useless as we are not doing viewings or putting on new properties.

    They should just have cut their rate to Zero until the UK is back to a more normal place – and then take the opportunity to look at sensible pricing with a view to getting more agents back onboard and being the agents friend not enemy. But I suspect they won’t do that.

    Even for virtual  viewings we would then have to do a raft of unnecessary and non emergency work to move people in – what’s the point. Only if someone is potentially homeless should we consider movement.  So what’s the need at all just now for Rightmove!.

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    1. Property Ear

      Very likely little need soon for any portal – your own website should be sufficient. With fewer and fewer properties coming in the market, those that do, if properly priced, will fly out. Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms will simply tap in ‘Estate Agents in Anytown’ and bingo, STC!

      Hard to understand how so many agents are sitting on the fence scared they’ll lose out if they quit and the other guys don’t! The market will never be the same again – Rightmove will very soon be yesterday’s news.

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    2. Dyane

      But at least they are giving a discount; albeit reluctantly.

      Zoopla are doing the same (better actually) but what about OTM?

      They are still charging the full price with no help at all to their customers.

      I think that we’ll be reviewing their actions and our membership there too, when this is all over.

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      1. propertyguru11

        I agree – OTM is doing jack sh&^.

        I’m just getting their ridiculous emails from the CEO updating me about “what do other agents do?” when they’re the ones doing less than others

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        1. HIT MAN

          OTM standard costs are far less than both Zoopla and Rightmoves discounted fees so why moan ….

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  6. Paul

    Sensible move to join forces. The SNTRM campaign has hit the spot and got enough of the right people listening to put pressure on RM.
     
    With these groups now on board, it can only help to accelerate the pace and take up of new support, as well as demonstrating to the RM and more importantly, investors, that this is not going away and there needs to be change.
     
    I think other pressures will come to bear in the form or alternatives and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a whole new pricing model and offering appear that catches the industries imagination at this, the perfect time to strike.  

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  7. AgencyInsider

    It’s all getting very Pythonesque…

     
    REG: They’ve bled us white, the b*stards. They’ve taken everything we had, and not just from us, from our fathers, and from our fathers’ fathers.
    LORETTA: And from our fathers’ fathers’ fathers.
    REG: Yeah.
    LORETTA: And from our fathers’ fathers’ fathers’ fathers.
    REG: Yeah. All right, Stan. Don’t labour the point. And what have they ever given us in return?!
     

    AND

     
    REG: We’re the People’s Front of Judea!
    LORETTA: Oh. I thought we were the Popular Front.
    REG: People’s Front!
    FRANCIS: Whatever happened to the Popular Front, Reg?
    REG: He’s over there.

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    1. smile please

      Brilliant

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    2. Robert_May

      SPLITTER!

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  8. Property Poke In The Eye

    As already said above.

    Say NO and Kill off Rightmive by leaving them.  Its that  Simple!!

     

     

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  9. XML2U

    Has anyone considered a new take on old-fashioned co-operation as an alternative to expensive portals? Once upon a time, agents didn’t need anything more than some local advertising and the ‘co-operation’ of other agents.  As I recall, it worked pretty well and there is now a way to combine co-operation and the digital age. ChoiceMLS.net provides an automated way to work with other agents, locally, nationally and internationally. Just a thought.

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  10. Typhoon

    WHEN WILL THE INDUSTRY REALISE NO ONE, NO ONE NO ONE NEEDS RM?

     

    As soon as their stock levels diminish the public will be like rats departing the titanic to find the properties they are looking for. Zoopla and OTM will be stuffed with stock and the enquires will simply flow from them, AT A FRACTION NOF THE PRICE OF RIGHTMOVE!!

     

    Where is the sense in trying to keep them alive when it’s insane (and unaffordable) to ever spend that money again for enquiries. They have shown their true colours for years with obscene price hikes and boast of 75% profit margins whilst the estate agency world has been slowly bleeding to death. And their pathetic deferment offer demonstrated the respect they don’t have for the industry.

     

    They have been backed into a corner to make the reduction they have now offered. But be under no illusion, they will have their sites set on getting every penny of that back, and more, from the industry in time to come.

     

    It’s a very simple situation. No longer does the industry need, nor can it afford , to spend such extortionate sums on portal access. And what staggers me, is why, when we are utterly devoid of cash (WITH WORSE TO COME) and there are alternatives that would deliver in spades, people seem to still think they cannot do without RM. Can’t get my head around that.

     

     

     

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    1. Covlets

      Typhoon, couldn`t have put it better myself. We left RM last September and have not looked back. Giving us more revenue to to spend on more cost effective advertising. JUST LEAVE RM WILL NOT CHANGE!

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  11. Neil

     

    Excellent to see the campaign still going strong. It is the long term goal of having a fair price portal that works for all agents.

     

     

    Keep up the good work.

     

     

     

    Thank you.

     

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  12. J1

    With no real end in sight to the pandemic it is my view that most agents will realise after about three months that there is no prospect of normality for a long time to come and Rightmove will fizzle of its own accord.

    Example:  July 2020

    ”Grannie its time you sold your house and bought a bungalow”

    ”Listen granddaughter, there is no way I am having strangers coming around my house and no way I am going out to view, I’m not putting my house up for sale”

    I think many will take this view and the market will be a fraction of its previous size no matter what pent up demand there is.

    As a result of large scale redundancies and cost cutting RM will then become a victim, not because of these pressure groups applying little or no pressure on the RM bunker that hides an invisible uncaring management team.

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  13. GPL

     

    Rightmove’s silence is deafening.

     

    Has any Group, or the New Group asked Rightmove what their future Subscription Plan is?

     

    I’m not interested in bringing “Rightmove” or any other portal to its knees to teach it a lesson, pointless exercise.

     

    This is ALL about business economics for Our Industry. Historic portal pricing will NOT work going ahead? If we continue to embrace a National Portal ……surely we don’t need 3???

     

    As a prospective client will ask us what our costs will be if they instruct us to sell or let their home, so we now need to know what the Portals intend charging post C19 and the charging structure beyond.

     

    Is it not time for a “New Association for Estate/Letting Agents” to consolidate Our Industry’s position post C19? Is that something that Rob & his recently merged Groups are considering.

     

    OTM remains noticeable by its absence in the debate.

     

    I’m happy to add my Company and I’m sure others if there is a “concrete proposal” that is going to be taken forward ……time is ticking on …..and the time is ……now.

     

    Is the proposal as simple as we seek a National Portal Provider that can provide “digital advertising services” for £250/300 per branch to include ????? or per property instructed? …….and I know that’s a can of worms however surely we must all be in a position to agree what a “reasonable portal cost”  is. It’s not a “Cartel” approach, it’s simply a reasonable assessment of what we would expect to pay a Portal Supplier.

     

    Every Business has to make a profit, the only difference is those that are making an unjustifiable profit (…….fill in your likely candidate here).

    Building consensus is understandable however it’s the “objective” that’s not clear to me ……and that is no criticism of any individual or group ……merely me wanting a clear explanation of what/when/how much?

     

    Thanks to all helping moving this crucial debate forward.

     

     

     

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  14. ED

    Covid-19 has paradoxically given agents the financial hit they feared if they withdrew from RM. So is it time to recalibrate the relationship?   It depends on the big players.. When the upturn arrives  I want my business to be in the best position to take advantage. That would mean supporting RM which I’m sure the big listers like CW, PB, LSL and Connells will certainly do this unless something changes.. Or Can enough agents pull together and recalibrate the portal industry and change the big listers support of RM by making RM the portal of older stock. OTM & ZPG are not going to offer themselves up as leverage pawns in RM negotiations and their one other portal rule is a proven nonsense.  So the only way forward is RM Achilles heel, NEW LISTINGS.  Remember when they offered their immediate listing tech free to software houses and ZPG back when OTM launched. Rob if you are reading this I praise your efforts and I encourage SNTRM to ask for a mandate from agents to negotiate a  2/3 year contract with  both OTM & Zoopla which guarantees they will get a significant discount if they list their stock 7 days before RM.  If the agent is under pressure, I e a  multi listing then the discount can be withdrawn.  Agents can choose OTM, ZPG or both. That way ZPG & OTM are not pawns in negotiations and will gain contracts they crave.  Agents will have freedom to run their business how they see fit.  And RM has pressure to reduce fees in order to mitigate the penalties agents incur or become the portal that not even the corporates want to support. There will never be enough support to entirely remove from RM but their would be enough support to cut its balls off and take chunks out of it.  

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  15. AKPS

    All portals are the same and need to work out what relationships they want with agents. We have just been informed by OTM that our agency is not eligible for the 33% discount they so loudly shouted about last month after RMs blunder as we are not on a full paying tarrif! We apparently do not deserve help during the crisis because we negotiated a good deal when signing up with OTM. The portal for agents by the agents only wants to support some agents, not all and are just as bad as RM et al. Profits come before agents and relationships and they don’t care about everyone, only the ones who were conned into signing up to a full tarrif. Help should be available to all not a few!

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    1. HIT MAN

      Bet your not paying OTM anywhere near what your paying RM and Zoopla even with the discount and you won’t get the big price rises in the future it makes more sense to support OTM rather than Zoopla & Rightmove. 

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      1. AKPS

        Its not about the cost. OTM bad mouthed RM for not offering a discount when they have. But why differentiate between agents? If you pay less than another agent are you immune to the crisis and your branch business will not have to close? Point is, OTM claim to be for the agents. Which agents? Only ones they conned into paying full price? Everyone else does not matter. They are all the same. After money and don’t care about agents.

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  16. itsgreatupnorth

    Negotiate a better deal with RM ? Err hello, not possible. Negotiate to stay on board for vested interests because you don’t want to leave them ? Now that sounds more like it. Honest to goodness the only people I respect on here are the ones who have handed in their notice. The rest are dreaming of an easy life on costa del Rightmove and are frankly living in the olden days. Time to move on or be left behind, or as some see it ” Gain a commercial advantage over your competitors’ yeah right that sounds more like their misguided dreams of the bygone age that was one portal dominance. Social media and other websites, and our own, should all be in the mix.

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