Shock findings as survey reveals huge variation in what agents think of the portals

The Say No To Rightmove campaign group, which says it now has 1,400 members, representing 2,700 branches, is in the process of carrying out a survey of its membership.

The purpose is to determine current sentiment about portals in general and Rightmove in particular.

So far the survey has had over 500 responses and on the strength of these the campaign has released an interim report.

The campaign says it recognises that as a self-selecting group the results of the survey are bound to reflect a negative attitude towards Rightmove, but the survey does reveal some more general and surprising views about other portals and their perceived value to the respondents.

In particular it appears that OnTheMarket is significantly close to Rightmove in the quantity of respondents using both portals for their listings, and in terms of ‘value for money’ OTM is very substantially ahead of both Rightmove and Zoopla.

In the responses so far, 78% are still members of Rightmove, 21% are ex-members. The 21% includes people who are ex-members or who have handed in their notice.

Of those who have given notice to Rightmove, 48% did so before the company made its Coronavirus response of a 75% discount for four months. 52% have done so after the response was made.

55% of respondents are currently listing with Zoopla and 87% of respondents are currently listing with Rightmove. A significant 84% are listing with OnTheMarket.

A question asking which portal represents the best value for money puts OnTheMarket strongly in front at 50%, Zoopla on 37%, Rightmove on 5% and ‘other’ portals accounting for 8%.

The majority of respondents think that Rightmove would be fair value for money if it was charging less than £500 per office, per month. 26% think between £500 and £1,000 per office per month is fair value. Just 1% think the figure would be between £1,000 and £2,000.

As to their future plans regarding Rightmove, 90% say they are considering leaving unless the discount period is extended or pricing radically changed. 9% say they will be leaving at the end of their contracts. 1% are happy with the current 75% offer.

The Say No to Rightmove campaign has told EYE that after the survey closes next week the detailed results, including the actual number of responses to each question, will be made available for publication.

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29 Comments

  1. Murray Lee

    Interesting facts

    But are Rightmove taking any notice?

    Especially the last 2 box graphics

    They need to otherwise these figures could changes dramatically after the discount period ends

    90% considering leaving if dont see radical changes

     

    Well done SaynotoRighmove

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    1. Robert_May

       Herding the agents who can be reached via the trade sites, and social media has been  a  massive achiement. I congratulate all four groups who have a common goal  for having the wisdom of collaborating and keeping the momentum going. Well done!
       
      There is only 3 months left to ensure that Rightmove’s sit back and see, call their bluff,  ‘agents will never work together’ confidence is not rewarded by a told you so return to how it was.
       
      That happened previously in 2008 when Rightmove whacked up their subscription rates while the industry was facing a crash in prices and transaction.
       
      From talking to people  around the industry and reading all the stuff being posted around Twitter Linkedin Facebook and the  news forums it is clear there is a will to drive change, there is emerging competition and there is innovation that  is leaving Rightmove and Zoopla behind.   The duopoly has been broken but  in reality Rightmove  will not be taken down by the ‘intersecting agent’ (those who don’t pay ARPA and those who treat Rightmove as an essential part of their business at the cost of a member of staff)
       
      Rightmove needs competition that will control it’s cost and force it to innovate- without a plan that isn’t going to happen.

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      1. Robert_May

        N.B. I am using competition in the general term not  a product specific  competitor

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  2. Countrybumpkin

    Interesting conversation with rightmove rep last week (the first conversation since I can ever remember after handing in notice).

    I was informed (during justification of their charges)

    80% traffic via rightmove.

    Only 15% traffic via zoopla

    just 1% of the market through onthemarket.

    In addition I was asked how I was going to win business once my competition found out that we were not on rightmove?

    Is this the new veiled threat scare tactic approach and has anyone else been told the same?

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    1. JEL

      It’s like the Mafia trying to extort protection money …. honestly the next move is the horses head in your bed

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    2. Robert_May

      Stock answer needs to be;

      An agent who is reliant on your portal is  unwittingly admitting to their vendors and prospective vendors the don’t have any suitable applicants on the register  who they can call and suggest a viewing- such an agent is a passive intermediary- not an estate agent.

       

      If I were up against an agent who is making something of me  not  being on Rightmove I’d say, We do not need to be on  Rightmove to sell your home.  Rightmove doesn’t sell property as such agents do. If you think being on Rightmove is so important to the sale of your property you can list with passive intermediaries for £99 or less.

       

      As soon as an agent has lost an instruction they have nothing to lose by  comparing the cut price agent’s, cut price service with services that offer the same level of service cheaper.

       

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      1. Murray Lee

        PAY PEANUTS…..you get Purple *ricks. LOL

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    3. David M

      Surely the response to Rightmove’ threats are.  Why are consumers going to continue to use your website when you don’t have the majority of the properties, when the traffic starts going through Zoopla / onthemarket then how can you justify such high prices?  Why do think it’s ok to give corporate discounts and charge smaller agents higher fees?  Are smaller agencies not the ones you should be helping to grow?

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  3. YorkshireEstateAgent

    I don’t see how any independent agents will view these findings as any kind of shock, other than the fact that1% are actually happy to pay between £1000 to £2000, I thought this would be less!

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  4. office@antonyrichards.co.uk

    I had all the veiled threats and even negotiated a ‘bespoke’ deal which turned out to be nothing more than reduced fees.  Leads were well less than OTM so I left. One of my better decisions

    The answer is simple. Just leave.

     

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  5. Property Poke In The Eye

    I think the best way forward will be to KILL off Rightmove completely – that won’t happen as agents never work together.  Roguemove knows that and will keep playing agents off each other.

    We came away from Roguemove in July 2017 – best move ever.

    This is the only chance agents can come away and lend their support to another portal due the current situation.

    The way forward in my opinion is to have a portal where the monthly fee is £250 per month – if they have 10,000 agent branches – that will bring in  £30 million per annum.   If agents just need a central platform then this is the way forward.  Fully Agent owned and run by agents who have been selected by other agents with a capped salary again agreed by agents.

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    1. Robert_May

       If you euler diagram the industry  ( a fancy venn diagram) there are agents who  were founding fathers of Rightmove and those who have economies of scale discounts- tjhose agent  do not pay ARPA or anything like ARPA- they will not come off Rightmove- they force the hand of  competing branches in about 25% out of 3500 activity centres.
      [Independent agents where there is no corporate agency branch can come off Rightmove and form a local #PSP  (Property search platform – new tech replace ‘portals’) of their own no worries no  fear or threat]
       
      There are non-geographic, no branch agencies- they 100% need Rightmove and Zoopla-  they cannot come off even if they wanted to- they rely on  Rightmove and Zoppla for their existance and presence.  While the FF & EOS agent are listing on Rightmove they will exist too.  IF all the good agents came off Rightmove,  Rightmove wouldn’t be killed off you’d have a weird Weathespoonsy sort of a portal, popular with a certain  client!
       
      There are the Rightmove optimised agent, they have a branch, do a good job,  they are lean and hungry and have Rightmove in place of a memember of staff.  It is a consistent member of staff who turns up and is reliable whereas the sort of staff they attract normally aren’t.
       
      Much as  much of the industry wants to kill off Rightmove, it won’t happen unless Rightmove  decides it has had enough and stops.
      £250/ month is too much it the cost needs to be less than Rightmoves fixed costs.  Any strategy that is not fully inclusive of all agents and all models will create competion between exclusive groups.
       
      #PSP is the stepping stone  to the promised land, that has been built but there are more hurdles to this than you can imagine

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  6. Andrew Goldthorpe

    Context, particularly in regard to surveys, is important if promoting independence and impartiality in journalism.

    Robert Sargent is on record as saying that the SNTRM movement (of which I am supportive) has most of its hard work ahead of it. It has, to date, been mainly preaching to the converted, namely the 3,000 or so OTM shareholders it emailed as a starting point for its campaign. A survey response with certain outcomes is inevitable in a like minded audience.

    Rob is now reaching out to the 12,000 to 15,000 non OTM shareholding independent and other agents to see if this collective action can gain real momentum.

    Until the industry as a whole has been properly surveyed, I suggest surveys like this need to be viewed with caution.

     

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  7. J1

    If everyone is being honest this admirable effort will most likely fizzle if the lockdown is lifted and agents return to work sooner than first expected.

    What will happen in my view is that when RM decline to extend their offer of 75% off and agents’ pipelines are decimated it is then that most agents will make the decision to leave … most likely because this will be at the end of the summer and the prospect of a housing market uptick will be fairly low…….

    Hoping I will be proved wrong……..

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    1. Property Pundit

      Have you left, working out when to leave or staying?

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  8. Woodentop

    I was asked how I was going to win business once my competition found out that we were not on rightmove?

     

    Who’s telling you what to do? ‘Plan and communicate’ with your customers has always been an easy answer to this worry but now that Z and OTM have become even more prevalent in the public domain, that is a very easy task today. It could soon be flipped on its head, your competitors left out on a limb will be more be worried and throwing money down the drain till they come to their senses or go bust in these hard times.

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  9. hodge

    Here we go again. Back in 1993 I joined Abbey Cornerstone as Operations Director and inherited a region that was losing 180K MarchYTD.

    Poor market share, poor staff and blisteringly high costs of marketing.

    Portsmouth news were charging £1100 per broadsheet page and the region was marketing its own magazine in full colour.

    Turning it around was going to be gradual but cutting costs was immediate.

    I approached the News looking for a discount and was met with short shrift.

    No problem as we set up a rival paper at £300 per page within 2 months, most of the agents joined and the News disappeared with just the odd straggler hanging on.

    We cut the colour magazine.

    The existing staff said I knew nothing about Agency as I was mad and from Financial services….what could I know about agency. Well i know that our calls into branches increased as a result of our calls out. I know that we increased market share as a result of calls out and I know that we made started making money.

    Indeed by the time Abbey announced the sale of Cornerstone we tried to buy the Southern region and it was profitable to the tune of 1 million.

    Rightmove doesn’t make your business, you do. Rightmove simply charges your business. Personal contact and a slick delivery gains instructions not a web site. You just need to be brave and not a follower, be a leader let others follow.

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    1. Property Pundit

      Great post. Other ‘newspapers’, as per your example, as now available. Agents should focus on these as well as their own website and get over Rightmove. Time to take back control.

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  10. Budgie boy

    It’s no good moaning, or trying to negotiate with them. We’ve all tried it and it doesn’t work, so rhe only way to deal with them, is to leave them,  trust your own marketing skills and support the other two portals, as long as they behave themselves.i have already left and look forward to the savings I’m going to make by removing my two branches.

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  11. forwardthinker

    This survey is a good indication of the sentiment against Rightmove’s mafia ways.Well done again Rob for organising, but still a long way to go as I’ve said before.

    RM aren’t going to reduce their pricing to an acceptable level. It’s just not going to happen!

    These campaigns must maintain momentum. We must stand together and communicate with our counterparts, continue to grow the movement. To turn this thing on it’s head in reality, 48 branches out of 50 in our area still list with RM.

    A couple of months after RM’s 75% discount has expired is when I expect agents will realise and give notice. Buyer enquiries are down by about 90%, so I don’t understand those who sit on the fence. You can return as easily as you’ve come off, if they reduce their fees.

    Incidentally, we carried out two valuations virtually last week. Both successful and we’re no longer on RM.

     

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  12. Eyereaderturnedposter12

    Not wishing to put a dampener on what is an impressive exercise of collaboration between multiple parties…but could it have been a mistake to publish these findings?

    Looking at the last graphic (”Future plans of current Rightmove members”), where it states that 90% are ”considering leaving if we don’t see discount extended…” seems to read to me (as I’m pretty certain it will to any RM staffers looking at the result of this survey) as ”yes we’ve had a moan, but we’ll probably put up with it continuing in the same vein because we’re terrified that our business will fall apart if we’re not on RM”…

    Given the sentiment expressed frequently on PIE in respect of RM, I’m amazed that 90% of those who partook in the survey seem willing to stay on (albeit with a lot of ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’)!

    Being on RM was a terrible habit…and one my firm is pleased to have ‘kicked’…with no ‘withdrawal’ symptoms whatsoever.

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  13. GPL

     

    Whatever way you view Rightmove.

     

    On cost versus effectiveness …..the only smart financial move is to leave Rightmove.

     

    It’s “mind over matter”. If you have a successful business it will survive without Rightmove, provided you have used the current “downtime” to either plan or reinforce your marketing strategy.

     

    We can live without Rightmove. They can’t live without us.

     

    The Rightmove “Mind Game” Offensive will ramp up over the coming weeks & months ……psychological undermining as alluded to here already “how will your business survive without Rightmove”?

     

    It’s a shameful tactic, Rightmove should be exposed for their “dirty/underhand” approach to trying to protect their business. Each and every instance of Rightmove using these type of “psychologically charged” throw away lines with Subscribers should be exposed/publicised.

    As Rightmove record conversations, we should absolutely do the same.

     

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    1. Property Pundit

      Have you left yet?

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      1. GPL

        Read PIE

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      2. Stevie Baillie

        Not left yet, but we most probably will when they pump the price back up.

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  14. HIT MAN

    I don’t quite get it!

    Why are some agents still harping on about getting Rightmove to reduce their fees. FORGET RIGHTMOVE and just leave then you won’t have anymore worries.

     

    What does it take to get through to the thick heads.

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  15. Stevie Baillie

    Aside from all of the above.

    Is anyone else finding that a very high proportion of their “leads” from RM or OTM, when followed up, all seem to just seem to fade away to “Phantom leads” ?

    Defo the case with us the past 4/5 weeks.

    I would guess it’s the portals trying to convince us that they are still relevant and needed in this “dead” period of lockdown.

    If this is true, then it’s just another example of the length’s they will stoop to, in trying to validate their worth.
    If not true, then we are just going through a very “unlucky” glut of enquiries the past 6 weeks – For the first time in 13 years trading!

    Anyone else experiencing similar?

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  16. Seller0169

    I’ve only got one question, Has Rob Sargent left yet?

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    1. Property Ear

      Sitting on the fence with an army of procrastinators lining up behind him. JUMP for goodness sake – JUMP!

      Report
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