This is how much you were paying for portals – and now it could be double

Exactly five years ago, in November 2014, EYE conducted a seminal industry survey on the rates paid by agents to the portals.

Revisit it now – and the average price of £600 we found that single-branch businesses were then paying to Rightmove may now be getting on for double.

Five years ago, our survey was the first of its kind – independent, confidential, and enlightening.

Ahead of the launch of OnTheMarket, agents were essentially asked about the ‘duopoly’ – how much you were paying at that time to Rightmove and Zoopla.

Revisiting the results five years on is interesting, given that Rightmove has reported, in its last set of results, that for the first time branches are paying on average over £1,000 a month (£1,077 per month, up £90 from £987 last year). That average means that some are paying less – but others are paying more.

Five years ago, the average according to our survey was just over £600 per month for a single branch business listing both sales and lettings on Rightmove.

Single sale-only branches were paying between £400 and £600 on Rightmove per month, and on Zoopla between £100 and £600 – quite a spread.

The lack of a rate card five years ago persists today. The price spread if anything seems wider, and Zoopla still seems cheaper in comparison with Rightmove – but what is irrefutable is the sheer cost to business of portals, especially when agents are paying for all three.

OnTheMarket was not around five years ago, but agents are now reporting anything from free upwards.

We routinely hear of single offices paying £1,230-£1,500 per month plus VAT for Rightmove; between £230 and £975 per month for Zoopla; and, when paying, between about £200 and £350 for OTM.

While we know of agents paying around £1,200 per office per month to Rightmove, others say their bills are almost £2,000 a month and they are expecting price increases.

If you are paying more, or less, than the amounts quoted above, please do let us know.

Inflation is, of course, not confined to property portals: the Bank of England’s inflation indicator suggests that something that cost you £100 in 2014 would now cost around £111.

We should say that simple inflation also does not take account of improvements that may have been made in products, and the portals will argue that they have made substantial enhancements in the last five years.

Crucially, though, our readers also often tell us that they do not want these enhancements – just basic, affordable, advertising packages.

We would be interested in your thoughts.

And this is what you are paying Rightmove and Zoopla

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17 Comments

  1. leelee30

    Hi

    As a small independent we pay over £1500 for Rightmove a month, got trapped with £500 On the Market And happy with zoopla At £300

    But this year end show that we will have to drop one of these for 2020.

     

    Now all are fat cats, all do not care about the local independent agents, all tell you one thing and do another, a little like Brexit lol..

    As an estate agent of 20 years, we do the hard work and provide the community with jobs, free advice, minor community admin, sell and let the homes, give guidance and support when selling or renting, all is free.

    The fee ban hit us hard, we spend countless hours helping the tenants with the applications, admin, documents ect. All now without a free.

    ( I wonder if Rightmove was banned from charging a fee to the agents if they would still be here in a year) Nope..

    Would they be willing to give a free service ? Nope.

    So how did this happen?

    2019 has been the hardest year for us in a decade.

    But we are still here, Pity our profit feeds all the portals..

    sorry rant over ….

     

     

     

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    1. DASH94

      Over £20,000 per year for an independent is a lot of money to find.  What proportion of sales : lettings is the business?  We’re predominantly lettings and it’s just not justifiable in terms of return for the money.

      Can’t wait for 2020 here too..

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    2. Bless You

      Should be based on price per property ,not office.

       

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  2. Woodentop

    Well I have to say agents have only themselves to blame for RM, (including myself as a founder agent with them) you were not in control and allowed them to fleece you for so long. The reality is You are afraid to ditch them. Why? Because you thought you would lose business and took your eye of the ball on how to overcome and found it far easier to join the club. Corporates were the big players in creating this mess. RM are not the only portal and while they, as the others do, boast so much consumer interest in their services every day, week and month, how come you telephone or email isn’t hot and all your stock sold?  
     
    Web portals are nothing more than digital advertising.  
     
    Their success is only down to being a one stop shop for consumers to see all properties, created by who … Estate Agents. Not all agent have been on RM for a long time and still have a business, so in recent years the argument you have to be on any particular web portal has been diluted. These other agents evolved and addressed the issue of being chained. When will the others wake up?

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  3. dantheman78

    I’ve decided to ditch Rightmove next year and just stick with Zoopla,

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    1. Property Pundit

      Good for you!

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    2. WiltsAgent

      You won’t regret it. I have spent the money I saved on a new member of staff and no longer work weekends.

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      1. DASH94

        There must have been some impact though.  Did you notice any changes or get any feedback from vendors?  It’s them that seem to be most keen to see their properties on RM and it’s a bit part of our reluctance to drop it

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    3. Cheesybiscuits

      We have done the same and served notice

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  4. scruffy

    Enlightened and coordinated efforts by our industry to counter such attacks on our well-being seem beyond us. The NAEA’s portal effort died through lack of support, and these pages are full of petty squabbling about OTM’s efforts to offer a viable alternative, at risk of failure too through lack of support.

    It should therefore come as no surprise (and I welcome the figures) to see the figures from PIE of just how royally,  those of us too scared to change, are now being screwed by a business THAT RELIES ON US !!!

    How many Letting agents have absorbed the tenant fee ban, being unable or unwilling to pass these costs on to client landlords for fear of losing business to competitors ? We need to grow some balls.

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  5. Property Pundit

    Imagine this time next year or two years or three years or even longer and stories like this and others online today about this outfit ARE STILL BEING PUBLISHED! What is the pinch point when even the strongest supporter (if there can be one at this stage) says enough is enough?

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  6. bobserver

    I’ve suggested before. Agents need to club together to take Rightmove to task over their crippling fees.An easy way to do this would be for agents to stage collective ‘blackouts’ where all stock is made invisible for 24 hours. If RM fail to respond and meet our collective demands, the next blackout is 48 hours, then 72 and so on.Stock is critical for RM and any outage of scale would be enough to make them sit up and listen.

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    1. Property Pundit

      More chance of platting fog than getting agents to work collectively. Don’t believe this will ever change sadly, it’s just the nature of the industry.

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      1. Commentator91

        …good idea by bobserver though…!

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  7. HIT MAN

    Agree with Scruffy, if more got behind OTM them the original plan would work, agent owners need to have a look at their stats and compare the costs between all portals in value against enquires, I just spoken with an agent who’s staff did tell him that he wasn’t getting any email enquires from Rightmove for the last two and a half years because Rightmove were sending them to the wrong email address. Wake up and smell the coffee get rid and prosper RMEXIT… New Years resolution. RMEXIT…

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  8. CornishMark

    Back when papers mattered, all the agents in Cornwall got together to bring our local rag to heel. They were charging 3 times the page rate here than they were in Plymouth because they had no competitor here. It went well until we were shafted by one of the nationals who suddenly made a splash by being the only agency around who advertised in the paper. And their MD was one of the steering group negotiating with the publishers!

    I’d love to see a blackout but you just know that our countrywide friends will delight in telling our vendors that they are the only route to RM.

    Like others on here, I’m looking hard at my options and may soon have no choice but to ditch RM, if only because I can’t afford it.

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  9. GPL

    Single/Independent Agents will find their “cut-off” point when they review what they are “Portal Paying” …..and finally say, financially enough is ENOUGH.

    Small Branch Network Agents will, in my opinion, also arrive at their own portal cut-off point. Eventually they make the decision that the portal value for money test fails on so many levels, the business decision is overwhelming in favour of dropping the overpriced portal.

    Medium & Larger Agents will continue to voraciously feed the portals in an effort to maintain/increase their market share …..yet, they are really paying for Digital Advertising. Being sucked into the “Extra Tools” to maintain a perceived “Competitor Advantage” is akin to the drug addict desperately searching for their next fix – Portals love those Agents as they are the mainstay of their business.

    The Bloated Corporates simply throw money (albeit at reduced rates for their sizeable Branch Networks) at Portals in a desperate effort to remain afloat/relevant.

    The “High End” Agents simply spend what it takes ……because they can.

    The Online Only’s? …….they just have to spend, and spend, and spend ….in a desperate effort to mimic “real” Agents.

    Ladies & Gentlemen …..for the Small/Independent Agents? ……there is undoubtedly an opportunity to drive your “Local Market” ….not in every town, village/s, city areas, however in many, many thousands of opportunities.

    Take this quieter time of the year to review how you can take your business forward in 2020 …..WITHOUT relying on the “Portals”. You/We all know “Portals Don’t Sell Homes” …..Estate Agents DO!

    It’s time to take a different approach to your business ……no one else will, it’s up to You.

     

     

     

     

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