Tipping point: Agent now paying more to Rightmove per month than in office rent

An estate agent says that following Rightmove’s latest price hike one of his branches is paying more in its monthly subscription to the portal than rent.

The agent told us: “I regard this as the tipping point.”

The agent pays Rightmove six separate subscriptions – four for sales and two for lettings.

The branch where the Rightmove subscription exceeds the rent is in a sizeable village that has one postcode.

In current market conditions, with a shortage of stock, this branch has under 20 available properties, both sales and rentals.

The agent, who we have agreed not to name, is based in the home counties and believes that a number of agents will now be in his position – paying more to Rightmove per month than in rent for some branch premises.

He says he has been told that he cannot remove just one branch from Rightmove, and that his options are either to pull the whole business off or to close the office down.

He said: “All this for a 21st century portal that can’t show full sales particulars on its mobile app.”

He is also querying why a subscription for one office serving an area with one postcode appears to be paying the same, or more than, an online agent serving the whole of his south-east region, with numerous postcodes.

A Rightmove spokesperson told EYE that agents are allowed to add or remove more locations (ie, branches which may pay for sales or lettings, or both), but must give the same notice as in their overall contract.

He pointed to Clause 10.1 in the standard contract, but did also tell EYE that he had made a note that this should be clarified next time the terms and conditions are updated.

But the agent insisted he had been told that he would have to close the office and provide proof of closure. He described Rightmove as being greedy and ruthless.

However, the Rightmove spokesperson said of the agent paying more in subscriptions than monthly rent: “I totally understand the concern here,

“Every business needs to balance the books and monitor what they are receiving from each supplier.

“We couldn’t comment on the cost of rent of their office as this is very dependent on where in the country they operate from and the type of business unit they have.

“Our goal is to ensure each customer feels they are getting a good return from their Rightmove membership, and if they feel they aren’t getting this then they should contact their Rightmove account manager and discuss that further.”

The spokesperson said that online agents are charged a ‘geographical advertising model’ based on a membership fee plus the number of properties listed on Rightmove, based on their distance from their central location.

Rightmove told its shareholders in its latest results that last year’s advertising revenue per advertiser (ARPA) was £922 per month per branch, up from £842 in 2016. Its profit margin of 75.8% was hailed as outstanding in the City.

However, the agent we have been speaking to says that Rightmove is in danger of biting the hand that feeds it.

Sprift 2 end of article
x

Email the story to a friend

42 Comments

  1. Property Poke In The Eye

    Rightmove knows the game is nearly up. It can’t keep on charging agents more and more.  It’s just not viable for businesses.  The right figure for the service sits around the £400-500 mark.

    The latest price hike is a test to see where they can push agents.  I think most agents are thinking exactly what Rightmove brings to the party?  It definitely isn’t valuation leads.

    Could a board and your own website bring in the right buyer.  The answer is possibly yes.  Tried and tested.  Agents just think they need the other portals because everyone else is on them.

    We are currently on RM, Zoopla and OTM.

    Very surprised at OTM.  It’s actually bringing in more leads over the last few weeks than RM and Z.

    2 local agents have given in their notices to rightmove so have we.  I think the portal game is about to change.

    If agents take their property stock elsewhere then they hold the the final card.  So dont get shafted by these price hikes.

    Like it or not agents need to take their stock to On The Market in order to de-stabalize rightmove, and In order to send a clear message.  If RM want agents stock they will need to listen to the agents on pricing.

    I have heard Rightmove is now giving preferencial rates for agents to stay on ranging from £250 -£525 pm.  Can other business owners confirm what they are paying and in which location?

     

    Report
    1. malcolmroy63

      I agree wholeheartedly, I have been with rightmove since the beginning, they increased my fees by 12.5% so I gave my thirty days notice.

      If enough agents are brave enough to ditch rightmove they would have to come to their senses and start charging the same as other platforms. I am also with OTM and am finding that I too am receiving more enquiries from them than I was from rightmove.

      I would love to know how many agents they have lost since their latest raid. I feel that they are about to slaughter the golden goose.

      Perhaps the Eye could do a simple yes/no poll

       

      Report
      1. EGeorge79

        Sorry I don’t know what you mean by ‘latest raid’ but we are fed up with Rightmove we are paying more to them than our rent and unless we sell a property very quickly they are getting more than us as a fee! It is very competitive where we are, Newton le Willows Merseyside.

        Zoopla are contacting us all the time with amazing offers but we just cannot afford to gamble and leave Rightmove. However, I agree they are going to kill the golden goose. The last rise was really big, 12.5%, are there no regulations governing the limit on any rise they can make?

        Report
    2. DonShore93

      If what an agent wants is valuation leads – and what agent doesn’t – then it’s important to look great on Google, with lots of reviews, because that’s where most potential fee payers are looking.

      Clients will look at the portals for comparables and so having reviews there (it’s surprising how many agents don’t display their reviews on Rightmove) is also a good idea.

      Report
    3. Born Free 58

      Asked Rightmove to help us out with a fee reduction last year when we only had five sales in the pipe and five properties available, less than a sixth of the 32 geographical pricing model they have.

      They just ignored our request, even though we said we might have to leave them. I really don’t think they care that much. It’s £12,000 a year mate, or find somewhere else!

      Report
      1. Bless You

        TIME AGENTS ORGANISED A STRIKE AGAINST RIGHTMOVE. ONLY FOR SAY 2 MONTHS IN NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER. 

         

        Maybe we can all put the money we save £2000 x 7000 = £14million quid to charity for a great christmas present… 

        Until we work together its like shooting fish in a barrel for rightmove. Fairplay to them but dont take the p*ss .

         

        Onthe market was a good idea and maybe an alternative but rightmove still needs killing boefore agents have confidence to move..

         

         

        Report
      2. Bless You

        Also agree rightmove should be billing on stock levels not office. They are stopping agents expanding while giving new homes and onliners all the benefits. 

        Report
      3. ECVH50

        We have tried reasoning with RM each year since we started only 4yrs ago we pay 3x our rent to RM each month being a new business we had no choice – we invested in OTM and still support them wholeheartedly as the only potential portal being agent backed to bring RM into line – you are right about leaving RM and all agents including ourselves should do so – until they bring in a sensible and fair pricing structure – they have ripped us off for too many years ..time to fight back and bring them down. I am still trying to convince my business partner that this is indeed the only way to do it…this year it has to be done…

        Report
    4. I want to believe

      We pay £1400 per month for sales and lettings and are in the North West of England.

      At the risk of opening old wounds our industry had the chance to change this a couple of years ago and Ironically we are now getting as many OTM enquiries as we do RM, DESPITE the OTM fiasco !

      I’m up for ‘Bless You’s’ stike in the favour of charity. Goodness knows the country is on it’s Ar*e and I would enjoy my Christmas a whole lot better knowing my £2800 went toward feeding the homeless, or indeed toward addressing the massive issue of mental health that unfortunately is on the increase in our country.

       

      Report
  2. EGeorge79

    We are paying more to Rightmove per month than rent too. Although we did protest about the price hike we could do nothing else but pay.

    Report
    1. Property Poke In The Eye

      You need to give notice, in order for head office to take any notice.

      Report
  3. Ouch18

    We are paying double to Rightmove  towards what we are paying office rent, zoopla and our software provider combined!!!

    Government concentrating their efforts on banning tenant fees and capping rents etc they need to take a close look at these robbers first!!

    I agree to a post further up that the monthly cost should be an absolute maximum of £500.

    We are about to go with OTM for a trial and I would recommend every agent to do so to increase the branding.  The sooner we do the sooner Rightmove will have to lower their fees!

    Report
    1. Bless You

      i hope your right..but not sure if you are aware…. onthemarket started 3 years ago,,not last week. 
      Their terrible plan actually made me have to go with rightmove because zoopla lost ground in our patch..
      thx on the market  you owe me big time and i want to see results. 

      Report
      1. Ouch18

        Well of course I’m aware they started 3 years ago.  I’ve monitored OTM carefully through the one other portal rule and through the court cases etc.  It was a mess at the beginning but now they’ve come out the other side, abolished the portal rule, have the funds and are offering new sign ups free listings until Feb 19.

        Now is the time to give OTM your backing, get their branding out there and make sure the general public know that an agent doesn’t have to be on Rightmove.  It’s Estate Agents who control how successful these portals become and not the portals themselves! It’s about time Rightmove realised this and learned the hard way!!!!

        Report
  4. MrLister

    The latest hike has prompted us to leave RM this summer. Although I’m not totally convinced by OTM they will be a far more effective model if every agent who moaned about RM just left and went to OTM.

    The way RM have treated estate agents and the way they’ve taken the p**s for the last x years is infuriating.

    We’ve decided to grow a pair and leave. Anyone else?!

    Happy Monday

     

    Report
    1. malcolmroy63

      I gave notice at the beginning of March and am now off of rightmove and free of the leech, stick together guys and give notice, remember you have until the last minute to reinstate but it would put the fear of God into them if enough people pulled out.

      Report
    2. Vicars04

      We grew a pair last year and left RM….had enough of their ‘couldn’t care less about you’ attitude and totally inflexible pricing structure. Currently with Zoopla and OTM…yes, the odd vendor complains about our lack of visibility on RM (vanity reasons more than anything else I think), however the combined leads via the other two seem to be justifying our decision as financially we’re in a better place since leaving them.

      Report
  5. Eastsidestory90

    There was a statement from OTM last week which stated that they received double the amount of hits in the month of March compared to the previous month, this with only an additional 1000 new branches since launching on the stock market and the full marketing campaign yet to start.

     

    This is clear proof that Rightmove as a business are in trouble if we simply shifted our listings to either OTM or Zoopla, as the consumer will inevitably have to follow suit.

    Rightmove are now really pushing it and need to be tamed.

    Report
  6. agency negotiation

    It’s not my concern, but for what it’s worth, here’s my opinion.

    Starting from the premiss that most business is local and that there’s more to marketing than simply being on RM, owning the media seems more logical than paying ‘rent ‘ to use others media.

    Building the Agency brand through interesting blogs and podcasts that create a hub/spoke distribution model for your content. A ‘front -end’ media company that drives business to your ‘back-end’ agency business.

    If done well, a media business can deliver a zero paid media opportunity. Takes more work than simply uploading to RM and has less reach, but for those agencies confident enough to lose the dependency on the portals, it can deliver a committed and loyal following.

    When RM has squeezed every last penny out of agents and their data, there’s nothing to stop them becoming a platform that connects buyers and sellers.

    Don’t build your house on other people’s land.

    Report
  7. Philosopher2467

    Surely now is the time to play ‘chicken’ with RM. Is there anyone in any doubt that they are ‘taking the proverbial’ and have been for years. I suspect if enough agents withdraw and take their business to Zoopla and On the market then RM would come under huge pressure from their shareholders to behave in a more reasonable and responsible way towards their (paying heavily) customers. Their contempt toward their customers has beyond a joke for quite a while now. Times up??

    Report
  8. markus

    We’re another who pays far more to RM than we do in rent – after the last rise we are nearly paying as much to RM as we do for rent & business rates – and we have ONE branch.

    Report
  9. Certus

    Zoopla have been calling me offering a rate of £250 for first 6 months followed by £500pm for a gold package. Rightmove now want £1126 pm from me.

    I’m on the edge. I do believe that we have the power but voluntarily give it to RM and pay them for the priviledge.

    but we only take the power back – together.

    Who pays what?

    Report
    1. Property Poke In The Eye

      We pay £150 plus VAT for the silver package with Zoopla.

      Report
  10. Mark Walker

    Going off topic, but this Rightmove more than rent cost story reminded me.

     

    I am still staggered by the people I see looking at our window whilst standing in the pouring rain.  It will take a lot to convince me that the standing advert of an office window is redundant.

     

    I’d rather keep the office than pay a Rightmove bill that increases ad infinitum, as Rightmove is only one internet avenue, albeit currently the number 1.

     

    Report
    1. Woodentop

      Absolutely, agents have fallen into the trap that the web is the only way to survive. It isn’t, its is only part of the equation of running a successful business today. The web is nothing more than reactive marketing which will never be as successful as pro-active but that means having to work at it and the web has allowed the lazy rot to set in for some.

      Report
  11. Woodentop

    Agents created an animal it became reliant on, many over the last few years consider they are totally reliant on them to stay in business. RM know this and play on it. When OTM came along they shuddered, only to be relieved to see OTM shoot them selves in the foot with the one other portal rule and all the bickering sowing doubt into what was and still is “an alternative to take back control”. Not entirely convinced that the current OTM strategy is right but its all you have at this time, if you don’t want to be bleed dry by RM. We ditched RM many years ago, at the time went through a rough patch with our competitors slagging us off but we picked up on all their failures and promoted OTM. If agents moved to a single portal, the public will follow. Currently you have all gone and married the one that is bleeding you dry, time for a divorce and a new partner? Who’s future is more important, your livelihood or RM’s? Wake up and stand up to the bar, your business is your destiny, never ever allow another company to dictate to you!

    Report
  12. Property Pundit

    In nearly thirty years being active in the property services sector, the only comparison of the arrogance and ludicrous over-charging shown by rightmove I can make is to relate it to the last monster that controlled the industry; the local press. Look what has happened to them. Once mighty papers now almost giving space away. Most ignored altogether particularly by agents with memories long enough to remember their extortionate advertising rates. One of the biggest publishers – Johnston Press – now worth less than £10m with £100ms of debt. We are witnessing, without doubt, the end of the ‘Rightmove empire’. The timing is overdue, they deserve it. They will now see just how little customer loyalty they really have. Most of the agents we deal with absolutely despise them. They are pushing businesses to the brink but believe shareholders come first. Can we all just remember that rightmove is just a website? That’s all it is, nothing else. They had first launch advantage, that’s all and boy have they taken it for all they can. How they have got this far without the competition authorities looking into their business is beyond me, has nobody reported them?

    If the internet and all the printing presses in the country were switched off tomorrow, guess what? Houses would still sell!!! I’m really looking forward to the post-Rightmove era.

    Report
    1. Woodentop

      Oh so very true.

      Report
  13. MrLister

    How about a few figures….what do we you all pay for RM per branch?

    Report
    1. Woodentop

      I think your question should be directed to those big companies that have a massive discount … that will make you small independents see red? Chance of it being officially published … pigs will fly.

      Report
      1. Seller0169

        As someone who has sold recently and is looking to sell another investment property soon I’ve found this website fascinating since finding it.

        I have one question on the points above, why wouldn’t the website offer better terms to a large business with hundreds of offices compared a single office company who get offered the standard terms?

        As an industry who charge what feels like a small fortune to the end user the monthly costs mentioned above seem cheap considering it’s the one place I want my home to put in front of.

        Report
        1. Woodentop

          You hit the nail on the head, so one would think …… bigger gets better discount, ACTUALLY HUGE. Trouble is bigger is getting exactly the same level of service, no matter how big while it is not generating a single penny extra revenue for RM. The little person, is left paying a high percentage from its smaller income stream (and there are many) and struggle in comparison. As to the level of fees, they are extortionate and do not represent real value, for in some parts of the country outside of London it represents one sale, not a percentage and lettings fee is a joke … equates to revenue of a property for a year in many parts of the UK, per month!!!! You need to remember that the fee is payable regardless of number of properties for sale/sold or To Let/Let and on geographical post code. Some agents just cross border and pay double for little extra income potential.

          Welcome to EYE, if you don’t want to be jumped on from high by the masses, don’t mention Purple Bricks.

          Report
          1. Seller0169

            Woodentop, what on earth are you going on about??

            If you had 100 branches would you not expect better deals on your stationary, photocopiers etc? and then please tell me in what industry would you then expect more from a product or service because you got a ‘better’ deal……you sound a lot like a child who’s just complaining because you’re not happy about something but don’t really understand what you’re complaining about.

             

            Report
            1. Woodentop

              And that is your problem, you do not understand and to start to throw insults is very childish and how very narrow minded you are. Trying look at the whole picture and it would have helped before you put fingers to key pad to understand who and what RM are and how they got to where they are. It would also have helped if you uderstood clauses within the contractural agreements they force agents to sign.

               

              Simple question for you;

               

              “what percentage of a business revenue per property should be paid to RM per month is acceptible?”

              Report
            2. ECVH50

              you have misunderstood clearly what has been said

              Report
  14. Countrybumpkin

    1 branch. Sales Only £1341 pcm – way more than my single office rent.

    The trouble is the smaller independents do not have enough clout without the help of National bodies like Propertymark or even newsfeeds like PIE (who have kindly brought this matter to the fore). Propertymark surely could negotiate good discounts with these portals on behalf of their members?

    I have raised many times that nearly all of us are allowing the tail to wag the dog. RM advertise (on our behalf) that we provide Free Valuations. I thought a ‘valuation’ was a professional RICS report opposed to a ‘market appraisal’ or ‘market valuation’. Rightmove are putting a high percentage of their customers (estate agents) ‘at risk’ of breach of practise and nobody seems to be doing anything about it. Rightmove do not ‘act’ for their paying customers (estate agents) and are abusing their position by ignoring our requests to advertise our services correctly. Time for Trading Standards to check them out maybe?

    I can only assume that RM will pay the fines?

    Report
    1. Woodentop

      Competitions and Market Authority should be looking at fee’s being charged and if cartels are operating?

      Report
  15. DanRobo68

    Seems to me that Estate Agents should form a Union to deal with RM power.

    Report
  16. paulnewboy26

    Here are my costs. After failing at negotiating any reduction and then finding a letter in the postbox saying subs are increasing !

    PCM 1 Sales office with Rentals £1400

    Rent £700 No rates (single office discount)

    So 100% higher than rent.

    Do I get vendors ask if we are on RM – Yes

    Do they think it is critical – Sadly Yes.

    Am I in a predicament – Yes

    Zoopla – £400 pcm (we get more valuations from this)

    Cannot get Valuation Leads from RM as 4 other agents have this spot and we will if given the chance pay another £100-£120 pcm for the next space.

    So campers, what would you do !???

     

    Report
    1. Woodentop

      If Zoopla and OTM can make profit with their charging structure … who’s kidding who with RM’s fees! Look beyond to who is behind RM and you have your answer. Some very big corporates who are your competitors and would be happy to see the little agents go under, is open to question.

      Report
  17. ammik

    Same here.

    Rent £10,500 per annum

    Rightmove £13,800 per annum (not had my increase “offer(!)” yet).

    Zoopla £3,960 per annum.

    That £10k Rightmove / Zoopla difference would allow me to employ an admin trainee.

     

    Report
    1. paulnewboy26

      Sadly, the decision is not mine but in the hands of the vendor I’m afraid. They are the one’s who chose RM agents as key to selling. Only yesterday I won a god instruction, but the vendor was adamant it was RM that sells properties. I had to tell him of the 40% of stock we have sold recently where buyers had not seen the listing on RM as they are too busy “flicking” through to appreciate what is out there. It takes time and focus with buyers to get people to the right property, but you aint got the time to explain this in an advert, so I am afriad until at least 30% of agents bin RM, the message to vendors is not going to get through.

      AgentV – collective marketing? There isnt a decent, focused “association” for independents out there at the moment, who could pull lets say 1000 members together, not focus on “we will get you corporate instruction” not focus on PB bashing, but simply focus on collective fee negotiation for portals, print, boards, etc etc etc. simply economics, I will buy your product and I have 1000 times more instructions to bargain with.

      Report
X

You must be logged in to report this comment!

Leave a reply

If you want to create a user account so you can log in, click here

More top news stories

Covid has massively amplified the velocity of change – Landlords’ Barometer #83

Continue Reading ...

Thank you for signing up to our newsletter, we have sent you an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Additionally if you would like to create a free EYE account which allows you to comment on news stories and manage your email subscriptions please enter a password below.