Three quarters of agents threaten to quit Rightmove
Friday 10th October 2008
Rightmove has strongly defended its business model to agents in the light of the independent survey launched by Estate Agent Today, which shows that three-quarters of agents could decamp from the site.
Their votes suggest they will quit the portal en masse, largely in favour of free sites. Should they carry out their threat, the potential harm to Rightmove – listed on the Stock Exchange – would be shattering.
The topic of Rightmove’s fees – between £400 and £500 per month per estate agency office – has been heavily discussed by agents on this website. Some have argued that they cannot do without the giant portal that dominates the market, but some posts have discussed the possibility of an organised mass departure from the portal.
Rightmove commercial director Miles Shipside has made no attempt to stifle the debate and told Estate Agent Today: “Especially in this tough market, there is rightly discussion on the pros and cons of ‘free’ portals and how they can raise adequate revenue to offer an effective service for home movers and estate agents.
“They will face the challenge that we did initially of investing substantially and consistently over several years.
“As a guide, Rightmove has invested over £100m to achieve over 40 million visits a month – six times more pages of property viewed than any other portal, and three times longer consumer visits than any other portal.
“Rightmove has a dedicated team of over 100 field and customer service consultants to work with our 12,000 estate agency members to maximise their investment with us. They are in regular contact with members to discuss the value of Rightmove’s services either ongoing or when renewal becomes due.”
All told, an astonishing 75.7% of agents who participated in the Estate Agent Today poll say they will not be renewing their annual subscriptions to Rightmove.
A total of 1,230 votes have been cast so far.
Of these, 931 (75.7%) say they will not renew while 299 (24.3%) say they will stay with the hugely successful portal, which claims a 90% share of the listings market.
But industry pundits wonder whether agents really will not renew, or whether they are registering a highly vocal protest vote over the portal’s prices.
The survey also asked agents who say they will not be renewing their subscriptions to Rightmove to say which portal they will be signing up to instead.
The easy winner is Globrix, with 514 votes, followed by PropertyLive (the National Association of Estate Agents’ new portal, which launches next Tuesday) with 347 votes.
After these come the other paid-for sites, Findaproperty (304), Propertyfinder (298), Prime Location (199), Fish4homes (135) and Thinkproperty (106). Trailing are Hot property with 69, now part of Propertyfinder, and Zoomf (free) with 56, Nestoria (free) with 49, look4aproperty (paid for) with 32, and home (free) with 17.
Meanwhile, voting can still continue.
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