An estate agent is complaining to Rightmove about what he says is its ‘misleading’ method of calculating and publicising leads.
Like many agents, Neil Woodhead of Castle Estates at Greenock in Inverclyde has received statistics from Rightmove stating the number of leads he has received.
“I downloaded my stats for the last 12 months from the [Rightmove] site and put them in a spread sheet and put a telephone filter on the sheet. ... It was no surprise that a high proportion of the leads came from the same number. So much so when looking even closer I reduced my leads by just under 50 per cent.”
In this specific case, that was a total of 1,397 calls which - when duplicate numbers were removed - actually turned out to be 579 unique calls. This equates to 48 leads per month or £10 per lead on the basis of his Rightmove fee.
Woodhead’s argument is that inevitably many leads come from individuals who enquire about multiple properties but only go on to buy or rent one; he contends the portal should count and publicise only unique leads, and not base its marketing and fees on multiple contacts from the same customer being counted as separate leads.
“Rightmove acknowledged that they do not count unique numbers but all numbers. On this basis if the same process applies to all agents, then Rightmove’s 50 million [leads per year to the industry] is reduced to 26 million which I feel is greatly misleading at best, especially when reporting to financial markets and upping agents’ fees based on their performance.”
Woodhead says he has been in frequent contact with his Rightmove accounts manager and is awaiting the next move from the portal.
A Rightmove spokesman has told EAT: “We measure both the number and the quality of leads that we send Rightmove agents. The total number of leads sent over a period of time can be used as a measure of demand from home-movers.
“We primarily focus on the quality of the leads that we deliver to our customers, and are continually looking to improve this even further. This focus on quality means that Rightmove leads convert to over four times as many sales and lets for our agency customers than through any other portal.
“We also provide agents with analysis tools such as telephone and email lead reporting, to help them understand the types of leads that they receive and to help ensure that our customers generate the most out of every enquiry that they receive. If Neil would like to learn more about how to use these tools to understand more about the leads we deliver him, his Account Manager would be happy to work with him on this.”
Zoopla has told EAT that it, too, operates on the basis of counting all leads and not just unique leads; OnTheMarket has declined to make any comment.