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Graham Awards


Rightmove's charges 'are good value for agents' insists ex-agency boss

Property industry commentator and former online agency chief executive Russell Quirk has defended Rightmove’s charges to agents, saying that compared to alternatives such as newspapers, the dominant portal represents good value. 

He is critical of the scale of Rightmove’s annual increases of 25 per cent or even more, but he insists it remains an invaluable tool for agents, represents good value and is understandably keen to keep its charges high because it is a listed company “and so is thinking much more of shareholder value than estate agency value.”

In the latest of a series of video interviews with industry consultant Chris Watkin, Quirk says: “When you compare [Rightmove] with the cost of local papers … compared with the volume of enquiries that Rightmove will provide and the analytics that go with it … Rightmove is relatively good value compared to the alternatives.”


However, his concerns over Rightmove’s price rises is that they are often justified by the portal itself on the basis of the growing number of leads that it provides; but, says Quirk, if it produces fewer leads one year than previously, it will not reduce charges.

The former Emoov boss is also critical of agents who have used the trade press to criticise Rightmove, urging boycotts or similar stunts. 

In addition to the business risk of losing leads by dropping off Rightmove, Quirk says in characteristically colourful language that agents would encounter another problem very quickly: “Mr Vendor, Mrs Vendor, Ms Vendor will phone you in seconds saying Why Isn’t My House On Rightmove? … Rightmove has got people by the bollocks.”

On other portals Quirk says Zoopla represents better value than Rightmove because it’s cheaper and he praises its ‘horizontal’ activities, spreading out to be more consumer-focussed by taking over, for example, utility comparison websites.

He then says OnTheMarket’s IPO was “not a success” and described as “outrageous” the way some original agency members are tied to the one other portal rule while newer members are not. He adds that in his opinion it will not match the two main portals “and will always be ‘the third portal’.”

“[OTM] will never have the money to compete on a level playing field with Rightmove or Zoopla” he claims. 

As with all of Quirk’s video interviews with Chris Watkins, there are compelling moments and surprise insights into Emoov. This latest video, majoring on portals, is available below.

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    How easy it is to offer an opinion when you don’t have to pay it.

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    • Mr B
    • 28 January 2019 08:29 AM

    The man is a caricature! Why is he still on here?

    Russell Quirk

    Because people like you comment. You numpty

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    Let's do a video series with Gerald Ratner discussing jewellery sales.

  • Andrew Ireland

    Russell Quirk is a thinker, and I would say has definite entrepreneurial abilities and vision. He wanted to be an industry game changer and to make supernormal profit for himself in line with other Tech entrepreneurs, i.e. millions. No one would blame him for that. He was given, by extremely good fortune, the financial means to achieve this. It was a highly trusted and privileged position to be in.

    Unfortunately his efforts failed, not unusual, not unexpected, most start ups go out of business, and I'm sorry for that.

    BUT, he must also take some responsibility (not all) for the failure of emoov and reflect that his judgement and perspective on the residential property market in the UK is connected to that failure. A lot of money was lost.

    A public apology is the usual route to go down and then I would advise he corrects what went wrong the first time and gets on his feet and tries tech again if he can find people to trust him. By dumping his tech credentials now in favour of becoming an industry guru surely cannot succeed, his emoov governance has put paid to that.

    Graham, I don't really understand why this forum is giving so much space to Russell when the reaction above speaks for itself and surely devalues the platform ?

    Rob  Davies

    I'd say, whatever you think of him, Quirk is newsworthy, which is why he's covered so much.

    Especially at a time when the company he was so heavily involved in has recently collapsed.

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    • Mr B
    • 28 January 2019 10:12 AM

    Numpty? I rejected an offer of employment with Emoov in December 2017 and i'm the Numpty??

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    Rightmove has convinced us all that we cannot live without it. Even when it's doing crap like now. I just received my annual increase letter it's actually quite small but this year my rep hasn't tried to contact me to justify as things are so bad on the lead front with RM. At the moment Zoopla is 10 to 1 leads versus rightmove and otm is doing 3 to 1 what's rightmove's excuse. If the lead drought continues I will seriously look at dropping them

    Rob  Davies

    I think Rightmove relies on the fact that people are too scared to drop it just in case. It is, arguably, too big to fail. As you say, it has made itself indispensable. Some would say RM back this up with good lead generation, others - like you - would say it doesn't offer nearly enough to justify the continually rising fees. But until there is mass collective action, a mass dropping of Rightmove, I can't see anything changing. RM was the main winner from the launch of OTM - which proved such a distraction to Zoopla - and continues to enjoy a brand recognition that others just simply don't have. That, as Purpblebricks is proving, really does count for something.


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