Agent disenchantment with the major portals has continued as a torrid week nears its end.
The spotlight has now shifted to Zoopla which - unlike Rightmove and OnTheMarket - has so far failed to offer any concession at all to hard-pressed agents.
This morning it's been revealed that so far some 250 agents have signed up to a 'Say No To Rightmove' group led by the chief executive of the Acorn group, Robert Sargent.
His campaign website, which you can see here, says: "We are a group of extremely concerned estate agents, who are saying no to the tone-deaf offer of deferred payment options from Rightmove. We want to see Rightmove set a payment holiday for their members during this Covid19 crisis, allowing agents to focus on adjusting their cashflow and methods of operation which in turn, ironically, services the long term prospects and interests of Rightmove itself. As our movement grows, we want to hear from other agents who officially back this campaign. Tell us who you are, and we'll add you to the list which we'll be publishing and updating shortly."
Amongst the comments left on Estate Agent Today’s stories yesterday were many from agents who had quit Rightmove - one two years ago, another a few weeks back, and a third that gave notice to the lead portal yesterday morning. And buying collective Kerfuffle created an 11 minute video consisting almost entirely of agents criticising Rightmove’s offer.
Yesterday morning OnTheMarket revealed a 33 per cent discount to full-paying agents for three months - although many of its members are on discounted or free schemes so may not be eligible. However, agent members that contacted Estate Agent Today welcomed the OTM initiative and contrasted it favourably with Rightmove’s.
So far, nothing at all has been heard from Zoopla.
Meanwhile yet another portal says it’s launching shortly - it’s called Open Brix, and has been heavily previewed in a series of statements issued by its founders last year.
Its last public statement suggested it would be formally launched on February 1 this year but a new comment from the site suggests it is still finishing what it calls a live trial”.
The service will use Blockchain technology, meaning that instead of agents loading their data to a central operation - as now with Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket - the agents keep the data on their own servers, which are linked together.
“We are planning to provide all estate agents with 100 per cent free listings for the first 3 months, plus our ongoing costs thereafter are literally a fraction of those of our compeitition” claims spokesman James Gaubert.
The service describes itself this year: “OpenBrix is a decentralised, democratised, community-controlled portal that offers major benefits to the end users. The community are the agents who join. One brand, one vote. Basically, we have built a super transparent portal for agents to control themselves.”
You can see it here.