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Warning that agents are being “bled dry” by portals

A free-to-list property portal is warning the estate agency industry that it’s facing “dark days” thanks to the Coronavirus crisis and that it’s being “bled dry” by some firms.

Residential People says the industry needs to embrace change, chiefly through technology, if it’s to continue generating leads as the UK locks down.

Although the portal does not refer to the recent controversy over Rightmove’s deferred payment scheme for some of its member agents, Residential People argues in a statement that there has never been a better time for agents to embrace change, have a more flexible approach to advertising and to reduce costs. 

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Co-Founder and director Christopher May says: “Estate agents are being bled dry. Portals are not operating with compassion and understanding that many agents will struggle to remain trading if proposed lockdowns are in place throughout the UK.”

And he adds: “If you’re the decision-maker in an SME having to weigh letting staff members go or continue to pay a portal, I want you to know there is another way” adding: “By joining a fairer marketplace such as Residential People, you can advertise properties for free, allowing you to alleviate worries you may have during this sensitive period.”

Residential People adds that the current crisis is also an opportunity for agents to experience video conferencing and virtual tours, used already in recent days by some agents unable to show prospective buyers around in person.

Residential People is the second free to list portal to take a swipe at Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket this week; yesterday we reported that portal group OneDome - which operates OneDome and Nethouseprices - says its products generated 120,000 agent leads last month - and they were free of charge.

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