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Graham Awards


Rightmove could be FREE to agents and still make money - claim

Rightmove, Zoopla and even OnTheMarket could make money even if they did not charge agents anything at all to list properties. That’s the view of the head of the Say No To Rightmove campaign, Acorn group chief Rob Sargent.

In an interview with the investment bank Jefferies, notes of which are posted on its website, Sargent makes scathing criticisms of Rightmove in particular but then adds that he believes with growing opportunities in data and advertising a portal could thrive without charging the agent any fee.

Sargent is critical of measuring a portal’s worth by the cost per lead indicator which he alleges Rightmove “bangs us over the head with” - he says it is not particular relevant.  


And he adds that the recently added functionality on Rightmove’s site has "little credibility and the industry hates being charged for it". 

The latest score that Sargent gives for support for his campaign is that it has some 1,350 to 1,450 owners on board, equal to 2,700 branches. This figure is growing at between 60 and 70 a day, he tells Jefferies. 

Acorn’s board has approved formal funding for the campaign and the team now consists of eight full-time staff - four in public relations, three in administration and one arriving shortly to handle technology. 

His latest survey of members suggests that 10 per cent of agents who were on Rightmove have left, and 71 per cent are prepared to leave if there is no extension of the 75 per cent fee suspension offered by the portal - after fierce criticism from the industry - to cover the Coronavirus period. 

Sargent adds that seven per cent will leave the portal no matter what happens and only two per cent are actually happy with the deal and service they have.

He tells the bank that his campaign is using the four month fees suspension period by Rightmove to build membership, learn agents' issues and decide on how to best deploy the collective power it has created. 

However, he insists that the guiding principles remain devolved - it’s up to individual agents to decide on their own form of ‘disruption’ to Rightmove, while Rightmove should understand that agents "won't be bullied by a supplier".

You can see the notes of the Jefferies discussion here and the Say No To Rightmove site is here.

  • Chris Arnold

    The effort to capture and commodify our attention as homeowners and agents is highjacked by Rightmove. Not only are we the consumers, the producers and the content, we are effectively selling ourselves to ourselves and not being paid for it.


    That really nails it, well said

  • icon

    Free portals don't work.Globally its the gasp of the desperate.
    Lead gen ,etc is not enough to create a 100m business


    When you go FREE, you lose any right to have control. Never a good move.

  • Andrew Goldthorpe

    This article identifies the purpose of Mutuality. Even if it were true that Rightmove PLC, Onthemarket PLC and Zoopla private equity would ever go free, they would own and control agents outright and forever.

    The only way for agents to control your marketing costs, control and monetise your own data, and take back control of your own destiny once and for all is to fund, own and run a platform for mutual benefit that is entirely independent and limited by guarantee.

  • icon

    History says in the end greed ends mutuals.
    Majority goes with the dollars on offer.
    Good intentions fly off with the poonds

    Andrew Goldthorpe

    Hi Angus

    It is straightforward to legally structure a mutual to never be capable of being sold to benefit founders and members. It just takes the will.

    It is called a Charitable Assignment Condition and all legitimate mutuals have them. e.g. NFU Mutual which has been around for over 100 years, having good years and bad years, but building cash reserves so it is still able to pay an annual bonus and look after its members. If it folded for any reason whatsoever, all the proceeds of the sale of the business are gifted to charity.

    This is a public statement of intent that a mutual with this condition is around for the long term and has no IPO agenda.

  • icon

    Yes if people sign up to that great.
    Fundamentaly sold on greed...why pay them pay ourselves this won't work and why 0tm was such a cynical play.
    I have seen three mutuals privatise .
    Two in credit reporting were bank industry owed and one in Real estate

    Andrew Goldthorpe

    As I say Angus, a legitimate mutual makes it part of their terms and conditions of membership. It just takes a transparent and accountable Board.

    e.g. Members are balloted on executive remuneration etc. That is what accountable mutuality in the real estate industry could look like.

  • icon

    In this industry good luck with that.
    If someone credible can lead minus greed.
    Then learn from the disasters called MLS in the USA

  • Nick Ferrand

    I would be interested to have your opinion gentlemen on our Yannups site.

  • Colin Bain

    I think Rightmove shareolders would have a few things to say about that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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