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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Say No To Rightmove hits new milestone and counts down to ‘D-Day’

The Say No To Rightmove campaign has launched a countdown clock on its website to galvanise agents into remembering only 85 days remain before their fees rise 300 per cent. 

The campaign says the clock will tick down to what it’s calling D-Day - that’s when Rightmove’s current 75 per cent discount ends and a decision has to be taken by agents whether to leave the portal, depending on what it says about future charges.

In an interview with Estate Agent Today, the Say No To Rightmove campaign leader Rob Sargent - head of the Acorn group of agencies - says the movement now has some 1,500 agents representing 3,000 offices once pending members are checked and verified.

Say No To Rightmove hits new milestone and counts down to ‘D-Day’

Sargent says he is encouraged by the continuing pattern of joiners. As agents sign up it’s typically the case that around 10 per cent will have already left the portal and another 10 per cent will have taken some sort of action to alert Rightmove of their dissatisfaction. 

“And we continue to see resignations on a continuing basis. Many of them copy us in on their resignation letters” he adds.

Say No To Rightmove - a campaign that now has seven staff working on it, almost full time - has so far majored on securing the backing of small agencies with much less bargaining leverage than larger groups and the big corporates.

But Sargent says he has also spoken with several mid-size companies - much larger than one- or two-office agencies but below the size of the big three Countrywide, LSL and Connells - and says few have major disagreements with his assessment of Rightmove.

He anticipates that while membership of the campaign is continuing to grow on a daily basis, agents will inevitably begin to devote more time to their businesses once lockdown restrictions are eased and the sales and lettings markets resume.

However, he feels this may also trigger a new wave of support for his efforts to make Rightmove concede on fees.

“Once agencies begin to un-furlough staff they’ll suddenly see a spike in their costs and will look at their expenditure” he says, making it clear that portal fees - which for his Acorn company add up to almost £500,000 a year - would be a likely area to seek reductions.

Sargent has made clear repeatedly that his objective is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and that different agents may want different outcomes - whether that would be to leave Rightmove completely or see the portal move to permanently lower charges.

“But what is common with most agents is they want to see what happens next - and that’s up to Rightmove” says Sargent.

He insists that the portal can save itself if it responds favourably to the campaign he leads, and to those of other agents’ groups currently mobilising on Facebook.

“Rightmove will have to work very, very hard to win hearts and minds. That would have a big effect. But being charged £1,500 to £2,000 a month and then not being spoken to very nicely by Rightmove reps - well, agents aren’t going to put up with that.”

He pledges that if the response from the portal doesn’t involve what he calls “radical and positive change” then it will witness “the biggest exodus in its history.”

“Disaster for Rightmove is avoidable, by Rightmove itself” insists Sargent - but the clock is clearly ticking.

You can see the campaign on www.saynotorightmove.co.uk

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    In the first 10 weeks of 2020, 60% of my new leads came from Rightmove with the balance 40% from all other lead sources (Zoopla, on the market, prime location, Facebook marketplace, boards, walk ins, social media, referrals, own website, canvassing, leaflet drops etc etc etc). 75% of sales in first 10 weeks was to a lead originally picked up via Rightmove. 5 mortgage sign ups and 7 solicitor referrals were achieved to leads picked up via Rightmove.
    Rightmove is my best lead provider in terms of cost per lead and return on marketing spend. That’s even before I consider the instructions it generates. Will be very happy if some of my competitors come off Rightmove.

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    Not a bad first post for a Rightmove rep.

     
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    Can you tell us what agency you're from, Graham?

     
    Marcus Parkinson

    "Rightmove is my best lead provider in terms of cost per lead and return on marketing spend. "
    We believe you mate did you copy and paste that out of the staff manual?
    and as for,
    "Will be very happy if some of my competitors come off Rightmove.
    " lets give you benefit of doubt and pretend your a real agent - if your competitors leave in substantial number given Rightmove relentless track record of looking after their loyal customers...ahem I mean city investors you will be looking down the barrel of the biggest price rise ever. It will be so ridiculously high that you'll look back at last years 15% increase as if was a discount.....silly of me to indulge as your really a "fantasy" agent!

     
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    But would they go to OTM or Zoopla if not already if you were not on Rightmove Graham?
    If you type in any property type on Google all three come up at the top of page one, so you will still get the leads.

     
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    Hi Graham, what company do you work for / own? It would be interesting to know your location and profile, given those stats seem to buck what is the industry norm.

    One thing that you might want to consider is the cost of getting to the point of listing on Rightmove. You’ve already paid staff, spent on marketing, training, prospecting, telephone, office, boards, own portal etc etc.

    Rightmove haven’t spent a penny on that, you have funded the whole process and then delivered up a shinny new property for them to list, whIch they got off you free of charge; no actually hold on, they charged you for it!

    Rightmove are getting you to run around all day finding properties that you then give to them, so they can then charge you. So think again about that cost per lead Graham.

    I like the fact SNTRM isn’t just calling leave, although many supporters have and will continue to do so, especially as the return to work ramps up and furloughing payments are removed.

    It’s a voice for the industry and for the core agents that Rightmove rely so heavily on, yet have ignored for so long.

    It is a movement that has given everyone a choice, or should I say an option.

    In asking RM to change its methods and charges and become a real partner to its customers, SNTRM is offering RM an opportunity to make the right choice.

    If it misses that message many will leave ......

     
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    Graham thats really funny, In our first 10 weeks of 2020, 60% of my new leads came from OTM, 10% from other PAID sources Zoopla & Prime location, with the balance 30% from all other FREE lead sources Facebook marketplace, boards, walk ins, social media, referrals, own website, canvassing, leaflet drops etc etc etc).100% of sales in first 10 weeks was to a lead originally picked up via OTM.

    OTM is my best lead provider in terms of cost per lead and return on marketing spend. I will be very VERY happy if some or all of my competitors STAY ON Rightmove as I can't see them lasting very long.

     
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    Paul,
    I won't go into the flawed logic of what you're saying. Just one question - why are your branches still on Rightmove? Take 3 , 5,10 of them off - and show us the way.

    Or did you not intend to "Say NO to Rightmove", but instead "Empty promises to improve our own negotiation position with Rightmove"?

     
    Kristjan Byfield

    Sounds to me like you need to drill down into the other 40% to see what to drop there if RM performs well for you (which it does for many agents let's be honest). Find what works and keep it- possibly even up your spend there; find what doesn't and cut it- pocket the savings or reinvest your choice. The mortgage & solicitor referrals are due to your quality cross-selling- don't credit RM for that, which portal a buyer comes through doesn't affect their eligibility for additional services.

     
    Murray Lee

    And please tell me, were you happy with the 75% discount we(the crusaders) obtained.? Or did you turn it down.....
    And I assume your happy with there belligerent "take it or leave it" attitude?

    Come on Graham ...really...?

     
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    Great to see someone who analyses leadflow and conversions.sure takes the emotiveness out

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    Furloughing funding and 75% off Rightmove fees is giving a lot of agents a false sense of comfort/security at the moment. They need to snap out of it pronto and get real, costs are going to be exceptionally tight for at least a year. Rightmove has finally priced itself out of the marketplace. Every cloud....

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    I have just one question - how comes that ACORN IS STILL ON RIGHTMOVE?

    You're not a hypocrite, are you Sargent? Let me know when the branch search results is empty

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    I expect in contract.

     
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    I'm not a big fan of Rightmove - which is by far the worse provider we have - but Acorn's crusade feels very much like an attempt to have their own terms renegotiated (based on private sources).

    I agree with James above - if Rob and Paul feel so strongly about the value they're getting, why are they not leaving Rightmove for a month or two? Lead the way if you're not BSing.
    Feels like RQ's rants all over again

    Marcus Parkinson

    In fairness I think your right you can't run a say no to Rightmove and sit on the fence.
    Truth is Rightmove won't change to any where the near the levels people would pay so forget all the chit chat and leave if enough people do it while the markets in turmoil where ever we put our properties will be where the public goes.
    Come on Rob & Paul lead from the front and leave today people will follow if you don't this movement will fizzle out to nothing.

     
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    Acorn feels like another OTM
    Convince us it's not.

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    RM is in theory overpriced, but really are they??? Agents continue to individually decide the membership fee is worth what they get in return, or would not be a member - common sense no? If they are in a longer term contract, then they clearly saw value when signing it.

    What shows quite clearly here, is a lack of understanding of industry lead source by some.
    Because one agent does well on one portal and not so well on another, then a different agent has the opposite experience, this does not mean they are not agents or lying. Believe it or not, some agents do better on OTM vs RM, or Zoopla vs RM, RM vs OTM etc. This can be for various reasons. Take portal stock, in one area this maybe very different vs another. So based on this alone, it is just common sense, agents will have different experiences.

    Instead of abusing a comment because you choose not to accept the information given. Perhaps try engaging, and understanding facts other than you own, and a few agent friends you have spoken with.

    Marcus Parkinson

    I see what you are saying Rightmove could be useful at the right price but as to overpriced 75p in the £1.00 profit says that's over priced (biggest profit margin of a major european company I believe)
    so surely no argument about the price being fair?
    it is to all intents and purpose it's a monopoly (although that power and hold over agents is slipping) The reason people stayed is because of the belief they installed, that agents need them and won't survive without them. But know a few thousand agents have proved there is life beyond Rightmove hopefully many others will see the light (especially at this difficult time) and break there abusive relationship with Rightmove.

     
  • Christopher Smiddy

    Maybe RM are not overly concerned by this campaign as the elephant in the room that I can see is new homes. When lockdown recedes, the Persimmon’s, Barratt’s, Taylor Wimpey’s et alia will be heavily investing into all forms of media promoting their many available new homes and RM will be at the top of their list. RM know this and I suspect will not be offering any discounts to those developers desperate for leads thus RM's profitability is only likely to increase.

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    Paul Richmond and others that may be interested, the SNTRM campaign will be determined in due course.

    This campaign was about saying no. No to continual increases with no further added value, saying no to the way agents are treated by RM and getting RM to re-think their strategy, as well as a reaction to their response to the COVID-19 crisis.

    It is up to Rightmove to make the call on how they respond and dependant on that, agency owners up and down the country will make their choices. As is already happening, agents are leaving now and will continue to do so.

    Support is gathering by the day from all corners of the market. I am sure if you email Rob directly he will happily discuss both the campaign and Acorn’s take on the sector. He has done so with large quantities of the supporters already. Rob@acorngroup.co.uk

    It’s vital that agents remain united in achieving their goals.

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    Can Rob publicly commit that it's not about getting his own contracts and pricing revised, and will Acorn reveal what it pays per branch now and later this year?

    If you do, I'll sign up, and so will all the others that look at Acorn's behaviour and don't trust your integrity here as long as you're on RM. while preaching to leave (if not -what is the meaning of a "no")

     
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    If there's any chance of defeating RM the campaign needs to be better than the last OTM campaign

    The general public are not aware that not all properties in an area are on RM and that they need to search ALL other portals, just like they used to go to individual Estate Agents.

    There could be a joint advertising campaign encouraging customers to look at ALL Portals even providing some incentive should they book their viewings through one of the other ones

    Just a thought!

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    There is quite a simple solution here.

    Instead of the Acorn "Say no to Rightmove" self-indulging movement, why not take a class action to the competition authorities? RM is clearly a monopoly, and is abusing its market power.
    I'm pretty sure that a £50M fine will help them clear their pricing strategy. and I'd personally be very happy to contribute to the legal fees.

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