The former commercial director of Rightmove has made a strong defence of much of the company’s activities, including the charges it levies on agents and the uncaring image that some people attribute to the portal.
Jason Bushby was a long-standing senior figure at the portal for 14 years but left Rightmove early in 2019 to take a sabbatical. He has no involvement in the organisation now, nor any influence over the current reduced fees offer or what comes next.
In a hard-hitting interview with industry consultant Chris Watkin, Bushby says that while there are strong voices to the contrary, he knows many agents believe Rightmove delivers a good service for a reasonable fee.
He says the acid question for agents is: “Does it deliver good value for money and give them an equal amount of value back?”.
Bushby tells Watkin that with the average revenue per advertiser for Rightmove around £1,000 per month this could be seen as good value: he calculates an agent’s average stock at around 47 homes, meaning that per property per month the portal’s cost is £21.
So for a property taking a typical two months to sell, that’s £42 - which he insists is good value.
The interview tackles some of the biggest questions in the industry now, with Watkin putting Bushby on the spot about whether it’s fair that single-branch agencies can pay so much more to Rightmove than branches of big corporates; what Rightmove should do at the end of its current 75 per cent fee reduction period; and why the portal is seen as simply too unfriendly and aggressive towards agents compared with rival companies.
At the end of the interview Bushby - who this month joined Rayner Personnel to work in estate agency recruitment and allied services - agrees that there are some areas for Rightmove to improve on, and says: “How could we be less faceless is probably the question I’d be thinking hardest about” if he were still at the organisation.
Watching the interview below - which Chris Watkin has kindly made available exclusively to Estate Agent Today readers - is 30 minutes well spent to understand another side of the portals debate.