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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Rightmove really IS very good value for agents, insists ex-director

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.

  • David Thomas

    You can offer the best service at an affordable price all you want, but if you never listen to your customers and treat them with contempt it won’t wash forever!

  • Chris Arnold

    When something that could be profitability delivered for free is intent on maximising revenues from those that can ill afford it, that's not good value.
    RM owns the data, so generously supplied for free by agencies and, in return, screws every last penny it can from those agents. Having your cake and eating it!

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    Rightmove has no standalone value and is a parasite that try’s to alter the thinking of its user base with propaganda adverts like this while we fear being without it, they rely on agents not the other way round, death to Rightmove! off with its head!

  • Matthew Fine

    The £21 per property assumes all instructions come from Rightmove, personally only ever received 1 instruction via a web site, all of ours come from recommendation or local canvassing/marketing.

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    Estate agent listings deliver 3.5 million leads per month. UK estate agents generate all of Rightmove’s value. All they ask for in return is to be respected and treated fairly for their historic and future loyalty.

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    'Future loyalty'...err no thanks.

     
  • Matthew Payne

    Value per instruction aside which will always split opinion, RM has never been able to explain away or justify why they charge agents such different rates for the same service, with very little transparency in the way they apply charges. Yes they attempt to complicate their rate card with additional extras and variations on discounts for X, Y & Z for stock levels etc to attempt to disguise the differences, but the botom line is the range per office per month seems to be from £185 up to about £1700, and even then, corporate agents discount aside, they charge a one office agency £900 a month and then an identical size business in the same town £1500 a month. All this variation demonstrates is a consistant lack of goodwill towards agents whose account manager charges them whatever they think they can get away with at the complusory stare down meeting each year orchestrated to see how much fear they can smell at the prospect of leaving RM or sucking up the increases. RM could build bridges very quickly if they had a published rate card including all the bits and pieces, which would naturally give larger agencies a discount, but at least everyone would take comfort from a balanced and fairer application of charges.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Cost per listing is ultimately irrelevant- its cost per transaction (although admit this is affected by agents' ability to convert). At base, we worked out we were paying RM around £800 per let. Thats around 25% of our average fee. 25%! Then add in- no innovation, point blank refusal to adopt video & VTs properly, 20% annual price incraeses and an AM we only hear from at contract renewal- to mandate a large price increase- no discussion. For me this just underlines their blinkered vision, fingers in ears singling la la la to the small but financially rewarding agents- even long after theyve left they still cant hear. Astonishing.

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    So glad we left that dreadful company, and our bank balance is nearly £2000 better off for it each month. OTM and Zoopla are supplying us with all the leads we could ever want between them. Our decision to part company was deffo the right move!

  • Angelo  Piccirillo CEO AVRillo

    Chris, thank you asking such direct questions. Your hard hitting interviews have become the newsnight of the industry; plus brave of Jason to come on.

  • Andrew McCausland

    Yes, brave of Jason to come on but I am not sure whether to laugh in his face at the assertion RM offers good value or despair at his lack of insight of their clients' position.

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