Rightmove, which recently posted a 37 per cent drop in revenue for the first six months of 2020, has lost almost 10 times as much as any other key portal in the world.
International PropTech analyst Mike del Prete, who studies performances of some of the globe’s most used property websites, says that across the world many top portals offered discounts to agents but none as significantly as Rightmove.
North American portals such as Zillow and Realtor and Australia’s REA Group lost only three to four per cent revenue while some, like Germany's ImmoScout24 and The Netherlands' Funda actually managed to grow revenue.
In absolute terms, Rightmove again tops the list with revenues dropping £38m year-over-year. Zillow lost a substantial US$15m but from a larger revenue base of US$450m against Rightmove's £105m.
Del Prete says other countries' portals managed to weather the Covid-19 storm relatively unscathed whereas Rightmove was badly hit - although this was, he suggests, because the UK’s housing market lockdown was one of the most severe in the world.
“Australia's portals generate most of their revenue from vendors, not agents. The US portals generate revenue from selling buyer leads. Rightmove generates revenue from agents advertising houses for sale -- and if new listings drop 90 per cent, there are 90 per cent fewer houses to advertise” explains del Prete.
“A combination of the UK lockdown's severity and length, coupled with Rightmove's business model, made it especially susceptible to Covid-19. It was forced to offer its customers deep discounts for many months while the lockdown was in effect.
“The pandemic affected all real estate portals -- but not equally. The more severe the lockdown, the more significant the revenue drop.”