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Rightmove reveals how much money it makes from agents

Rightmove has revealed its figures for the full year 2020 - down in terms of profit and revenue because of the impact of the pandemic, but flying high as the market recovered. 

One of the key figures for agents is how much money the portal makes from each member - this is the Average Revenue Per Advertiser, or ARPA. 

This morning it has been revealed that ARPA in all-2020 was £778 per month, down 28 per cent from a year ago when it was £1,083.

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However, as an indication of what’s to come in future, the portal points out that in December 2020 - just two months ago - its ARPA had bounced back up to a record £1,103, as the housing market recovered and agents piled in to publicise properties during the stamp duty holiday buying frenzy. 

Rightmove also says this morning that over one million UK residential properties advertised on it during 2020 - up around 11 per cent on the previous year - and traffic to the site during the course of 2020 recorded 2.1 billion visits, compared with 1.6 billion in 2019. 

The average time on site - another key indicator of how much Rightmove can charge, measured on consumer use - rose from 12.1 billion minutes in 2019 to 15.9 billion minutes last year. 

Over the year as a whole the pandemic hit some of the portal’s headline figures hard.

Revenue was down 29 per cent “reflecting the impact of the discount support offered to our customers for the period April to September 2020” says this morning’s trading statement.

Operating profit was £135.1m, down 37 per cent, with the final dividend cancelled. 

The portal remains upbeat in its message to its shareholders, however.

It says: “In 2021, we believe agents will continue to leverage our extensive suite of property advertising solutions to compete effectively and efficiently for new listings. Currently, we expect ARPA to increase from the December 2020 level at a rate of growth towards that seen in 2019. 

“We will continue to closely manage our operating costs, although some of the short-term reductions seen in 2020 will reverse, and we will return to more usual levels of investment in our offering.

“Whilst there is clearly still significant macro uncertainty, with record traffic levels, a strong product suite and our ongoing commitment to delivering more innovation, the board is confident in the resilience of our business and the outlook for 2021 and beyond.”

Meanwhile in a separate statement this morning, Rightmove has revealed its busiest ever day - Wednesday February 17 - when visits to the portal surpassed the previous record of July 8 2020 as the stamp duty holiday was first announced

Over 8.5m visits recorded on February 17, while the number of prospective buyers contacting agents in February so far is up by 22 per cent on last year. 

Rightmove also claims strong figures for its residential rental listings, overseas homes and commercial properties.

Rightmove’s property expert Tim Bannister says: “Despite all of the uncertainty right now, there are clear signs from buyers that they want to move home in the UK this year. 

“Our traffic levels are on a par with the mini-boom from last summer, and July’s busiest ever day last year has been replaced by a lockdown day in February. Now that we have some clarity on what the roadmap out of lockdown could look like we expect to see more people putting their home on the market. This should help open up more choice in the market to satisfy the strong buyer demand we’re seeing.”

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    I left Rightmove last year. Being candid, I was extremely nervous, my business having been on the portal for many years.
    Even given the pandemic, enquires and new business have remained constant, just increasing from other sources. Right now, I am delighted that I took the plunge. I have saved a 5 figure sum (so far) and would never go back. I would encourage all agents to do the same. Only then will RM wake up and smell the coffee.

  • edward apostolides

    I couldn't agree more with your statement John. By leaving RM all agents will realise is that they will save a small fortune by doing so. Most stay with them out of fear, and when they do take the plunge all realise their trepidation was unfounded.

  • Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

    Typically there are 1.1M to 1.2M completed sales a year, Rightmove often states that it has millions of visitors in a short period of time, as if this is a value proposition, clearly if it was then millions of sales and let properties would be resulting each month, and yet it is only 130,000 gross sales that are agreed nationally each month according to HMLR (and not all generated solely by the activities of Rightmove), which nets down to only around 100,000 completed sales.
    The point being, if you say I am great value because huge amounts of 'lookers' come to the site - but the underlying amount of stock being transacted is stationery as it has been for the last five years or more in the UK, then what VALUE does having all of these 'lookers' have for the agents who see annual price rises, some more than 10% on their base line charges.

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    Rightmove who are they?? been an agent for over 25 Years and only used them in 2007 for 15 months FREE at the time and then in 2017/18 for 18 months 50% discount for 6 months at £500 + vat then full tariff for the 6 months then with an increase to £1200 per month + VAT = £19,440 over 18 months we left and have saved at least £43,200 at this rate, doing better now than ever with two other portals, new tech and social media AND OTM is kicking it out the stadium with more business than we can cope with..

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    There are 160,000 employees within EA in UK. Most EA's visit portals to check listings of their stock to ensure all is correct, to check out new instructions/price reductions of other agents and get sold prices for comps etc. So not unreasonable to assume these 160,000 visit RM (as the largest portal) 3 or 4 times a day....so that could mean as many as 640,000 RM visits a day are agents NOT buyers....which is over 3 million visits a week / 1.56 billion a year from people who have no intention of buying/selling/letting/renting.....suddenly RM's figures don't look so impressive!

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