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Graham Awards


Rightmove wins! Hundreds of millions wasted trying to beat it - claim

One of the world’s leading analysts of portals has warned Boomin, OnTheMarket and others challenging Rightmove - millions have been spent so far on the attempt, but all efforts have failed badly.

In a critique of how challenger portals try to beat Rightmove - and similar attempts in the US to try to overtake number one portal Zillow - Mike DelPrete suggests there is almost zero chance of success.

DelPrete is former head of strategy at a New Zealand portal and a long-standing analyst of online agencies and portal in many western countries.


In his latest blog he says: “Attempting to directly compete with market-leading property portals is an incredibly difficult proposition, with success unlikely.”

He suggests the challenge is not to get agents to list - many portals have been successful at this - but the real mountain to climb is building traffic and brand awareness, once a market leader has dominance as great as Rightmove in the UK and Zillow in the US. 

DelPrete puts it this way: “The primary value a real estate portal provides its customers is exposure to the most potential homebuyers and homesellers.”

He continues: “Through the years, the top portals have maintained their lead against billion-dollar, multinational media organizations, industry-backed, publicly listed upstarts such as OnTheMarket vs. Rightmove and private-equity backed #2’s such as Zoopla vs. Rightmove.”

“Hundreds of millions of dollars have been thrown against the top portals for years with no effect on their dominant position whatsoever.”

DelPrete often comments on the UK portal and agency landscape, and you can subscribe to his mailing list here.

  • Chris Arnold

    "The primary value a portal provides its customers is exposure to the most homebuyers and homesellers."

    A value that agents don't need! They don't need the most eyeballs on a listing, they need the right eyeballs and evidence shows they're usually located within each community.

    There are great examples of agents joining together to form their own community portal and there's the option of becoming such a well-known brand in the community that buyers seek your agency out, before they seek out the portal. Too much like hard work though, for many agents that are happy to have their listing compete with every other property in that price bracket.

    Rightmove have succeeded with the support of agents, to the extent that other portals have no chance in replacing them. What's needed isn't another portal - what's needed is the realisation that there is something different available to any portal. Something that the agent will own and which ultimately will become an asset.

  • Mark Walmsley

    Spot on Chris Arnold. However and tragically, as long as RM exists then agents will continue to use "NOT ON RM" as the first stick to bash the brave agent with.

    The public's awareness of RM is so great its a tall order to persuade "against" it when it does create the most "eyeballs".

    I've always believed "why market your home to the world", when in a certain demographic certainly, the right buyer lives within walking distance anyway.

  • Hit Man

    Agents got a wake up call at the beginning of this pandemic and unfortunately most pressed the snooze and fell back asleep, OTM had the best concept with the one other portal rule and now Zoopla have adopted the same rule, the only way to secure your own business is to work with other agents and JUST LEAVE Rightmove. Unfortunately Boomin are a lost cause agents just don't trust them not to change their path and once they realise that a new PB will be born.

  • Proper Estate Agent

    He's missed the point - Rightmove will eventually sink Righmove through arrogance and lack of regard for their fee payers. Any agent with an IQ over 10 would ditch their bolt on products which would take 1/3rd off rightmove's bottom line overnight.


    Agree but how much longer are agents going to wait?

  • Matthew Gardiner Legge

    Still struggling with the anti RM attitude. RM does the very simple job of providing a popular, easy to use platfom that puts almost every property in the UK in front of buyers and potential buyers.

    Agents no longer have to agonise over competing with fellow agents over who has the most pages in the local (very expensive) rag/magazine and the reality is - although few would admit it - that a high street office is not really a necessity. With RM and Zoopla the pre-digital age problem of reaching buyers is more or less solved and - with all the advances in proptech - the industry needs to switch focus from volume selling to quality selling. And that is happening with the re-emergence of small independents and the self employed model.

  • Dharmesh Mistry

    I disagree with the article, consumers move so infrequently that advertising matters and reminding customers there's an alternative is important for a low consumer engagement proposition like a portal.
    However a high engagement model can counter this much more effectively and this is where Boomin and Zoopla want to be.

  • Welsh  Cynic

    Rightmove will continue to be monopolistic as long as all the stronger agents in any area support it. Take their properties away, (which will sell anyway in a buoyant market) and the public will soon learn that they have to look elsewhere for them or miss out. Once that 'back has been broken' a much more even playing field will be laid out. There is a lot to be said for those agents (plus any others that would like to come with them) to set up their own joint portal for their own catchment. That is after all where people are looking, it is irrelevant what is happening in other parts of the country. This is being done already and can easily be replicated.

  • Edmond Ibrahimi

    Rightmove vs Agents ( and new portals) has become a Latin telenovela in the UK.

    Many have tried to sit in the iron throne of Rightmove and have successfully failed so far.


    Mainly because all contenders come to fight with 'old armies' and bring almost 0 change to buyers or renters kingdom. No one will bother to change their king when he is a copy-paste the older one.

    Buyer/Renters get to chose who reigns their lands, and every new contender needs to think of them before thinking of offering cheap fees to estate agents.

    Only genuine innovative products that benefit buyers and renters will force Rightmove to update its product ( plus drop handsome fees) and help all parties in the property world.

    Like things stand now, good luck to every agent, especially in cities, to get instructed if the owner knows his property is not going on Rightmove.


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