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Pay Per Viewing - silence on number and identity of agencies involved

The platform behind a controversial proposal to charge prospective buyers and renters £30 or more to view a property on the market is remaining tight-lipped over whether any agents have backed the idea.

Last weekend ViewRabbit made a splash with a story in The Times saying that it wanted to monetise the time given by agents to showing clients around properties, as well as deterring tyre-kickers and local curious neighbours. 

It requests that agents and their vendor and landlord clients honour paid-for viewings even if a strong offer is received for the property before the paid-for appointment has taken place.


Since the launch the concept appears to have hit substantial opposition. 

A poll on Linkedin run by Matt Hoy, director of estate agency at Bradley Hall, is reported by The Negotiator to have 88 per cent against the concept and only 12 per cent for.

A poll run on a story earlier this week on Estate Agent Today attracted 82 per cent against, 13 per cent suggesting it was worth a pilot exercise, and only five per cent definitely in favour.

One of the government-approved redress organisations - Property Redress Services - has suggested charging prospective tenants may be in contravention of the Tenant Fees Act.

ViewRabbit says it participation in its scheme is by invitation to agents. 

EAT has asked ViewRabbit if it could give any information on the agents involved in any testing so far. Specifically, we requested the numbers and names of branches who have accepted any invitation - but there has been no response from ViewRabbit.

At the weekend one agency was identified by the platform itself as being a user - LeaderFox in Poole, Dorset, whose owner was quoted as saying “around one in five tenants fail to show up to their viewing” - but that agency has also declined to respond to our enquiry. 

  • Simon Bradbury


  • Mike Riley

    We could not be happier with the response we have had from agents directly and the words of advice from very senior agency figures whom we highly respect.

    ViewRabbit and the agents working with us are developing a "seed of scale" rather than sowing our field right this second.

    Getting it right, rather than big over the next few weeks is our primary focus.

    Sometimes we will be public about what we are testing and other times it will ruin the experiment if we are. As frustrating as this may be for the press and non-testing agents.

    We form all hypothesis with the belief that both the agent and the consumer needs to benefit.

    Sadly, the industry has never been able to shake off a poor reputation. We've all seen the raised eyebrow or heard the wisecrack when we tell people what we do for a living. We believe the system, not the agents, is at fault and we are developing technology and consumer propositions to aid pioneering agents to fix it.

    That is going to mean staring some sacred cows in the eye and pulling the trigger. It will be uncomfortable, baffling and infuriating at times. But, that's what needs to happen.

    The first of these is the existing free viewing process. A one size fits all solution for millions of people. Many of whom are not getting the ease and comfort of being treated fairly that they would like. Our view is that additional paid options with a different service promise attached will be welcomed by many of them.

    If we don't do this, a less agent-centric platform will, because the consumer is not a happy bunny.

    Join us on Twitter or see the ViewRabbit website for unedited updates.


    no thanks

    Roger  Mellie

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  • Vilesh Rew

    Mike Riley, you probably should stop talking now. I once read the line, "Every word you utter diminishes the overall intelligence of our species", and becoming the subject of that quote is not desirable, I would imagine? Just re-read what you write back to yourself every once and a while and maybe, just maybe, you'll start to realise how the rest of us perceive you. And remember, agents' "BS Detectors" are more sensitive than most.

  • icon

    .. .. as well as deterring tyre-kickers and local curious neighbours. "
    The first half of that is easily dealt with - trained agents should know how to ditch the tyre kickers. 'Local curious neighbours' ? They are our lifeblood and we actively encourage 'local curious neighbours' to view - of course we do - without them you don't have a business.

    Matthew Payne

    You have to wonder if those agents that sign up actually measure or understand how much of their turnover is derived from chain building and local VIP activity, or perhaps some agents don't do it.

  • Richard Copus

    Pay to view, charging buyers high fees - all this is the result of reducing seller's commissions to peanuts over the years. The residential sector of our industry is in a complete mess and needs some neuro linguistic programming fast!

  • Roger  Mellie

    People like "free".


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