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Jonathan Newall
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my expertise in the industry

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Jonathan  Newall
Russell has got a very good point. It wouldn’t take much to break Rightmove. If they were to lose, say, 20% of the listings, the public would look at Zoopla or OnTheMarket instead. The public are quite fickle when it comes to web browsing, so if they’re not seeing what they want on Rightmove, they’ll soon learn to look elsewhere. Every one of the Rightmove customers I speak to feels they are being charged extortionate rates. From the shareholder report published in March 2019 and a quick calculation, the cost of running Rightmove works out to around £262 for every branch, with the rest of your fees being pure profit for the shareholders. The ‘average’ spend per branch was £1088, so they are marking up by a factor of around 410%. What ever happened to the concept of charging a fair price for a product or service? Our own Rightmove bill was set to jump by 43% from 1st January, so we made the bold decision to ditch Rightmove altogether. I was slightly concerned that our customers might change agents, but so far, I’ve not lost one instruction. My approach has been to tell the clients exactly what Rightmove charge us and how the rates have gone up this year. I’ve used the annual figures, which really hit home. I’ve been amazed how supporting our clients have been. They’re as disgusted as ourselves. There is no doubt that estate agent fees are being inflated unnecessarily to pay for Rightmove and the other portals. In this digital age, advertising a property should be much cheaper than in the days of the newspapers. Sadly, I don’t think that is the case. If you add up the fees you spend on all the portals and divide by the number of completions in 2019, the figure is not going to look pretty. In our own branch, it worked out to around £500 including VAT per property. This equates to terrible value for the consumer. Quite why the CMA haven’t got involved is beyond me. I can’t agree more that Rightmove is walking a tightrope and could very easily fall with a little push from a number of agents. If you bite the hand that feeds you, you could well end up very hungry!

From: Jonathan Newall 09 January 2020 10:40 AM

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