Sean Newman is Chairman of Rugby-based Newman Property Experts and a partner of Fine & Country’s activities in the Midlands; he is also an advocate of the ‘associate’ model of estate agent, working with the support of a centralized hub.
But he recognizes that in a market with rising costs for agents, there is a need to maximize competition to existing services such as the major portals.
“I recognize that Rightmove has done and is doing a fantastic job. No one had heard of it 20 years ago when it started and now it’s dominant. But it now presents two problems to the industry.
“Firstly it could be said to be abusing its dominance by its increasing fees. Secondly, and this isn’t Rightmove’s fault, but it’s made some agents lazy because they think if they just list something on the portal it’s job done - that means they’ve become little more than Purplebricks."
— Sean Newman
However, he believes that Facebook Marketplace could become a genuine rival to Rightmove - and it’s free for agents to use.
“Anyone setting up a rival to Rightmove has an almost impossible task to get public awareness and spend enough on marketing, but that’s not the case with Facebook: it’s already known to everyone and isn’t going to close down anytime soon,” argues Newman.
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