It said that its rating is not about competition but “the breakdown of a relationship”.
It goes on:
“Rightmove long ago departed its agency-backed agency roots, leveraged its first-mover status, drove the wave of secular migration to digital marketing and has built what is today a massive lead on user traffic.
“This huge gravitational pull has kept UK estate agents in an orbit of inexorable price rises that long ago outstripped any increased functionality of the platform.
“This schism is now being exposed.”
The report by Jefferies, which initiates its coverage of Rightmove, to investors says that it sees a high risk of sustained agency churn.
“It is really only the agent’s fear of losing an instruction from not being on Rightmove that holds back the churn.
“The greatest threat to Rightmove is therefore collective action across the estate agency industry to communally break free of what has been described as ‘an abusive relationship’.”
The report says that protesting agents could move to OnTheMarket or Zoopla, “despite their shortcomings”.
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