As we reported on Monday, British market-leading portal Rightmove has extended the discounts given to its agent customers through to October. The portal faced criticism before extending the discount as some in the industry questioned whether Rightmove was delaying to try to keep paying agent numbers high for its next report to the stock market. Rightmove is now facing criticism on the other side of its announcement as agent pressure group SayNoToRightmove says the company has simply kicked the can down the road.
In a statement released yesterday evening the group appeared to claim credit for Rightmove’s extension of the discount period and admonished the portal’s leadership for not entering into dialogue with customers directly:
“We have achieved significant short term discounts from Rightmove. Neither the first four-month discount nor the most recent two-month discount working back towards full tariff have been voluntarily given. Furthermore, at no stage have Rightmove directly addressed their customers - UK estate agents”
The statement goes on to make reference to Rightmove’s admission that it has lost some paying advertisers recently and says that the issue of fair pricing has merely been delayed:
“Will the 600 agents that have left Rightmove thus far this year turn into 1,000 by the end of June, and even more between now and the end of September?...Unless we have missed something, the issue has not gone away. Reading between the lines, the only promise we can see from Rightmove is that 2021 (or before) will see a return to full tariff and beyond.”
If Rightmove thought that Monday’s announcement would placate the pressure groups pushing for fairer pricing, it seems that they were wrong. The portal group must now walk the tightrope of keeping as many paying customers on the books as possible while showing the market that there is still scope somewhere to increase revenue.