Rightmove one of the top ten UK property portals, introduced its data quality programme back in December of last year, and since its launch, it has successfully vetted and removed out-of-date listings at an equivalent daily rate of 1,000 sales and lettings properties per day in its first six months of operation.
Rightmove Director Miles Shipside comments: “While some websites are looking to boost the number of properties they display, quality as well as quantity of information gives a site true credibility. Properties that have been let some time ago or sales that have already been completed are misleading if they are left online and highly frustrating for home-hunters. Out of date stock has persistently been one of the main topics of complaint when it comes to online property advertising, so improving data quality has always been on Rightmove’s radar.”
Rightmove’s data quality team uses a variety of tools to detect out-of-date listings. Properties listed for sale are matched against Land Registry records to check if they are sold and completed. They are also removed if they have been listed as ‘Sold Subject To Contract’ for over six months. In lettings a similar check is in place to remove properties listed as ‘Let Agreed’ for longer than six weeks. The data quality team also acts on listing and data quality queries sent in by agents and consumers.
“Ensuring the listings on our site are kept up-to-date is also very important from a competitor analysis point of view as a lot of agents rely on Rightmove’s web data to get an accurate overview of their local market via RightmovePlus and the Agent Competitor analysis tool,” commented Shipside.
In addition to Rightmove’s internal data quality detection, a new ‘spotted an error’ notification service was also introduced last year which has seen just under 750 emails a month sent directly to agents from consumers to ask for corrected data. 16% of these emails are regarding imagery and floorplans, with a further 12% sent to query a property’s ‘property type’ definition.
Shipside adds: “The steady level of ‘spotted an error’ emails being sent underlines how important accurate listings are to home-hunters. The data we are collecting from this correspondence means we can share insights with agents on which areas of their property advertising they should concentrate on and improve.”
Back in January of 2010, rightmove.co.uk conducted a similar data quality programme, and at that time removing over 50,000 'for sale' properties, which had been cross-referenced with the Land Registry to reveal they had already been sold. With this second wave of quality control, the company is confirming its committed to maintaining accuracy on its webiste.