The Say No To Rightmove Campaign, an agent lead initiative to pressure the portal to adopt a fairer pricing model, yesterday released a highly anticipated report to its member agents in which it assessed the property portal situation in the UK and laid out its advice. The report cites a multitude of conversations that author Rob Sargeant has had with stakeholders across the industry as well as feedback from members of the 3,300 branch-strong movement in reaching its conclusions:
Rightmove is using PR around its ongoing marketing campaign to remain market leader whilst offering special discounts to bigger agencies to keep them quiet.
The big agencies' interests “appear to be served by the status quo or even a return to the duopoly”. Even so, many of the big players are “supportive of the aims of SNTRM” but cannot support the movement whilst under contract with Rightmove.
Expects quick growth of challenger portals and more competition in the market.
Zoopla’s loss of agents to OnTheMarket in 2015 helped it become more competitive and reposition itself.
“Rightmove is the most vulnerable it has been for many years” due to inventory loss.
Although if Zoopla is given more power it could be a similar threat to smaller agencies, Sergeant says Zoopla’s statement that it would not pursue this strategy is “considered and sincere”.
The advice for agents at the end of the report is nuanced and acknowledges that not all agencies are in the same position. The general advice for smaller agents is to list on Zoopla, support OnTheMarket and leave Rightmove. Interestingly, the other piece of advice is for agents to invest in their own branding and adopt new tech as much as possible to take power away from portals.
It remains to be seen just how many agencies leave Righmove when the discounted fee period elapses on the 1st of August and if this will pose a serious threat to the portal’s market dominance.