It’s fair to say that the momentum behind the Say No To Rightmove campaign in the UK seems to have petered out somewhat in recent months since agents in the country have been able to sell homes again. According to one of the group’s leaders, Paul Davies from Home Estates, this is largely due to members’ increased workloads and a desire to “make hay while the sun shines” during the unexpected property boom being experienced in the market.
In an engaging interview with industry commentator Christopher Watkin, the agent campaigner revealed that unlike some other figureheads of the group he has handed in his notice with Rightmove and has been upping spend on social media and challenger portals to compensate for the lead generation that his Rightmove membership was bringing his business.
Davies feels that a lot of agents are sitting on the fence and waiting for others to leave the market-leading portal to see how their business fares and that the industry suffers from a lot of “antagonism and kicking other agents when they’re down mentality” which might be stopping agencies mounting a real challenge to Rightmove hegemony.
Reflecting what is undoubtedly the view of many agents around the world, Davies claimed that the large “shareholder lead” portals around the world are looking to “eat us alive”, an apparent sign that Zillow’s move to hire salaried agents has not just shaken the agent community in the states but overseas as well. He went on to say that Rightmove would probably give large corporate agencies “sweetheart deals” while squeezing smaller independent firms such as his to recoup some of their lockdown losses.
Even for those not involved in the UK market, the interview is an interesting case study as it represents a microcosm of the relationships between dominating portals around the world and their divided agent customer base.
Elsewhere in the UK, the challenger portal Boomin continues its PR offensive with another 10 agency sign-ups taking its total to 56 agencies including some big-name corporates who have opted for the fledgling portal’s equity option. The portal is the brainchild of Kenny and Michael Bruce who were previously best known for being the founders of UK-based fixed-rate agency Purple Bricks.