Boomin founder Michael Bruce has launched a forensic attack on rival Rightmove, criticising its huge profits, lack of tech investment and unhealthy dominance of the property portal market.
Bruce has made the comments on the morning that the portal reveals its latest results, claiming that its shareholders will be delighted by the firm’s return to ‘business as usual’ following its fees suspension, which ended in October.
As The Neg reported recently, Rightmove has returned to increasing its monthly fees even though, Bruce claims, its agents face a choppy business environment this year as the stamp duty holiday ends and the real state of the economy is revealed post-Covid.
“The property portal market has been broken for the past decade, lacking meaningful competition,” he says in an open letter.
“Rightmove is an example of market failure. By its own admission it has a market share approaching 90%. Impressive? The consequences for now and into the future are anything but.
“And Rightmove’s profits don’t reflect the housing market. Between 2008 and 2019 the volume of annual housing transactions has fallen 27% – while their average estate agent customer has been hit with fee hikes totalling some 350%.”
Bruce also blasts Rightmove for its lack of investment in new tech; £14 million over the past decade while at the same time making a profit of £1.3 billion.
Bruce claims that without ‘meaningful competition’ – a sideswipe at Zoopla and OTM – Rightmove will continue to increase its fees.
“Continuous innovation and fair competition are essential for any properly functioning market and for the good of the estate agency industry that we all serve,” he says, claiming – unsurprisingly – that Boomin has the marketing and financial muscle to take on Rightmove.