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Brutal battle of the ‘challenger portals’ hots up as Rightmove weakens

The five portals all claiming to offer estate agents an alternative to the Big Three are jostling for position as they sense Rightmove's weakness following the Coronavirus pandemic.

Nigel Lewis

property portals

Self-described ‘50% socialist, 50% capitalist’ portal ResidentialPeople has predicted that only two of the so-called challenger portals will make it through to join Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket, and that his will be one of them.

His claim is the latest salvo in the battle among the challenger portals to win sign-ups among agents and offer an alternative to the main portals.

The others players in this apparently well-funded growing tech-based sector include Homesearch, OpenBrix, PropertyHeads and OneDome.

All know there is an opportunity as estate agent displeasure with Rightmove grows following its Covid listings fees gaffe, years of aggressive cost increases and rise of groups such as Say No To Rightmove.

Set up 18 months ago as a global portal with a UK arm, its boss Chris May says he is working to a three to five year game plan.

Portals

“Even if we were the fifth biggest portal we’re still going to deliver good value to agents,” he says.

“I remain confident that, if we can get the agents onboard so that our subsequent inventory can compete with Rightmove and OTM, our ownership model USPs, and our SEO strategy will help us get where we need to go.

“It allows us to run a very slick operation while always guarding our agent’s interests.

“But look, I’m also not pretending to be a good Samaritan. If we can grow to the point where someone buys the portal for $1 billion, if the agents approve the sale, that’s £500 million for us, and another £500 million split between 7,000 agents.”

June 22, 2020

2 comments

  1. Rightmove share price 580p this morning down from 687p on Valentines day, 9,693 the amount of agents potentially switching to Homesearch who have yet to launch their portal 1st of July, Moovshack, Openbrix and PropertyHeads also opening their frontiers soon.
    With a phalanx of around 5,000 disgruntled, anti-Rightmove agents headed up by Robert Sargent, Murray Lee and David Thomas, I am not so sure that Rightmove will not be mortally wounded by their flagrant breach of agent’s trust.
    On the ‘socialist’ tag you could do a lot worse than contacting Chris May, who unlike Rightmove actually has some pretty enlightened views on how agents can control their future, and socialist is a broad term, one that does not always cover its political connotation.
    Maybe in a way this is the problem, many in agency have entrenched views, if they took the time to talk, collaborate and learn what is actually going on, they might run more efficient and profit making concerns.

  2. Rightmove share price at £58 this morning? No great sign of weakness then. Residential People? Socialist? Is this an April Fool?

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