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Estate agency quits high street AND Rightmove in same week

PDQ Estates in Cornwall says end of its branch's lease is an ideal opportunity to 'go hybrid' and that Rightmove rates are no longer economically viable.

Nigel Lewis

Cornish estate agent PDQ Estates is to close its branch in Helston and has quit Rightmove, its managing director Chris Wood has revealed.

PDQ has been trading for 18 years from the address but Wood says that, after its lease came up for renegotiation, he decided to enact a long-planned strategy to take his business off the high street into action.

The 51-year-old says much of his agency’s work is now done remotely on the road, on social media or at home and that this is a “logical move for our clients”.

“If you know your local area well, know your job well, why in today’s world of social media, 3D and 4K photography, must you have a high street presence?” he says.

“Whilst I will undoubtedly lose some business from more traditional sellers, I am confident I will be able to more than offset this  in other ways.”

PDQ is the third well-known agency to abandon the high street in recent months following both Orchards in London and national agency Humberts.

Wood’s company has only ever operated one branch but his profile has been somewhat larger than his business. He helped Tesco develop its hybrid model during the mid-noughties, and has been a vocal critic of Purplebricks within his blogs and on social media, and disagreed with the NAEA publicly over the ways its presidential elections are conducted.

The company also recently had two complaints about one of Woods’  blogs on his company website upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Wood says he is a supporter of “all business models, as long as they trade honestly, within the rules and don’t make claims they can’t substantiate”.

PDQ has also been offline on Rightmove for a week, Wood has revealed, claiming that the “deal agents have had from Rightmove has been a bad one for several years now and its simply uneconomical to continue at the current rate so, as it stands at the moment, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a no deal.” The company advertises its listings via OnTheMarket.com.

 

February 4, 2019

3 comments

  1. Interesting to read Julian’s comments above. Surely as the Tenant Fees ban comes into play, and profit margins for letting agents will be squeezed even tighter, suppliers (such as RM) should be working with their clients and trying to support them? Putting up RM fees will only drive clients away, or worst case scenario, into the ground. As a referencing company, we are holding our prices for the 8th year running, as we have been able to negotiate a price freeze with our own suppliers etc as well as increasing commissions on insurance products purchased. A win win for all. Why pass on increased fees to struggling agents who are still coming to terms with the loss of much revenue already ?? The mind boggles …

  2. I only said last week after we received out annual BS letter from rightmove saying they are increasing their fees by 17.7% that we will leave, starting with lettings. We have advertised on OnTheMarket.com our lettings before putting them on rightmove and have dozens of enquiries, so will leave Lettings first, then sales. We now get an equal amount of enquires from both. Greed will be the end of Rightmove, and good riddance.

    • Well said Julian. I cannot believe that RM is increasing their fees by such a huge amount! Surely, in light of the recent Tenant Fees ban, all suppliers should be working with their clients and supporting the current situation. Whether it’s stationery, agency boards, inventories, RM advertising etc, how do they think some agencies will survive? I fear that some will fold completely, which is sad. As a referencing provider, we have frozen our fees for the 8th year running, as we have managed to negotiate another price freeze with our own suppliers. We are also trying to help our clients further by introducing increased commissions on all insurance leads too. Win win for all concerned. As a last thought, all suppliers/business partnerships should be trying to help their clients to look after every penny, as this is key to all businesses succeeding. RM is being extremely greedy and totally not showing any commercial empathy with their clients. As you say “Greed will be the end of Rightmove, and good riddance”.

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