The four ‘rebel’ estate agents leading the effort to bring Rightmove under control have called for agents to come together and collectively face down the portal, bring it under control and, if it won’t reduce its fees, leave.
This quartet includes Murray Lee from Agents’ Union, Paul Davies from Boycott Rightmove, David Thomas from Revolution Estate Agency 2020 and Rob Sargent from Say No To Rightmove. The four spell out why they have come together and what their plan is during a video available to watch for the first time on The Negotiator.
It is also revealed during the discussions that Zoopla has offered to give agents a further four months’ free use of its portal if they come off Rightmove, on top of the existing five-month deal announced recently.
It’s clear during the video that Rightmove’s mistaken decision to offer deferred fees was the catalyst for so many estate agents to come together.
And all four make it clear that if it was not for Coronavirus, they wouldn’t have the time to do this, although they have only three months to get weaving before Rightmove starts charging full fees again.
“There is a core of agents who have already left or are waiting to come out of contract, but most are sitting on the side-lines to see what happens, but supporting us,” says Paul Davies.
“Too many organisations like Rightmove rely on the property industry being fragmented; if we come together collectively then we can bring Rightmove under control, pay a fair fee and change their arrogant ways.”
Murray Lee points out how for him Rightmove’s fees have leapt from £250 a month in 2004 to £1,600 a month.
“We don’t want to destroy Rightmove; we want to rebalance the relationship in every way and get a fair deal for the value that the portal delivers,” he says.
David Thomas adds: “We’ve been treated badly by RM over the years and the deferred payments debacle was the final straw. It revealed what their true attitude to us was, and their lack of understanding about what we do.”
The group are also aware of Rightmove’s weaknesses – Paul Davies claims it will only take 10-15% of its stock to disappear for the spell over house hunters to be broken.
“The only way this is going to work is if we get the numbers and agents come together and act collectively,” says Rob Murray.
Watch the video