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Estate agent blogger accuses competitors of using banned online marketing tricks

Allegations about mainly lettings agents made by blogger have been picked up by national media over the weekend.

Nigel Lewis

An anonymous estate agent has launched a blog that claims to lift the lid on some of the dubious practices employed by agents in the capital and that over the weekend gained coverage in several national newspapers including The Times, The Sun and Daily Mail.

Called Dodgy London Agents, the blog is written by a sales and lettings employee who claims to have worked in the industry for 15 years and reveals their experience “at first hand” of how the industry “routinely breaks the rules when advertising properties mainly in lettings but also in sales”.

The blogger claims a range of dishonest online marketing practices which break Advertising Standards Authority rules are widespread in London from corporate to one-branch independent level.

Online advertising

This includes not removing properties after they have let, listing properties that do not exist, relisting old stock as new and relisting properties as reduced when they are not, also known as portal juggling.

The blog has been running for two weeks and includes posts that claim to have spotted fake price reductions on Rightmove in several central London postcodes and that the listing of fake properties in order to make letting agencies look busier than they are is now an ‘established practice’.

Purplebricks is also criticised by the writer who claims to have spotted many fake price reductions within its listings on the main portals for rented properties.

In an article published by The Times, the company said it was “disappointed to see these isolated examples, which are a tiny proportion of the thousands of changes made by Purplebricks and our customers every day”.

April 1, 2019

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