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Leading estate agent slams Rightmove for its ‘belligerence’ on fees negotiation

Steve Wayne of Benjamin Stevens says he's not surprised many agents are trying out the challenger portals, but says Boomin stands the only real chance of success.

Nigel Lewis

stevens estate agent

A leading estate agent MD in London has criticised Rightmove for its attitude to his agency and said that Boomin has a real chance of disrupting the portal.

Steve Wayne, who runs estate agent firm Benjamin Stevens, says he’s unhappy about how the portal has been ‘belligerent’ in the way it has refused to engage with his agency about pricing or negotiate on fees.

“While we appreciate what they did for us over lockdown, we haven’t spoken to any of our reps for the last six months and that this cannot continue,” says.

“It comes as no surprise to me that there are a few challengers coming onto the market.

“The problem with that is there suddenly seems to be more and more challengers but none of them really stand out individually as strong competition to challenge Rightmove.

“The industry really needs to just one of those challengers for it to really make a difference and impact on Rightmove’s dominance.”

Wayne says he’s been shown Boomin, which is due to launch any moment, and he believes they are trying to do ‘something different’.

“With the money you would expect the Bruce brothers to put behind it, and if they can use their marketing and know-how from the Purplebricks days, perhaps they can really make an impact.

“Ultimately, it’ll come down to what consumers and not estate agents think.”

Football legend

Wayne made the comments after speaking on a national Leaders Council podcast alongside football legend Geoff Hurst, which brings business and other sector leaders together online.

Steve adds: “I was delighted to be involved in this podcast. Over the last 12 months working within the property industry has felt like a rollercoaster ride, and I was privileged to demonstrate how we navigated those highs and lows. We hope it is listened to as widely as possible.”

Listen to the podcast here

October 9, 2020

7 comments

  1. For all the doubters…
    Well this is the end of the 1st “no RM “week and we are going cold turkey….
    I wanted to tell you we are doing ok although it seems a tad quieter, maybe unconnected just a slow down in our area.
    HOWEVER I thought this might be of interest
    We listed a flat to rent on our page, Zooplas and thenothern postals we upload too yesterday about 5.31pm
    We were given the keys around mid afternoon yesterday
    In fairness we had had the instruction in the past but we re-instructed as sole agent after a refurbishment
    We managed to re-take new photos and re-list the property later in the afternoon
    The 1st enquiries started coming through from Zoopla (ok and 1 from OneDome) 10 mins later
    We had about 3-4 more soon after and again this morning
    Appointments were made for today and early this afternoon a deposit was paid at the full rent and the letting agreed around 430pm this afternoon
    Less than 24 hours after instructions and only with Zooplas help!!
    Im not sure we have done one quite that quickly before even when we listed on “they who shall be nameless” portal
    So for all those who are worried…dont be…there is a world beyond RM

  2. What do you expect? Rightmove feel they are in a strong position, they won’t give a carrot. I don’t quite get the comment “The problem .. is that … none of [the challengers] really stand out individually as strong competition to … Rightmove.” I’m glad to see he is on OnTheMarket (OTM) and it would be interesting to see how their stats compare to ours, but I know that with our company we get more enquiries and sell more properties through (OTM) than we do through Rightmove. But OTM is well supported in our area; I think I am right in saying the majority of agents in our area are on it. Perhaps that’s the key folks.

  3. My assumption is that Steve also reduced his fees by 60% for six months…

    That aside, the closing line is the most important part of this article. If you want a car chances are you check AutoTrader, making a purchase – probably look at Amazon, selling something – start with Ebay.

    Right Move is very much in the public psyche. It’s ingrained. Most can identify Right Move but would struggle to name all their local estate agents.

  4. Nothing will ever change if estate agents themselves don’t make a change. How can any of you moan about Rightmove if you are still subscribing to them 🙂 grow some balls!

  5. Totally agree with another leading NW London Independent agent. Well said Steve

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