A group of 80 estate agents from across the UK have joined together to ask Rightmove for more help, led by two well-known North London estate agency industry figures.
Murray Lee of Golders Green agency Dreamview Estates (pictured, above), who has been in the business for nearly 50 years, says he and several other local agents decided to form the group a few days ago after failing to gain much sympathy from their local Rightmove rep.
As well as over a dozen London firms, the group also includes agents in Barnstaple, Norwich, Diss, Clacton-on-Sea, Walton-on-Thames, Manchester, Stanmore, Leicester, Liverpool, Bolton, Surrey, Hertfordshire, Cheshire, Cambridgeshire and Devon.
The group includes both independent agents as well as franchisees from several high-profile national chains.
These agencies, which represent in excess of 150 branches and whose numbers are growing by the hour, originally planned to approach Rightmove ‘en-masse’ to ask for a holiday from payment due to the ‘viral disruption’.
Lee says that the ‘deferred payment’ scheme offered by Rightmove yesterday has gone down like a ‘lead balloon’ among the group’s members.
“I have heard from two sources that RM have been bombarded with complaints and withdrawals already and there is a rumour of a further response to follow,” he says.
The group is planning to write to Rightmove about its ‘poor and derisory’ offer and that ‘Rightmove doesn’t understand the true impact of what this virus could do to our business and our economy’.
The letter also describes the portal’s ‘qualifying agent’ ruling as ridiculous.
Several agents within the group say they have already informed Rightmove of their intention to quit, while others have said they will take the same action unless Rightmove offers them more help in the coming days.
Agent interested on joining the group should contact Murray Lee on 020 8455 0055 or email him.
Despite the furore, Rightmove is today running an online seminar for agents on how to cope with Coronavirus.