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New agent group takes on Rightmove over its ‘derisory’ Coronavirus offer

Over 80 agents representing in excess of 150 branches so far have jointly written to the portal to ask for more help than its deferred payments scheme.

Nigel Lewis

rightmove

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 and his partner in the enterprise, Alan Goldin of Alan Goldin Estates, were then told on Tuesday night to ‘hold fire’ as an announcement was imminent, which was duly revealed yesterday morning.

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.

March 19, 2020

13 comments

  1. Hi to all
    Thanks again for the response and kind comments
    We are overburdend with emails and have set up a FB page to group all together

    PLEASE sign up to this link https://www.facebook.com/estateagencyunion/ as this is where we will start to post and send messages

    Its much easier than emailing over 300 !

  2. We have just withdrawn our 2 offices from Rightmove and will NEVER RETURN. YOU MUST BE MAD to stay with them. The West Wales agents all refused to join and thrive without the extortion of charges to list their own properties!!If anyone is searching for Estate Agents and their properties in their preferred postcodes they will find them on a quick Google search. Or better still with OTM which is agent owned and far better leads and service and we get a say on charges. The shares of OTM are a massive BUY at present in my personal view. Rightmoves days are OVER and good riddance.

  3. To all the agents connecting to me, I have major sending issues so please do not think I am being rude in not replying.
    I have sent our response to the offer.

  4. THANKS TO ALL WHO HAVE RESPONDED.
    I have been swamped by emails that I cannot now send a group email.
    I am about to send our response and will post it here.
    Alan Goldin has had a call from the CEO of RM – he will be emailing soon.

    • Just received from Robert Sargent
      Fellow property professional,

      I wanted to thank you for your comments and feedback on the recent news stories surrounding Rightmove.

      For years I’ve been very vocal about Rightmove’s attitude to the hands that feed it, but their tone-deaf response to the Covid-19 pandemic compelled me to shout louder.

      Like you, no doubt, I’m concerned for the future of my business, and Rightmove is one of our primary monthly expenses after staff. While portals do serve a purpose, I have always maintained that they aren’t as essential as they seem to think they are. It’s people who sell properties, not portals.

      With this in mind, I asked my team to setup a campaign called “Say No To Rightmove”. The aim of which is not to boycott Rightmove completely, but convince them to see the truth which is staring them in the face, that their long term survival depends on us, and by not extending a full payment holiday to agents, they’re shooting themselves in the foot, as well as dooming many agents to closure.

      If you feel the same way I do, please take a few moments to visit and put your details in at: https://no-to-rightmove.webflow.io. I implore you to share the link with other like-minded property individuals in your area.

      By standing together, we have a louder voice that hopefully the consistently stubborn Rightmove will listen to.

      Kind regards, and best of luck to you and your staff.

      Robert Sargent
      Chief Executive Officer, Acorn Group

      Please access the link and sign up

  5. Rightmove completely shot themselves in the foot yesterday. Looks like they may lose thousands of customers as a result of their poorly thought out deferred payment offer. This is a chance for estate agencies to take charge and be pro-active in producing leads using other ling term strategies rather than solely relying on property portals. I predict a big shake-up!

  6. Rightmove’s greed and arrogance knows no bounds. We handed our notice in last month and leave at the end of March, we get many more and much better quality leads from OTM. Good luck if you want to stay, but start planning for an ever spiralling fee structure.

  7. This is me!
    Can I point out Im in Golders Green, (not Hampstead as such)

    And our letter has not ben sent yet hopefully today

    We have actually grown overnight to some 80/90 names with 100’s of branches

  8. Murray Lee and many other agents need to ask themselves what does it actually cost to list properties on property portal, especially when there are so many free to list portals, PropertyHeads for instance?

    If a company makes 70% profit, then the cost to list I amm guessing is a fraction f the typical agent spend of £1,100, if agents knew the actual cost … well maybe you should ask. After all you are the ones supplying the property stock for free that Rightmove lists.

    Many agents I feel only stay with Rightmove out of fear – fear other agents will tell vendors they are not on Rightmove. This is the problem of the Rightmove abusive relationship.

    Now though, Rightmove are faced with a new consumer a digital tapping, new breed of vendors and landlords, who do not care where an agent lists, they care about the level of service they receive and if the agent in front of them is a good one. They look on their mobile to make transaction decisions, they are forever on social media, they do not go on Rightmove to choose which agent to use.

    Just as the Newspapers used to have an abusive hold over agents, the internet is actually now enfranchising agents, who have choices, spend thousands listing instructions on Rightmoves digital shelves or use that budget to build your brand and business.

    Agents take a look around, all the brands in other industries who are performing to their peak – why are they doing so well? Answer – They have a massive social media presence, they do not spend a majority of their ‘marketing budget’ doing what the competition do – listing on a trade site.

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