The Say No To Rightmove campaign has this afternoon released a ten-page report that claims Rightmove is the most vulnerable it has been for many years.
The report also reveals that 3,300 branches representing 1,750 agents have so far joined up its ‘rebel’ campaign. This is in addition to the branches who have backed the other three campaigns also battling to loosen the portal’s grip on estate agents.
Rob Sargent, who is also CEO of 36-agency estate agency The Acorn Group, says he has spent recent weeks privately canvassing all the players in the market.
This includes Rightmove, Zoopla, OTM and both small, medium and large estate agencies as well as industry experts, consultants and commentators.
He says the research found that one-branch independents paid the most to Rightmove and that 65% of the UK’s 18,000 branches have fewer than three offices. Sargent consequently urges smaller agents to quit Rightmove, support OTM and list with Zoopla as well as investing in their own brands rather than relying on portals to get leads.
“Smaller agents want to see a permanent move to a more competitive market in which portals compete for their business rather than simply dictating terms to them,” the report says.
Sargent also accuses the big three chains – LSL, Countrywide and Connells – of enjoying preferential Rightmove access and pricing structures compared to smaller agencies, and of supporting the status quo.
“Whilst many big agents are supportive of the aims of our campaign they are, in the main, unable to take tangible action to support us I while still in contract with Rightmove,” says Sargent.
A solution to this impasse is suggested. The three portals should compete for agent listings and fees, rather than one being dominant and the two others fighting it out for second place.
And challenger portals like OpenBrix, Homesearch, Residential People, Moovshack and OneDome also have a role to play, the Say No To Rightmove campaign says.