Kristjan Byfield: Why my business has decided to quit Rightmove

The outspoken agent from East London explains his reasoning behind the one thing most agents fear most - making the leap and quitting the UK's No.1 portal.

East London lettings agency boss Kristjan Byfield is famous for his chunky glasses and voluminous blond beard, but his decision to leave Rightmove really ignite a Rightmove rebellion and diminish the influence, and fees, of the portal?

It’s something anyone who read his recent open letter to Rightmove has been wondering.

His efforts have coincided with the formation of at least two informal industry groups which, along with many individual agents, persuaded Rightmove last week to change its fees offer as Coronavirus shut down the industry.

But what drives the boss of Base Property Specialists to lead the charge? In an interview shared exclusively to The Negotiator, he has decided to explain.

“Five years ago I was a big Rightmove fan and I saw it as an important partner within my business; good value and a good return on investment. I would often defend its value in front of other agents,” he says.

“But Rightmove have a problem when it has an unprompted brand ambassador like me who sings their praises but, through its actions, turns that person’s views into the polar opposite.”

Byfield says everything changed last year just before the tenants fees ban began when the portal handed him a 21% fees increase.

He says their position was simple – either pay the increase, cut your package or leave.

But the portal had picked the wrong person to pick a fight with.

“I didn’t let emotion get in the way of my business decision to quit; for us it’s about how many quality leads came in, conversion rates and drilling down into the results,” he says.

“And Zoopla overtook Rightmove four or five years ago in terms of business generated for us, for half the cost.”

Byfield recognises that there have been waves of unrest like this in the past and it’s always come nothing – because everyone says ‘you go first.’

“I always said if I left Rightmove I’d do it publicly. Because I think most people are waiting for someone else to step out into the line of fire.

“I explained it to our clients including our many landlords who were very supportive and then quit when our contract came up for renewal. It’s been great to see the industry come together and it’s a pity it’s taken Coronavirus to do it. But I really hope it lasts.”

Read more about Kristjan Byfield.

Watch the interview in full



  1. Lets be honest, if you are looking for a property to buy or rent you carry out 2 searches;
    1. Rightmove
    2. Zoopla

    I have never searched for anything on On The Market.

    But when I am looking at listing a property to sell I look for 3 things;
    1. Board presence in the area
    2. “Estate agents near me” on my google search.
    3. Which agent comes up in the top 3 of my google search in my area
    3.1. Which agents have provided me value and connected with me on social media

    Points 2, 3 & 3. are proving to be more powerful than before and coupled with good google reviews I am more likely to choose an agent based on these than the board presence. They in turn lead to No.1 for board presence.

    If you have the properties, you can be found.

    So my question is, what are the agents doing about Point 2 when looking to sell? the obvious answer is nothing except sending leaflets out to 1000’s of homes.

    I suggest any agent looking to move from Right Move speak to Andrew Stanton for a proven strategy for connecting with your clients.

    In addition, try looking after they buyers more. Only 11% of buyers use the agent they bought from, if you kept them happy then your repeat business might increase too.

  2. I gave notice to Rightmove in early March – been putting it off for ages – and do you know what…..feels great. Really quite liberating getting rid of a supplier that extorts you. It’s a simple business decision to make in terms of value for money, and to be honest from my experience, it’s never really given it. I joined because everyone else joined. They have ripped off their “clients” (or should we be called cash cows?) for far too long and I hope that other agents leave them too. The most important message to get out there is to the public, that not all agents use Rightmove and they could be missing out on their dream home if they blinker their property searches to one site. Zoopla combined with OnTheMarket are giving me plenty of good quality leads to rent my clients’ properties. Good riddance Rightmove!

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