Research shown to The Negotiator claims that nearly 300 agents left Rightmove during April with the greatest cluster of departures in Cheshire, Devon, Essex and Kent plus Tyne and Wear.
This research is the first of its kind undertaken by an outside organisation and is based on using the total number of agents listed in each county across the UK by the portal.
Richard Dixon of The Yorkshire Property Guide, who has begun compiling monthly totals of agents who list with Rightmove, says the May and June figures will be crucial for the four agent groups campaigning to persuade agents to leave Rightmove.
“The next set of figures are hugely important for each side – Rightmove and the agent collective campaigns,” he says.
“If my research shows next month that 500 offices have left Rightmove then it would be a great result particularly if it’s higher than that but, if it’s the same as April or less, Rightmove will be buoyed by this and this will strengthen their hand moving forward.”
In its most recent strategic report published this year for 2019, Rightmove revealed that its total number of advertisers – i.e. agents and developers – dipped by 3% from 20,454 to 19,809.
It therefore lost 645 agents during 2019 or 54 agents a month, a rate which appears to have at least quadrupled during the Coronavirus crisis. This means, if this slide continues, the portal could lose up to 2,000 agencies this year.
Although this sounds optimistic, the four agent groups hoping to persuade agents to leave – or at least threaten to leave – the portal include between them some 2,500 estate agencies.