Rightmove could learn a thing or two from its Australian equivalent which has launched a charm offensive to ‘give back’ to its estate agency customers.
The claim has been made by Oz portal operator the REA Group whose Director of Industry Relations Steve Carroll (above) has said it realised recently the game was up when agents in Australia began referring to it as a ‘necessary evil’.
REA and Rightmove were competitors in the UK during the late noughties when the Australian firm briefly but unsuccessfully backed Propertyfinder.co.uk in a bid to take on Rightmove. It was eventually sold to Zoopla.
Carroll, who is the Australian firm’s equivalent to Rightmove’s Miles Shipside, says it had been battling a reputation among agents for being all about ‘take, take, take’.
“We had a bad name in the industry and some agents believed we were going direct to the seller and cutting out the agent, but that was 100% never our intention,” he says in a recorded video interview with Chris Watkins shared with The Negotiator (see below).
During the interview Watkins suggests that Rightmove has changed from being an agent ‘partner’ to being ‘aloof ‘ and one-sided in its relationship with agents, something Carroll says REA used to be accused of too.
“It was a combination of a huge lack of trust and the fact that we were making a huge amount of money.”
Consequently Carroll has been charged with ‘giving back’ to the industry which has taken the form of a free business consultancy service for Australian estate agents provided by REA, based on best practice from around the world.
“Changing a perception that has been around for ten years is like trying to turn an oil tanker around,” says Carroll. “But our research shows its going in the right direction, albeit slowly.”
Watch the video