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Rightmove CEO admits portal ‘got it wrong’ over Coronavirus deferred fees offer

Unusually honest admission is made by Rightmove chief within email to leading North London estate agent.

Nigel Lewis

Brooks Johnson Rightmove image

Rightmove’s CEO Peter Brooks-Johnson (pictured, below) has replied personally to a London agent’s criticism of the portal, making an extraordinary admission that “we don’t always get things right but I like to think we can see it when we get things wrong and we do something about it”.

The comments follow last week’s debacle during which the portal’s initial deferred payments offer was swiftly replaced with a blanket 75% reduction of fees for customers for four months following a fierce backlash from estate agents.

Brooks-Johnson’s comments were in reply to a letter from leading London agent Alan Goldin of Alan Goldin Estates in which he urged the CEO to “readdress his approach to estate agents in the future, which will see a different landscape for all of us” and that he will need to look at Rightmove’s pricing.

Rightmove poll

Some 60% of estate agents say Rightmove’s fees are their top gripe about the portal, a survey of nearly 1,000 agents has highlighted.

The poll, carried out by the Boycott Rightmove Facebook page over the weekend, also reveals that 30% of agents cite the portal’s poor customer service as a key reason for wanting to leave.

Problems with its platform capabilities, the lack of affordable alternatives and lack of control or ownership of the portal were more minor considerations, the poll showed.

This was just one example of estate agent unhappiness vented over weekend, including former agent and OpenBrix founder Adam Pigott (left), who said: “While Rightmove were pretty quick to apologise and to retract their initial support plan that had amounted to a ‘strings attached’, part-deferral of some fees for a short time, the consensus was and remains that this was too little, too late given the tension that has existed between the portal and its customer agents.

“Under pressure from fleeing agents, Rightmove has since revised their approach to helping its 17,000 customers.

“But they’ve left a very bad taste indeed and this was mirrored by a haemorrhaging of their share price; the company lost 20% of its value between Tuesday and Friday last week – or one billion pounds to be exact.”



March 23, 2020


  1. We have galvanised a small army
    Thanks for your support and it seems to have worked

    We are overburdend with emails so 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. Agents are realising that the ‘cost’ of Rightmove’s service is tiny in comparison to the costs they are being charged, the power of tech doubles year on year, and in real terms the price of tech reduces also, so now agents are being charged a fortune for a service that new entrants or portals can provide for free, using other models to generate income.

    The one thing Rightmove had, past tense, was the super branding, built on the hard work of all those costly listings generated by numerous agents over decades, the brand has now been tarnished and once trust is damaged, and agents who have grown tired of being ‘ up sold’ resentment, then anger sets in.

    A new order of agency is dawning, buyers and renters do use Rightmove, but it is not the one source of truth, the property portal that everyone transacting property business uses, social media and the rise of tech savvy Gen-Z is putting pay to that. Just as consumers post their happiness and discontent with retailers online, agents on social media, Facebook, LinkedIn etc are saying Rightmove things have changed, you charge too much, and you longer are the only way to do business in a digital age.

    Over the past week, I have had hundreds of e conversations with very angry agents, who realise they are paying very different amounts for the same service, top of the list of complaints is the perceived indifference of Rightmove. Property portals are symbiotic fragile ecosystems, once the ‘trust’ element goes, the obscene profits have secured this, then an inevitable fall from grace is certain, now it is just about when and how quickly the seemingly impregnable fortress that was Rightmove turns to dust.

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