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.
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.”