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Rightmove now pushing through 11% fee hikes on renewals, say agents

Portal confirms it is in discussions with customers, as emails go out confirming increases citing support given during Covid.

Nigel Lewis


Agents have been told by Rightmove that they face substantial hikes in their monthly fees when they come up for renewal.

This includes one Home Counties single-branch agent who is a long-standing customer of the portal whose account manager has told him to expect a hike of 11% on his current monthly cost.

An email sent to this agent, and others, points out that the costs of their core membership will increase even though their overall package options are being pared down.

Instead, they are invited to either drop their spend on existing bolt-on services or upgrade to an enhanced package and eliminate their core membership fee altogether.

“Whichever way you look at it, the portal is pushing through increases to recoup its lost revenue from the ‘reduced bill’ policy during the darkest days of the first lockdown,” says industry and proptech analyst Andrew Stanton (pictured).

“Rightmove makes 74% gross profit and in 2019 made a pre tax profit of £213 million, so if they hike the baseline fee to each agent by between 8% and 12%, which are the figures numerous agents have shown Proptech-PR, will add anything from £15 million to £20 million or more in turnover, or 5% to 7%.

“With new technology from other portals and platforms ahead of the game, and failure to innovate, the last thing I would do after last year’s schism and wall of silence is hack off your core clients.”

Zoopla, which has a comparable agent client list but lower fees, says it spent £30 million on its agent discount scheme last year.

The Negotiator approached Rightmove for comment. Its spokesperson said that: “We can confirm that we’re having conversations with some agents where their contracts are due for renewal.

“As well as discounting agents’ bills to help them when the markets were closed last year and delivering a record numbers of leads and exposure for agents’ properties when the markets reopened, we’ve also worked on a number of innovations to help them for the long term.”

Rightmove says this includes online viewings, its Local Market Indicator data service, a redesigned property details page, and its Rightmove Hub platform.

The portal also says it is in the process of rolling out its viewings manager service to help letting agents book and manage viewings with tenants.

February 5, 2021


  1. Agreed Andrew Stanton. The disconnect between the C suite and the members is appalling.

    Rightmove achieved success 20 years ago precisely because it DID NOT have to borrow £millions to take on an entrenched corporate duopoly. It would never have got off the ground if it had to. Rightmove achieved rapid success with agents because a) it was unique, b) there was no corporate duopoly, and c) it offered an unwritten contract with agents for mutual betterment. Monetisation had to follow, but the selloff did not, and that contract with agents was forever broken. I also believe that Zoopla and OTM fall into this same category. They may be delivering leads at the moment but at what cost to agents’ control over their own destiny?

    My sincere hope is that the Covid crisis has finally made the scales fall from agents’ eyes. It is my view that the more money a “challenger” raises, and I include OTM as a challenger, and the more they shout about what big trousers they have, the worse it is for agents! All investors have an exit strategy. All investors want back those same £millions back, plus interest, plus annual profit share and dividends. And how do these “challengers” make back those £millions? Off the backs of agents, by leveraging the traffic their listings generate, and the second-tier transactions that they hope to sell to consumers. It is essentially the same 20-year-old business model, except at least they are being honest about using agents’ data generates to make money for investors!

    Zoopla could not be more brazen about it, and the other stock market owned portals will inevitably have to follow their lead as their shareholders are in the driving seat. Bizarrely, some see this as a virtue. Sure, some revenue will go back to agents, but it should be 100%!

  2. This is exactly why I dumped Rightmove in April 2020. I’m a one man lettings & property management business and with their constant and excessive hikes it was simply an unsustainable model. It hasn’t impacted my business at all other than more money in the bank, more money to my pension pot and funds to use on increasing social media presence. It’s not the agents that need convincing that Rightmove are bad – it’s the public. The message has to be conveyed that people will lose out on their dream home if they blinker themselves to one portal when searching. The more the searching public realise this, the more the other portals will challenge Rightmove and then the more agents will leave them. I’m with Zoopla and OnTheMarket – these together are giving me more, and higher quality, leads than Rightmove ever did, esp OTM. So good riddance to Rightmove, they deserve to lose.

  3. Sounds like extortion….!!!
    Years ago they would of been looked into, especially with their profit margins. Today because they have shareholders they are applauded.
    I wonder how many more agents will be forced to close because of their huge costs.

  4. I run a lettings-only single outlet in Glasgow. We left Rightmove two years ago after endless price hikes and can say we absolutely don’t need them. We use Lettingweb as portal to Zoopla, Primelocation etc. They are a one-stop shop for referencing and digital leases too with local support and good contact – quite the opposite of RM as I recall…

  5. Criminal – Monopoly behaviour and should be investigated. We created this “addiction” and the inelastic demand that’s been seen by us all over the years. Rightmove’s days are numbered it seems.

  6. Well, you can either stomach it or make some noise. The more agents who kick off, the more likely RM will back down. We have made our views very clear to RM and they are reviewing the price hike.

  7. I pulled my company off of Rightmove last year After 11 years. Best thing ever we have had no drop in sales or rentals. Never questioned by Landlord or Vendor about this. If you had good quality properties on at the right price and you’re clever enough to secure a soul agency I promise you it makes no difference

  8. #nosurprisethere
    #saynotorightmove warned you all this could and would happen, myself specifically
    It was always on the cards

    Im told we cost them £49m last year

    They were always going to claw it back somehow and the ones who stayed will take the brunt

    Amazed so many were blinkered

    You still aways have time to fix this, join us “leavers” and make the point that they cant control the market with a belligerent attitude

    Its to late now to gain teh @Zoopla discount as we have BUT at leat, like us, you will save shed loads of dosh


    #saynotorightmove……. we did

  9. Well all I can say is that if the agents are stupid enough to pay it then they have more money than sense. We left RM last March and haven’t looked back since then.

  10. Given that Rightmove is a SaaS solution, Software as a service which means it is a digitally repeatable process which incurs a minimal footprint of cost, to be charging higher and higher fees just because you can is not a brilliant business model. With many new property platforms launching in Beta mode and Boomin about to emerge, all offering a freemium model, as the actual cost of digitally listing property, the main function of Dinosaur Rightmove, is minimal, this latest wrong move by Rightmove may well be their ‘let them eat cake’ moment. An 11% hike for agents, when the Bank of England is very clearly talking about negative interests rates, you can not make this sort of c-suite disconnect with reality up.

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