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Rightmove results: profits, revenue and agent numbers drop

Covid and its subsequent 75% fees discount has hit the portal hard, but it's still delivering tasty profits to its investors despite the troubled times.

Nigel Lewis

Brooks Johnson Rightmove image

The number of estate agents listing with Rightmove has dropped by 3.5% since January as the economic downturn drives industry consolidation and the ongoing ‘Say No To Rightmove’ campaign chips away at its client base.

The number of agency branches dropped from 16,347 to 15,767 while the number of new homes developments listed on the site dropped by 2.1% to 3,391, its half-year report reveals.

Of these 580 branches who quit the portal, 280 are hybrid agencies such as Purplebricks increasing territory size but reducing their numbers of ‘virtual’ offices.

Rightmove says its 75% discount during Covid led to a 36.45% drop in revenues from estate agents, as the discount did not include any optional bolt-ons agents were already paying for.

Revenue drop

It says the majority of agents maintained their product and package options throughout the discount period, which finished in July. But the revenue it earns from each agent fell, from £1,023 last year to £686 a month.

Overall Covid has hit Rightmove hard – its’ group revenue for the first six months of the year, when compared to the same period last year, dropped by 34% to £94.8 million, while profits nose-dived by 43% to £61.7 million.

Rightmove has extended its lead as the place home hunters turn to first for their move,” says CEO Peter Brooks-Johnson (above, main pic).

“It’s quite incredible that 65 of our record days have been since 13 May. I’m pleased that our customers are choosing to invest in our digital solutions to take advantage of this record demand.

“Despite the current strong market we’re mindful that potential economic challenges and further Covid restrictions in the second half of the year make it hard to predict how sustained the increase in activity will be.”

Industry reaction

Anthony Codling (left), CEO of Twindig: “For investors Rightmove results can be summed up in one word: ‘impressive’ after a COVID fee cut of 75% the company still generated profit before tax of 65%,” says.

“Estate agents and housebuilders may think they could have cut fees further but the overwhelming majority want access to the homebuyers and sellers who look at Rightmove.”

Murray Lee, MD Of Dreamview Estates: “I’d like to think the the Say No To Rightmove campaign has had some effect on this and been part of the cause.

“Rob, Paul, David and myself have worked tirelessly since March to try and bring about some change in the way Rightmove and the other portals work.  I think we had success if only by the discounts provided alone and proven by the 3.3% fall in branches.”

Tech developments

Rightmove has also today revealed its latest tech innovations including an upgrade to its Sold Price search, the Beta testing of appointment booking direct via its site for lettings due to start later this month,  an upgrade to its Rightmove Tenant Passport and improvements to its Nationwide mortgage calculator.

August 7, 2020

One comment

  1. I think that agents realise that SaaS solutions can make enormous profits as they replicate a blueprint with zero real cost being added. Like Amazon, the need for a large human workforce at the front end of the business is minimal. Rightmove’s bigger problem, is that Gen-z find the one dimensional on off portal experience, old hat. And the new platform players will be the future.

    It is like this, Space Invaders was a great game, but in 2020, consumers want to use Crossfire or Minecraft, mum and dad might have found property on Rightmove, but in their instant click, multi streaming world that covers several platforms – usually at the same time, Space Invaders just will not cut it.

    Also the new breed of agent, the agents setting up in the last year, have not had 20 years of ‘mind control’ being told Rightmove is all, no these clever people are using all the tools in the box to generate inventory and profit, why pay over £1,000 a month on a single Space Invader portal, founded 20 years ago, when a £1,000 can buy you an awful lot of digital reach across many products, some even are free. Proptech-PR front of mind, front of the debate, because we set it.

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