Rightmove is to reduce its fees by between £150 and £500 a month for qualifying agents depending on size and which sector of the industry they operate within to help agent cashflow during the Coronavirus crisis.
But the scheme is not due to start until May 1st and the fees ‘reduction’ is in reality a deferred payment scheme; estate agents will have to pay the money back over an agreed of between three and six months after the Coronavirus epidemic is over.
The scheme will also only apply to estate agents who have fewer than 25 branches and who have been with the portal for at least 12 months.
Rightmove is offering three ‘deferment packages’. For agents on a lettings-only membership package the scheme allows deferrals of £150 each month for six months or £250 each month for three months.
But the standard scheme is to offer a reduction of £275 per branch off their monthly invoiced costs each month for six months.
The amounts deferred must be paid back evenly over the same term after six months of the first deferral period.
A third option is that agents can defer payment of £500 per branch of their monthly invoiced costs each month for three months paid back evenly over the same term after three months.
“Over the years agents have shown great resilience through some challenging market conditions, but this is an unprecedented situation,” says Rightmove’s Agency and New Homes Director David Anderson.
“A number of agents we’ve been speaking to have said they’re worried about how they’ll control their current cash flow with fewer sales and lettings transactions over the next few months, and as they rebuild their pipeline later in the year.
“As we enter a period of the unknown, at this stage we hope this payment deferral scheme will help to reduce some of the negative impacts.
“To help agents looking for practical advice we’re also running a series of webinars with industry experts on subjects from working at home through to legislation in the current environment and managing mental health.”