Rightmove is offering agents who left the portal during last year’s ‘Say No To Rightmove’ (SNTRM) campaign a £1,250 plus VAT a month deal to return, although this varies slightly from agent to agent.
The Neg has been shown paperwork and emails confirming that half a dozen of the agencies that walked away last year are being enticed back with a 15-20% discount on the portal’s new joiners fee for a basic package, which for some is less than they were paying before leaving.
Some are also being offered free additional features as a sweetener to persuade them to return, and rolling contracts after an initial six-month fixed term.
One of the agents, Dreamview Estates in North London, says it was told that the new joiners rate would normally be £1,550 +VAT but that, to persuade it to return, it would pay £1,390 plus VAT if it committed to a minimum six-month contract.
“I checked back to see what I was paying before I left and its was £1,230, so they are offering my old rate back to me more or less instead of paying full whack,” says Dreamview Estates founder Murray Lee, who was one of the SNTRM organisers (pictured).
“We weren’t able to topple Rightmove in the end but we did make the portal recognise that it needed to take action on its fees and, at least for those who walked away last year, that has been the case.”
Other agents offered the same or a very similar deal include Eli Grossnass of Eli G Estates which like Dreamview has decided to reject the offer and stay off Rightmove for the time being.
Lee adds: “We have proved that Rightmove can be made to sit up and take some notice of the smaller, independent agents. Dreamview may return at some point in the future but it very much depends on the rate.
But with a rolling contract, what have I got to lose?”
Another independent London agency, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had also been offered the same £1,250 plus VAT after leaving Rightmove several months ago.
“We had a prepared statement to give to customers if they asked why we weren’t on Rightmove, but really it was my staff who lobbied for our agency to return to the portal,” its MD says.
“So we’ve gone back but only on a basic package with a couple of free features which, along with the discount, means I’m saving £400 or so a month on my originally subscription. I know at least one other agency friend of mine who has got the same deal – £1250 per month for six months, then a rolling contract.”