Sussex estate agent and SayNoToRightmove leader Paul Davies has predicted that Rightmove will give the big corporates sweetheart deals but then squeeze smaller agencies like his, once Covid is over.
Paul Davies, who runs Sussex agency Home Estates, says smaller agencies need to have a strategy to be less reliant on the portal so that they’re ready if the ‘big squeeze’ does happen.
Davies made the comments during a video interview, during which he also claimed the key reason the SayNoToRightmove has gone quiet recently is that, since the housing market re-opened, everyone’s been to busy dealing with the booming market to worry about Rightmove’s fees.
Davies said he set up a popular anti-Rightmove Facebook group and later joined the larger campaign because at the beginning of the pandemic in early March, faced by a dire financial position, Rightmove refused to even discuss a temporary reduction in his £2,050 a month fees.
Rightmove have since also been difficult to communicate with, he claims, but he believes the campaign’s 3,000-strong band of agents played a part in persuading the portal to change from a deferred payment plan to the blanket 75% reduction it offered on 20th March.
Davies also says estate agents tend to care more about their competition than Rightmove’s fees, and that many agents just weren’t prepared to be the first to leave the portal.
“I think it’s easier for an agency like mine with one branch to quit Rightmove – which I have – than a big agency with dozens of offices, as they have a bigger ship to turn,” says Davies, who reveals that he has invested heavily in social media marketing and several of the portal challengers, to replace the leads lost when he quit Rightmove.