Date Published 23 April 2020
We made the national (estate agent) news! So what is the Boycott Rightmove group about?
We work with some lovely suppliers that immediately saw the issue estate agencies will face and responded in kind(the market has frozen) and some have just been, well, less great.
On one end of the scale, Zoopla offered us up to 9 months free service. Rightmove offered us nothing, as we weren't on a direct debit (we pay monthly for no other reason that that's the way we've always done it) even though online activity for portals has crashed.
Due to Rightmove's power, they can set their own prices. They were created by large, corporate estate agents and they dual price. I understand that corporate agencies pay about 10% of what we do. I understand why an organisation would dual price, but paying multiple times that of the corporates is painful. In fact, we spend 20% of our total monthly expenditure on Rightmove fees.
We tied into a premium contract until November, not anticipating this epidemic. Our simple request was to reduce our contract to the basic package (we're on an enhanced, more expensive package) with my explanation that this would ensure the business' and team of 9's survival. They refused the request and reminded me of my terms and conditions and to not do anything that would damage my business going forward.
Year on year, the number of properties sold and estate agents has reduced yet they've managed to increase their fees and profits. Hats off to them, they have a great business model and have worked hard to achieve that. Except sometimes a company gets so big, they forget who they are and why they exist in the first place and their shocking response to the crises illustrates this. They have since adapted their offer, partly because of pressure groups (one of mine included), but sometimes a suppliers core values and ethics become so misaligned with your own, that you resent doing business with them.
A contract is a contract, so they are well within their rights to act the way they have, but a simple act, to be kind, seems to have been embraced by people and businesses alike but passed some by.
I will always have my team, community and our client's interests at the heart of everything I ever do. We have looked at alternative options, researched our market and, unfortunately the research does indicate that it wouldn't be in our client's best interests to leave Rightmove.
This, I wanted to reassure our clients with and given that I am now named in a national publication as being behind a Boycott Rightmove group that has led to many agents leaving Rightmove and discussions about us forming a purchasing union to stymie their power, I felt it important to reassure before people drew their own conclusions! We are not leaving Rightmove, but the moment there is a viable alternative (and there will be, soon)...
To be clear, I don't want to destroy Rightmove. They are in their position by excelling in what they do, but a lot of you that know me will know that I am always guided by doing the right thing, and I struggle to reconcile that when doing business with an organisation that has absolutely no care as to whether you survive or not, to the wellbeing of your staff, as long as they can keep banking their cheques.
Thank you for taking the time to read and please find the related article below. If you want to do your bit then please read our forthcoming reviews of other portals and see whether there are other options for your viewing habits. Rightmove power comes from their market dominance and if you agree with my views on how business should behave, then if consumers and agents switch their behaviours, they may be forced to reassess how they do business and who they are as a company: