Is Rightmove behaving like a monopoly, asks agent trying to set up new business

Is Rightmove a monopoly operation?

The question is posed by a new agent which started up eight months ago in the north-west and asked for quotes to join  Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket.

Zoopla and OTM both quoted around the same, £330 a month for sales and lettings, says the agent on the forum Property Tribes.

Rightmove, however, quoted £1,600 a month, adding that the sum would “be discounted by 50%” for six months.

This was for covering just one postcode in a non-city location in the north of the country where the average sales price is £125,000 and fees are in the region of £800.

“The six month 50% discount was to ‘help new businesses get started. We like to support new businesses’, said my RM ‘account manager’ – the second after just two months,” says the agent, posting on the Property Tribes forum.

Knowing that Rightmove was the portal with the most traffic, the agent went with it and took up the 50% offer, giving a fee of £790 per month: “So I needed to sell a property a month to pay the Rightmove bill.”

The six months over, the fee is now £1,600 pm, meaning that the business needs to sell two houses a month just to pay the Rightmove invoice.

“I challenged this very high and uncompetitive cost with my, by now, third Rightmove account manager, and essentially was told take it or leave it.

“Shocked by what seemed extraordinary fees I contacted other agents who shared their RM fees. What I found was just as shocking – the RM pricing is all over the place.”

The agent claims:
1. No two agents paid the same fees.
2. An agency with eight staff, covering three postcodes, including Chelsea, was paying around one third of the value of my RM invoice for the basic products.
3. Agents had ‘discounts’ applied but they had no idea what they were for and had never paid the pre-discounted price: the discounts seem a meaningless entry on the invoice.
4. Some agents got multiple products totally free but others paid in full for them.
5. Pricing ignores area/postcode or agency size: small agents in low house value areas paid more than large London agents with an average sales commission of £20,000 plus.
6. Some agents complained at frequent RM price increases.

“I discussed my findings with my account manager who said that the lower fees for the big agencies were because they had been with RM for longer. But she still insisted that RM supported new small businesses trying to get established.

“She was not interested in my claims of discrimination against small northern businesses and that RM were in fact a major barrier to a new agency getting established. I would not be getting any discount.”

The agent – now on their fourth account manager in eight months – adds: “I found an arrogance in relation to customer service and no attempt to understand my needs as a customer trying to establish an agency.

“I have considered moving to other portals but read both on this forum and from comments by clients that I need to be on Rightmove.

“I feel trapped in a monopoly pricing situation.”

An interesting answer, from a small letting agent in north Manchester, is in full agreement with the comments.

This agent adds that when OnTheMarket was launched, the agent left Rightmove, and that “this gave us massive savings with no effect on the business”. However, the agent does concede that lettings is different from sales.

The full Property Tribes post is here


  1. smile please

    The agent has it spot on and we all feel the same.

    RM is a monopoly but unfortunately not in the eyes of the law.

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    1. Glynis Lloyd

      We are a small agency who refuses to pay Rightmove’s inflated prices with no noticeable effect on business. Try it and save yourself some money!

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      1. Property Paddy

        You could budget 30% (or less) of this price with google adwords and the rest on Z & OTM that should give you a fair amount of on line presence. There are also packagaes you can buy with yell and bing that push your site up too.

        After all rightmove do this too !

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      2. smile please

        Well done on achieving that Glynis!

        I think it depends where you are in the country, I for one would lose probably 90% of my listings if we were to walk away from RM

        I think its easier to in small towns or villages

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        1. AgencyInsider

          Lose 90% Smile? If you are really that dependent on RM to sustain your business I fear for your long term survival.

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          1. smile please

            I think its where you are and what competition you have.

            I do not rely on RM, I can operate fine without it. Its the competition edge, if every other office in an incredibly ruthless and competitive market is on RM and i withdraw, vendors will not list with me.

            *This is the whole point of the story above.

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            1. AgencyInsider

              I do not rely on RM, I can operate fine without it.

              Well then why on earth don’t you do that Smile?!

              I really do get your point about the ruthless competition but I’d make sure my marketing messages and my staff were set up to counter whatever the opposition threw my way. Listing on RM might be the deal breaker on some new instructions but a competent valuer with a strong offering should be able to overcome that objection in most cases. Shouldn’t they?

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              1. smile please

                In a word no.

                RM has got so big and so powerful you need to be on it. Otherwise why are 99% of agents on it?

                Problem is the public see RM as selling the property not the estate agent. This has come about through years of marketing and in someways enforced by agents.

                Yo cannot open an estate agents today in a densely populated area and not be on RM – That is the problem, RM know it which is why they can take the mickey with the fees.

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  2. MF

    Brilliant article.  Sums it up perfectly.  And it’s the smaller independents getting the biggest shafting.

    In my day when starting out it was the rent and the rates that had to be paid no matter what. Now, factor in on top of that a small fortune on portal charges!

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  3. IndAgent

    This is good and bad as it is a test of faith for new companies. If Rightmove was £200 a month there would be loads more bedroom agents.

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  4. The Outsider

    discrimination against northerners!  hahaha.


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  5. Quickbrit

    I came back to the UK after 15-years in the US.

    i started my first agency and got stuck with a £750 rghtmove bill from day one, Zoopla was about a third of that price.

    i sold that agency, moved county and started again. This time (with the threat of OTM, I assumed) rightmove discounted my start up costs by 50% for six months.

    I always thought that the whole point of OTM was to weaken the grip that rightmove had on the market.

    However, UK estate agents are always beating each other out of a good living, and due to their weakness (and laziness) wouldn’t drop rightmove (which was the plan wasn’t it?), which strengthened rightmove even more.

    We had a chance and we blew it.

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    1. PeeBee


      Consider the portal world as one chuffin’ great big elephant (and a white elephant at that, if you will).

      How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time, of course.

      And in order to eat it as quickly and efficiently as possible, you start at one end and work your way to the other.

      Might as well start at the @r$e – get that bit out of the way first – and there’s nowt wrong with a bit of rump anyway!

      The beauty of this of course is that the head end knows we’re chomping our way its’ way – and it has nowhere to run.

      We haven’t blown anything – we’re just savouring the flavour.

      Nom Nom Nom


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      1. danny

        Just to point out the obvious ,if you think your going to kill Rightmove by first taking out its largest competitor for it three things

        1) your eating the wrong elephant

        2) when the bigger more aggressive elephant finds out you like elephant meat it will crush you. As you’ve been eating the smaller elephant the bigger elephant has had chance to eat double and is now the size of Godzilla.

        3)you’ve had your head inside an elephants a*se for almost a year now.your view has been completely obscured .

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        1. AgencyInsider

          Good and amusing post Danny – but you miss a vital point.

          This elephant could be put down quickly and painlessly overnight if agents cut off its food supply.

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          1. danny

            It basically eats the same food as us …. I’d rather have two elephants fighting over the other side of the Savannah rather than nepalming it’s reserve and seeing where it wonders over to .

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        2. Robert May

          You can always get a mouse! Eeek, eeek, eeeek!

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      2. inthefield

        Here here PeeBee, sensible comments as usual.

        Now, will all the doubters listen and get on board with OTM before its too late….

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  6. AgencyInsider

    I hugely sympathise with the agent but the reality is that RM is a commercial organisation that is in the business of driving returns to its shareholders. They are not a charity dedicated to the support of fledgling businesses and they have a product in the market place that attracts premium pricing. If, as a new agent, you cannot afford them then unfortunately you didn’t start your business with enough capital to pay their charges.

    Of course if at some time in the future a truly successful, agent-owned, rather more benevolent, portal that only had to answer to members rather than greedy shareholders was to be available, then you might find a pricing structure that is more stable and affordable.

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  7. Jrsteeve

    Welcome to the wonderful world of Rightmove. I’m paying about the same per office (2) and will be cancelling the subscription if it goes much higher.

    If it wasn’t like herding backstabbing cats onthemarket should be our saviour, I’m with them and have been since the start. Enquiries are picking up steadily, though it is still very early days to be expecting an identical level of leads to RM and Z.

    Sadly independents who supported otm are being bought by corporates, shareholders in RM/Z, and forced back to the portal they dropped.

    I did ask my ‘account manager: how much purple idiots paid and was assured they pay per postcode a similar amount to if they had an office in that area. Hmm

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  8. Peter Green

    Great article. One question for smile please. Why is RM not considered a monopoly in the eyes if the law ?

    As far as I can see, if it looks like a “rotten egg”, smells like a “rotten egg” and (heaven forbid) tastes like a “rotten egg”, It’s a “rotten egg”.  Obviously, other words can be substituted between the quote marks.

    I’ve had this discussion with others, but never received a “proper” answer.

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    1. smile please

      Eyes of the law we have a choice RM Z or OTM or not use a portal at all. That’s my take on it but I do not have a law degree  😉

      I would happily help support somebody exploring it further tho.

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      1. Gump

        I don’t have a law degree either! So I bacame an Estate Agent 😛

        They can’t be a monopoly because Zoopla and OTM exist, we feel that they are, but that is down to us thinking we have got to be with them. The reality is, we don’t

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        1. Peter Green

          In the commercial world a company is usually regarded as having a “monopoly” when its market share is over about 25%. At this point authorities often start to get a bit twitchy. Hence, as far as I can see, RM has a monopolistic position with regard to property portals.


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          1. Eamonn

            Hi peter

            RM is not considered a monopoly because they are not charge the public.


            therefore unless public are affected no one cares.

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      2. Robert May

        You say that Smile but given the chance you  don’t.

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        1. smile please

          Sorry Robert you have lost me.

          Are you saying somebody is challenging RM that they are a monopoly and looking at taking them to court or get the government to start an inquiry and i have been asked to support but said no?

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          1. Robert May

            You keep saying you want change and will support somebody attempting change but  when asked by someone  attempting just that  you seem reluctant to get any more involved than calling for change.

            There is  significant headway being made against wrong doing, all that needs to happen now is support from agents like you and permanent change can be achieved.

            Report (3)(0)
            1. smile please


              I am yet to see an offering / idea that i believe can change the landscape for the better.

              From you above comment i can only put this down to one of three things

              1. OTM = Great idea but flawed in my opinion which i will not go into again and bore people with.

              2. Rummage = Yet to see what its about and how it can change industry for the better, From the snippets i have seen / heard, seems idealistic and very early stages so hard to support.

              3. Chris Woods = I think you mentioned a while back he was looking at putting together a new membership body, Again welcomed idea and when i see a story and can look at the offering it maybe something i can support.

              Happy to support but i do not want to be involved in development or shaping it. Otherwise i may as well do it myself, This year we have launched lettings. I am also working on another venture which will take advantage of the rise of online agents. I simply do not have the appetite at this time to help develop another product / service that is not fully formed, that i do not have a piece of the pie or with people i do not know.

              However if a fully formed idea / service comes along they can have my support.

              It does not have to be that far for either of the three above.

              1. OTM = set a date that agents turn off RM i will sign tomorrow.

              2. Rummage – Come out and tell us what it does and how it benefits and realistic timescales.

              3. Alternative membership body – Get a story together with main objectives and what they are looking to do and let me know where to pay my subs

              And if anybody else is reading this and looking to develop the latest “Game changer” or “Disrupter” – It needs to be different and when i say different not like anything else that is out there not just a quirky usp and there needs to be a direct benefit to either me the agent or the seller which in turn does not cost me business.

              Sorry to go off on one but am i sick of seeing stories from providers that promise the earth when simply they do not. A prime example was a couple of days ago with two more “Disrupters” looking to offer listings to agents and that they are unique – No you have just presented it differently and will actually cost me money not increase it.

              OTM is another example – Great idea but poorly executed, the more you look at it the more it rings true that some agents are using it to sub Primelocation. They will never topple RM especially if they dont talk about it, forget the “One bite at a time” cr*p!

              Sorry again for the rant not aimed specifically at you Robert but it does irk me when you say i do not support, i do just the right things (in my opinion)

              Report (5)(3)
              1. Robert May

                How can you claim  anything to be idealistice when you haven’t looked at what is being achieved or giving any credit to the control of wrong doing.

                5 months ago Rightmove’s domination of property search terms was defeated, since Christmas Zoopla’s on valauation results. As well as unearthing 4 levels of portaljuggling and providing the evidence to curb wrong doing that is now making the trade press.

                Without being allowed the credit for what is being achieved it is difficult for you to see the benefits for the industry. But identifying things like a £21.6 billion  discrepency in land registry data, the  cyclical  3month portal juggling by one firm,  the  ghost listings of another,  the  false  sales claimed by some agents, beating Rightmove, Zoopla and OTM in natural term searching without SEO and without retained agents’s data.

                Doing all this honestly and fairly when news and achievements are suppressed as ‘plugs’ or as too explosive to print and then to have you describe all of that as idealistic is simply insulting whether or not it is intended to be.

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                1. smile please

                  Okay Robert that is all to be admired.

                  Without sounding too capitalist what does it do for me here and now? And what is it going to change?

                  You say RM’s domination in regards to property search terms has been defeted, you may have found something that can defeat it but you say this was 5 months ago, I bet i can log into any town in the country and type house for sale in xxxxx and it will still show RM as number one. If you could but an agent to number one doing so why have you not got every agent or at least 1 agent in every town showing no1?

                  As for land reg figures and portal juggling its admirable but you know the onliners will only change wording find another way and thats if the likes of RM or Z actually do anything about it.

                  As for credit take it all especially if you deserve it, i am sure Ros would run a story, It would be welcomed as all we get are riddles and half snippets.

                  Why not get one of the round table interviews like last year with shelter and such like where you and quirk can have a discussion, he is not shy of a camera.

                  I guess you watch dragons den, sometimes you hear the line “You have invented something that does not need to be invented” – Kinda how i see alot of the above, however i maybe wrong but you keep hiding behind a wall of silence and blaming others for not being able to talk!

                  If you want the industry to take what you say seriously and you do truely believe in it you have to get the message out for those to hear. Its no good a group of X individuals looking to change the industry and then moan when nobody takes it seriously, the reason is because you have not communicated it.

                  How about start a thread in what you are allowed to say in the Areana, in essence start your own blog. You have a full industry that is willing to listen you just need to communicate it and it needs to be bought into by agents.

                  I am sure if what you write is liable or too sales orinataed Nick or Roas will take down so dont worry, maybe send them a draft before you post.

                  Just stop talking in riddles and pointing fingers when nobody has a clue what you are doing or talking about!

                  By the way i am not having a go, i am trying to help you!

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                  1. Robert May

                    Out of respect for Ros and Nick the comments have to be veiled (not riddles) otherwise some  odious shouty sorts will have their legal team  on overtime.

                    Until I have money to buy advertising I’m not going to abuse their hospitality so just have to be patient  and wait for a break.


                    The comments and achievement are being fullydocumented on Twitter where is the whole industry can see what is being achieved in the face of some very powerful competition.

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              2. Frown Please

                Typical smile please, complain complain, whinge whinge.

                One day you may come up with some ideas of your own, instead of complaining at others ideas just because you didn’t have them or know how to do them.

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                1. Robert May

                  Smile is a strong and balanced contributor to EYE, it is down to people like me to convince him that we have something worthwhile and credible. He is the customer, service suppliers are just that.

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                2. smile please

                  Fair play Frown,

                  But as Robert points out i like to think i am balanced, I do have a number of ideas but my ideas are for my business not looking to gain business from others on here.

                  If people are brave enough to come forward with an idea they must expect to get it to be looked at from eyes of others.

                  Too many of the ideas that are on here look to leech off agents and offer no real difference to what is already out there.

                  I invest subscribe probably to more than most being a forward thinking agent. It just so happens none of them have felt the need to advertise here.

                  Just taking a guess here frown but maybe you have singled me out because i do not like one of you offerings?

                  Houser OR maybe a review site or maybe yet another portal that has been set up? – The thing is alot of these things have not been set up for the agent in mind, they have been set up to take money off an agent but then look to offer a supposed usp which is in fact pretty bland.

                  I am happy to give you some ideas you can work with and develop just ask, its called market research!

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                  1. PeeBee

                    smile please

                    I’m going to try to keep this as reasoned as possible.

                    Robert either has the qualifications to become a Saint – or he will be beating the living cr@p out of his dog/cat tonight in frustration at what I read above.  I know I’d be doing exactly that if I was he.

                    He has asked you time after time to contact him – with cast-iron assurance of upholding your anonymity – so that he can tell you what his project is all about.  I have implored you to do the same – even offering to ‘out’ myself (for what it would be worth to the industry and the public at large) if so much as a hint to your true identity was to slip out in one of his posts.

                    Yet you steadfastly refuse the opportunity.

                    To then come on giving his work less than the lickings of a dog when you understand less than squat about it and apparently don’t want to know in the first place – well, it speaks volumes I’m afraid.

                    A year or so ago he asked Ros to pass his details to me as he wanted, in his words, me to ‘PeeBee’ his idea.  Which I did – and am happy to continue to do on a regular basis.  Other regular posters – ‘Paul H’ (before his unmasking…) and ‘Ric’ were pleased to do the same.  Why? – because there is a lot of fractures in our industry and Robert may just have, for want of a better phrase, the digital equivalent of a Starfleet Doctor’s osteogenic stimulator.

                    But – I guess you’ll probably never try to find out.

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                    1. Robert May

                      Thanks for the referral Peebee, the dog survived the night.

                      Resistance to a product is a good thing and the fact  I am able to post at all is testament to the strength of what I am building. Smile Please’s example Houser,  is an indication of how robust any new entrant and their product has to be.

                      Curiosity will eventually  get the better of Smile. He will wonder why I have singled him out as my next target customer. It is a simple answer respect. I  want his viewpoint on what I am building as I wanted yours and Chris Wood’s, both very  tough audiences for any product that isn’t in the interests of the industry.

                      Your post demonstrates I am building advocates for what I have built and I would suggest right now one very, very important, grand how do you do would be very keen to  have your support for his product because you are not shy about telling it as it is.

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                    2. smile please


                      I have a hard skin if you think i need putting in my place tell me 😉

                      I am not having ago at Robert just the opposite. I am more referring to the assumption that i have not supported a campaign against RM.

                      I still have not seen a credible alternative to support.

                      Robert, OTM, Chris Woods or anybody else have not demonstrated a viable alternative. Now i think all three have a chance, BUT none are doing so now.

                      I thank Robert that he values my opinion, i value his. Its not about keeping my identity secret (although i do value it) its more about not wanting to see the start of something, i want to see a finished article that works or at least is 100% complete and just needs members but has a clear strategy.

                      Peebee, you are obviously close to Robert on this as are others so you have more attachment to it. I want to keep my distance and see it finished so i can objectively look at it and not be caught up in emotion.

                      OTM – is a super example of this, Its a great idea that has been poorly executed. Members signed up with emotion and continue to support emotionally without objectivity. Because of that in my opinion it will never get to where it needs to be.

                      They should have been bolder and said drop RM from day one or have a date in mind. Yes it may not have got off the ground in the first place but it would have been 50/50 – Now all OTM will do is win a few, loose a few and carry one doing what it does.

                      I dont want to subscibe to something like that. If robert really has hit a golden formula that works, that has a benefit to the agent and the customer, is cost efficent and will have at lease a 60/40 (40% being Robert or any other idea) chance of succedding based on numbers projected that can be backed up I will support. What i will not be is an early adopter caught up in emotion saying how great something is but missing the chance for it to work.

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                    3. Robert May

                      I actually want you to find fault with it and not be tied up with the emotion of it’s success. With all thanks and respect to Peebee I have exhausted his critical eye so have to find fresh objectivity to identify fault a weakness in the offering.  It is easier and cheaper to do that ahead of having a  customer base that brings support and RFC demands.

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    2. observer

      Rightmove is not a monopoly.
      There is no definition of monopoly that applies to it.

      It has competition, you are no compelled to buy from it. It merely has extremely strong bargaining power because estate agents can find no more cost effective way of selling houses. If there were a more cost effective way of advertising properties and actually selling them, then you’d all be doing that wouldn’t you?

      That you think it is a central tenet of your business is your problem.

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      1. smile please

        You are right in the fact you say that RM is not a monopoly, as i say above.

        You are wrong in saying “because estate agents can find no more cost effective way of selling houses”

        This is what people outside estate agency do not understand. It is easy for full service experianced agents to sell property. VERY EASY.

        The problem is LISTING houses to sell. The public think as you demonstrate that their property needs to be on RM. It does not!

        So if you were to open an agency today and the sellers invited you round and you did not advertise on RM i promise you that you would lose at least 90% of your instructions.

        And that is the reason all us agents are on RM

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        1. observer

          Then you surely need to be able to explain that to your potential clients. If it is that clear to you, it should be relatively easy to explain.

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          1. smile please

            With respect observer you have never listed so you do not know the issues.

            Over a period of months / years despite many agents telling you this and other industry related issues you do not get it.

            What hope has a lister against stiff opposition got of explaining it in an hour meeting with the seller who is only interested in a price and a fee.

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            1. ARC

              And Smile with each other agent they invited out telling them that RM is great to undermine the argument against it. It’s a vicious circle i’m afraid.

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  9. Peter Green

    Just to add…….. if RM fees were a bit lower, we could “all” pass on the savings to our customers in lower fees ! Hence, the “RM Monopoly” has a direct & negative impact on the public at large, be they home owners or tenants !

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    1. PeeBee

      Interesting comment, Mr Green – as I have never in the past decade or so witnessed a single Agency ‘pass on’ the year-on-year INCREASES of portal costs.

      Has anyone?

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      1. Peter Green

        Hence, the quote marks around “all” !

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  10. NOEL

    I just wish agents had more vision and realised the OTM is the only solution to solve this – an agent owned mutual. I don’t understand those independents that still support RM/Z for a perceived market advantage.

    Get on board with OTM. Or carrying on working for the shareholders of RM/Z. Your choice.

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    1. Peter Green

      Noel, it’s the one other portal rule that’s the killer. If OTM were really interested in breaking the RM / Z duopoly, they’d drop it….. and quick.

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    2. smile please

      Can we please not turn this into an OTM thread, all getting a little tedious after 2 years of the same for and against arguments.

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      1. Peter Green

        Ah …… unfortunately, it’s the crux of the issue with regard to more portal competition…. doesn’t really matter if you’re bored after 2 years or not !

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        1. smile please

          Thats the problem its not. – If it was going to work it would have by now. win a few members, lose a few members its about the same and nobody will have the balls to leave RM they would have already. Great idea poorly executed, an experiment that came close but ultimatley failed.

          OTM will not pull the plug as they have members that do well out of it, agents dont want to admit they were wrong to sign up.

          At best the 2,3,5 year contracts will come to an end and not be renewed but the agents will not go back to Z as they have seen you only need RM


          I was bored after six months, its like banging a head against a wall for and against!

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  11. Aaron

    I had a similar conversation with my account manager recently… To which she took on board my comments about larger corporate agencies paying less per office than my small independent… She said she agreed it wasn’t fair andthat was the last I heard from her. This was about a month ago.

    I think the smaller independents should get together and complain (I’m sure it won’t work) but my thoughts are. Pricing structure per listing or per 0-10 listings x a month 11-15 equals x a month and so on.. I feel this to be a fairer way of charging agents and if I was doing 15 – 20 listings a month I wouldn’t care about rightmove fees to be honest.

    The problem is, you try to talk to them about it and the attitude is basically – “we are rightmove, we are the number one portal” a title that us agents sadly gave them.

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    1. AgencyInsider

      I think the smaller independents should get together and complain (I’m sure it won’t work).

      Darn right it won’t work Aaron. For the time being you need RM more than they need you. You can complain all you like. They will not take the slightest bit of notice.

      It would be more productive – and in the much longer term better for all of us –   if smaller independents all got together and went to talk to OTM…(ducks below parapet)

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    2. MF

      Completely agree with you Aaron.  I’ve tried and tried to get both of those beasts to “play fair” with smaller agents but they remain as arrogant as ever. They don’t give a damn about their customer agents (even though we supported them as ‘partners’ from the outset).

      Their attitude of “you can’t survive without us, so pay up or get stuffed” stinks.

      As an aside, I wonder why they go through so many account managers….

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      1. Beano

        If your job was to constantly ruin peoples day (through the organisation you work for’s attitude to its clients and constant unreasonable price hikes), and you had to speak with the people on the recieving end of this would you enjoy your job? I know i give short shrift to any Rightmove employee as much as know its not their individual fault. Put it another wayhow long would you last working for a company who treated its clients like xxxx?

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        1. Beano

          Edit: Rhetorical…. I get you knew the answer to this

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    3. I want to believe

      If only there was a way for the smaller independents to do something about RM

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      1. Robert May

        There is but to mention it on here or even have it’s successes reported on here is regarded as a plug.

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  12. RealAgent

    Just playing Devils’s advocate for a moment, whilst I am not defending Rightmove’s charges,  views may differ depending on where in the country you are I accept that also . But I remember opening an office some years ago where the local paper charged £400…..a week…..for a half page…… in black and white.

    Does add a little perspective I feel.

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    1. MF

      I know, but we weren’t forced to pay £400 a week, EVERY WEEK, no matter what!

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      1. RealAgent

        Well yes we were really. In those days we relied on the advert and people walking to to be “added to the mailing list” for buyers. We had to pay it!

        One might argue that Rightmove actually did change the business in terms of where enquiries came from. Perhaps if anything they levelled playing fields a bit too much, but thats a whole different debate.

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    2. smile please

      This is very true! – but for a bit of sport did a local paper with corporate ties not recently fined mega bucks for price fixing?  – a hope of things to come with RM? 1 or 2 similarities ….

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      1. RealAgent

        I’m sure Smile and it probably wouldn’t happen now but I guess my point was back then, the local paper WAS Rightmove, they had the same clout. I remember even having to go to visit the MD of the paper to be interviewed before he would let us place an advert as a new business.

        I am sounding like a right “back in the day” merchant I know!

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        1. smile please

          Somethings have changed for the better but to be honest i miss “The old days”

          It was more about service and people as opposed to fee and portals – Maybe rose tinted glasses!?

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    3. reeceme

      Thats true £400 for half a page in a local paper, Want your fees at 4% back then as well?  you were winning massively

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      1. smile please

        Not really.

        Never a 4% fee highest sole agency was 1.95% and that was when the average house price was A LOT lower.

        And as RA points out, you have staff cost, rent, insurance rates, photographs used to cost a fortune.

        Belive me an outsider may think estate agency is a license to print money but to run a legal professional branch / chain you are talking thousands of pounds a month. Oh and even harder when you are starting up as you have no stock, you then need to find a buyer for the stock and then need to progress the sale to exchange and wait for completion to receive you payment, if it goes wrong you get nothing.

        If you were an agent opening today you would have to budget conservatively £50,000 in operating costs in the first year and expect no personal income.

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  13. Aaron

    Agency insider – I haven’t believed in OTM to date I have to admit, nothing personal to them but I still speak to a lot of vendors who have never heard of them… Which doesn’t fill me with confidence sadly. I would love nothing more than to say bye bye to both RM & Z the thieving B****** but we do need them.

    MF – I know, very frustrating to say the least. My account manager has been their less than a year so I’m sure she will learn the RM way… She entertained what I was suggesting but that’s all it ever is. I’m sure the training staff when a complaint about fees comes in goes something like this – let the agent get it off their chest.. They’ll take on a few listings over the next week and forget all about it… But whatever you do, make sure you don’t give any discount.

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  14. MF

    Bottom line: we can discuss this till the cows come home.  Until the majority of agents support OTM, as they once did RM and/or Z, not much is likely to change.

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  15. Barton Fleming

    Rightmove was making about 73% profit before tax in 2014. They have the capacity to charge a lot less and/or invest better in their infrastructure and portal delivery. Like all of us they are a business driven by profit, not morality and as such will not give up such profits willingly. In reality OTM is a failed attempt to topple Rightmove and has only resulted in doing some damage to Zoopla while strengthening Rightmove’s monopoly. The only tangible way to bring Rightmove’s pricing into line with other portals is a successful referral to the monopolies commission. If a large group of agents group together to lobby the monopolies commission then you may create a sufficiently strong argument to warrant an investigation. By being successful at what they do and making large profit is not a crime in itself, however, annoying that might seem. Club together and form a lobby group. Individual challenge is pointless. But be careful what you wish for. If the portal supply industry fragments you might have to find yourself paying less to many more portals to get a similar result and possibly at a similar cost overall. Rightmove has substituted itself for the thousands and thousands that agents used to spend on newspaper adverts. To that end it is a functional tool.

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    1. AgencyInsider

      The only tangible way to bring Rightmove’s pricing into line with other portals is a successful referral to the monopolies commission…

      In reality OTM is a failed attempt to topple Rightmove…

      If the portal supply industry fragments you might have to find yourself paying less to many more portals…

      With respect Barton Fleming, are you for real?

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    2. MF

      If anything, I think your comments further support the need for agents to get behind OTM as THE BEST OPTION.

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  16. Aaron

    Peter Green – Noël it’s the one other portal rule that’s the killer.

    i disagree with you… What you’re suggesting would be counter productive introducing a 3rd portal to pay for and increasing our costs further!

    I don’t want to turn this into an argument between the 3 but in my opinion if the OTM members and  particularly the Directors truly believed in the cause, they would drop RM & Z and push OTM as the Portal of choice to the public! This I think will then increase OTM membership or other competitor agents listings perhaps!

    Anyway lads… Nice talk… I’m off to work so I can pay the portal bills!

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  17. Mark Walker

    I think we all need to turn off our feeds to Rightmove in the 77th minute.

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    1. Gump

      A 2 month strike! Love it!

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      1. AgencyInsider

        It’s a fine idea. Just one teeny downside…

        If such a strike was to happen and was substantial it would send an unequivocal message to RM that the one theoretical vulnerability that they have is now a reality. That could have a huge impact on their thinking and laws of unintended consequences might well come in to play.


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    2. smile please

      I think it was Ric who said a year or more back we should turn our listings to invisible for a day.

      Why not put a weekend in the diary we all go invisible from Friday night to Monday morning.

      If enough likes on this comment i can start a thread in the Arena and look to put something in place …

      Worked at Ainfield 😉

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      1. observer

        Really putting your customers first with that idea.

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        1. smile please

          You really think a client will be penalised over not having their property on RM for just 48 hours?!

          Okay doctors can strike and put peoples lives at risk over their pay and that seen as a good thing but estate agents (To improve there circumstances) cannot remove properties from a single portal for 48 hours whilst still being advertised on other sites.

          Observer you really have a hatred for estate agents or have VERY little knowledge about the industry. Either way your ignorance shines through.

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          1. observer

            Can you hand on heart say that taking a client’s property off the portals for a weekend is in your client’s best interests?

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            1. smile please

              I can hand on heart tell you the property will still get sold and not adversely effect the seller.

              You are forgetting there are other sites, agents have databases. Also if you worked in a branch you would know most viewings are booked during the week for the weekend not at the weekend for the same day.

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  18. SJEA

    I have read many replies on the two top articles this morning claiming that OTM has only served to strengthen Rightmove. Can someone please explain this to me, as I understand that since the launch of OTM, some have dropped Rightmove under the one other portal rule. Z are also chasing clients and offering low fees – so they must be very worried.

    My belief is that Rightmove are feeling smug as they have not yet felt the impact of OTM, this will happen as OTM move into second position ahead of Zoopla and increase traffic and leads to members of OTM.

    To those not yet supporting OTM, or those that think it will simply not work – get yourself to one of the meetings – you will see how MOTIVATED all agents are for one portal and to drop both Zoopla and Rightmove. Maybe, just maybe some towns will start to switch off both R & Z and then move towards one portal.

    The motivation of members of OTM are not just about saving money – we are all sick and tired of the attitude of R & Z towards their fee paying clients – what other service provider would survive with year on year increases  ?

    As PeeBee has so eloquently put it – ‘one bite at a time’.

    And for those that are sick of reading about OTM – just use your left click on the top right cross of each page – as you are clearly not interested in the future of your business !!!!!


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    1. AgencyInsider

      Absolutely spot on SJEA!

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    2. B6RKY

      Its not rocket science SJEA. I think you will find that very few have dropped RM and therein lies the problem. I cant believe anyone seriously believes that RM are weaker now. OTM appear no nearer to challenging RM than they were a year ago (they have lost a tiny amount of their members).

      On the other hand the only portal that was challenging (Z) has been weakened by OTM as they now have less members. Pre-launch it was all about take down the monster but that quickly changed to take down the monsters smaller brother. I would guess that of the nearly 6000 OTM offices the vast majority still use RM. The reality now is that not even a combination of OTM and Z is equal to RM.

      However if all OTM agents had the b**ls to drop RM it would be a game changer. But despite all the bluster and rhetoric that is not going to happen, is it? They talk a good game but to actually drop RM. Hmmmm………

      And if OTM became No.1 in some parallel universe what could it become? A monopoly perhaps? I like competition and believe that is the way to control the portal world. We have a choice, its up to us to use it.

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  19. Tuf Luv

    My pops used to say “if food tastes like sh*t then put hot sauce on it, that’ll save almost anything.” Never liked my pops. Dude if it tastes like sh*t then just stop eating it.

    Jeez RM money is pure freak show (I reserve the right to love every other freak show) but this aint suddenly revelatory. Their traffic’s off the chain because they’re the real guys achieving 99% of their asking price, not us. So yes, they could sweeten the pot for some agents but I guess there’s no point in having f*ck you money if you never get to say f*ck you. Awesome.

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    1. inthefield

      TufLuv I feel like ive just finished watching an episode of the sapranos reading your post!

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  20. Chri Wood

    “Is Rightmove behaving like a monopoly?”

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  21. Zeus

    I have been off Rightmove for two years and have no trouble selling houses.

    As long as you can educate a Vendor at valuation stage that anyone claiming that you have to be on Rightmove to sell your property is hoping to list it and wait for the phone to ring.

    This is not how I was trained in Estate Agency.

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  22. PaulC

    Sticking my head in the firing line, I wish RM would increase their MINIMUM monthly spend.

    I spend about £1860 a month for our branch with RM.. Far less than I would have spent in the press 20 years ago. I get good value from that spend in my opinion. Not that it is an option to not have it anyway.

    I give the consumer a much better experience and I have national coverage. Think how many wasted viewings we had when all the buyer had for a small exterior image to go by.

    Yes we need a viable alternative to keep them in check and not having one is an issue. But these 1-2 man bands that pop up constantly I think the industry could do without (Bedroom agents staying under the VAT threshold)

    OTM could be it, but they need to drop the one other portal rule, get the stock and then over time strengthen their brand awareness.

    On appraisal’s I say there is only one major portal we are not on it called On the Market, have you heard of it?

    This is no exaggeration 4 times out of 5 the answer is NO.


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    1. Robert May

      Strange thing is when your  AM competition follows you in and says  “We are on two major portals just like Paul C, one is called ‘On the Market’ have you ever heard of it? 5 out of 5 will say; Yes  Paul C told us On the market was a major portal.

      If you are genuinely  selling your selling service on the strength of where you advertise I would be worried how your business differs from the  non vat bedroom agents you are up against.  They advertise on the same two major portals you do but charge a lot less than you do. Because the portals disguise the size of an agent and reach the same  audience it is madness  for any vendor to pay you for a like for like service they can get much cheaper.

      As for paying more than £1860 that  wish is easily fixed, send them a cheque for more, it just means  instead of being charged  £1600 per month  more than some of your competition you will be spending more again. That will weaken your agency as well as weakening all the other competitors you want to control.

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  23. PaulC

    Team of 16, Listed 85 and sold 68 homes since Jan 1st so a little different to a bedroom operation 😉

    Absolutely sell on service and part of that service aside from a perfect advert is ensuring the largest reach and exposure for our clients. That today means RM & ZP. I would love to give OTM my money but can’t due to 1 other portal rule.

    As for my RM spend I track my business’s closely 1075 Calls last month, plus 428 email leads from RM works out at £1.24 a contact not really bad value in my opinion.

    By comparison despite Zoopla’s lower month works out more expensive per contact.

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  24. PaulC

    Robert I think you also missed the word Minimum in the original post.

    Maybe a minimum spend of £750pm would keep 1 man at home from starting up..

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