NEWSFLASH: Rightmove introduces new 14-week rule in portal juggling crackdown

Rightmove has today confirmed the introduction of a 14-week period as it cracks down on portal juggling.

It means that a sales property that has previously been on the the portal cannot be re-listed as new within 14 weeks of it being taken off. A property that goes back on Rightmove within 14 weeks will keep its original listing date and not go out in property alerts.

The 14-week period has been sharply raised from the existing two-week period.

The change will affect all sales properties uploaded, whether manually or through agency software.

Rightmove said that the change will ensure that consumers are seeing accurate listings, and will further improve the accuracy of agents’ market share data against competitors.

Rightmove says it has also improved the technology it uses to detect relisted properties more accurately.

Rightmove director Jason Bushby said:  “After listening to and reviewing feedback from around the industry we have made the change to 14 weeks to provide users with the most accurate data when they are making property decisions.

“This will help to prevent any agents who may be deliberately trying to incorrectly relaunch listings and we will be continuing to improve, update and review this technology.”

The move has been welcomed by both TPO and the industry regulator NTSEAT.

Agents should note that the change relates only to sales properties, not rentals, and is effective from today.

 

 

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51 Comments

  1. bobscarff

    Well done Jason. About time too, some will say, but well done.

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    1. SarahPercy33

      Will they actually police it though?  Bit like the Ghost listing that goes on all the time…..

       

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      1. Robert May

        If they don’t there is now a  portal police complaints commission keeping an eye!

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    2. Robert May

      Well done Jason“? Jason had a chance to stop this in September 2015.  I am afraid  you congratulating him is simply insulting to  the people who have endured the high handed, dismissive attitude of a department unable to detect or comprehend the breach of regulation that govern the industry

       

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  2. ringi

    What if the property is listed by a different agent?

    This would give landlords a big incentive to swap agents after a few weeks if a property has not rented.

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    1. Claire

      if a property hadn’t let in 14 weeks then the landlord OUGHT to change agent! If we have a property stick for that long we encourage landlords to use other agents also. If the property is priced too highly, either by the landlord or the agent, it is a good time to review it, if it is because the agent isn’t doing their job correctly, why should the landlord suffer? If the property is not fit to be rented, then it wont be, and why should the prospective tenant suffer?

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      1. AgentV

        If it’s listed by a different agent, then its quite often different representation, different marketing and more than likely a different price. Is that really trying to dupe anyone in the same way to gain an advantage…especially as the new price would often trigger an alert anyway. To try and police properties as not being ‘new to market’ after swapping to another agent would be impractical I would suggest. I do agree with Claire’s comment below though. No doubt plans are already being raised and discussed in certain quarters to start up sister companies for the sole purpose of swapping properties between them every 15 weeks! Or am I being too cynical?

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      2. hansolo1229

        article states this doesnt relate to lettings properties

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    2. hansolo1229

      article states this doesnt relate to lettings properties

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  3. 123430

    Good news. They should also crack down on fake or phantom listings, that distorts real listings and property prices. The ones without pictures (or pictures of random buildings) to gain unrealistic market share, the ones when you call up, ‘oh sorry its gone, but we have a similar one 10 miles away’, like this one http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-42625278.html. Thank you.

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  4. Claire

    What about ‘sister’ companies under the same (usually Countrywide) umbrella advertising each others properties?

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    1. g4lvo17

      You must be Joking, I used to work for Countrywide and different ‘ Sister ‘ companies hated each other probably more so than other local agents. Nobody in countrywide was paid if something sold via a different Subsidary, so there was zero incentive to do it

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      1. AgentV

        That’s very strange. Do you mean to say that what CW agents in our area say about listing with them means ‘putting your property into thousands of offices throughout the country …all of them working hard to try and sell your property…. and that’s why you need to pay us 50% more than the independents’… isn’t true then? Well I’ll be damn…d. If I had known that before I could have countered it.

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  5. smile please

    Increasing to 14 weeks makes no difference – Some companies list multi cards of the same property.

     

    I think what is being missed here with portal juggling is its not your local competitor trying to get a property to the top of the listings (as annoying as that is)

     

    *** PLEASE READ ***

    The reason some companies “Portal Juggling” is to inflate their stock levels so they can show they are NUMBER 1 in an area so they gain more instructions on valuation or they can say to investors they are taking on hundreds if not thousands a month meaning they are a good investment.

    If you uploaded 10 properties every night for a month at 12:01am and took them off at 06:59am same day. End of the month you will be showing you have took on close to 300 properties AND sold them. This will also be verified by the portal.

     

    This would help any high street office let alone a national brand – This is what portal juggling is, NOT the agent next door that manipulates the system on a small scale.

     

    Before this comment gets removed i have not highlighted who may or may not do this this is purely about portal juggling NOT who is doing it.

     

     

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    1. Robert May

      Any agent suspected of or  with a proven history of juggling is monitored for just that activity.  We have a new team member; Aragog

      who monitors  that  sort of activity.

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    2. Keyser_Söze

      If Rightmove’s developers have done a proper job then they should be able to spot duplicate instructions. The full address by street number is unique.

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      1. Robert May

        It is in their interest not to spot it, with over  25,000  notification triggers each day that is an awful lot of traffic and site activity being generated.

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  6. wardy

    Great news. can RM also confirm that relistings will also not show in intel stats?

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  7. AgentV

    Yes!!!!!

    ‘Rightmove says it has also improved the technology it uses to detect relisted properties more accurately’

    How about using a combination of ‘which agent’ and ‘which address’ with an agent being requested to show that a new property on the same road is different to one that has been taken off in the previous 14 weeks…..perhaps by disclosing the house numbers to rightmove for instance!! They know them anyway when they go into the sold prices section.

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    1. PeeBee

      ‘Rightmove says it has also improved the technology it uses to detect relisted properties more accurately’

      Well they ain’t chuffin’ well using it yet!

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  8. Franchisee

    Is this for Lettings and sales and what happens when a vendor has decided to change agents after their 6 week sole agency runs out seems a bit unfair on the seller if he is not protected by the portal from the undeliverable service of the agent as after all not all agents are as competent as they should be with leads etc

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    1. g4lvo17

      Quite clearly if a vendor changes agent and they list the property, it will not show as portal juggling, this happens on a much smaller scale than the Juggles by certain agents, and therefore shouldn’t be a concern to RM or zoop etc

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      1. AgentV

        If it’s listed by a different agent, then its quite often different representation, different marketing and more than likely a different price. Is that really trying to dupe anyone in the same way to gain an advantage…especially as the new price would often trigger an alert anyway. To try and police properties as not being ‘new to market’ after swapping to another agent would be impractical I would suggest. I do agree with Claire’s comment above though. No doubt plans are already being raised and discussed in certain quarters to start up sister companies for the sole purpose of swapping properties between them every 15 weeks! Or am I being too cynical?

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  9. Blue

    I read this as even if the vendor changes agents.

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    1. Property Paddy

      I can’t see how, different agent, different data feed source shouldn’t be an issue.

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  10. NickTurner

    14 weeks far better than 2 weeks but what happens when the market changes or different parts of the country experience different sales market trends.

    Surely the portals ( or do they have a vested interest in getting the best listings/sale agreed results?) should say that when a property is listed having been given the prescribed Post Office Address of that property then that is the first day of listing irrespective of which agent subsequently offers it or however many times a sale falls through.

    The unscrupulous agents will get around this as always so all in all the gutter end of the agency market reflects what is publicised and gives the profession its bad standing around the dinner room table talk. Rather like the press……

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    1. femaleagent88

      But what happens to the consumer who is tied into a contract with them?

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      1. PeeBee

        GOOD QUESTION, femaleagent88!

        I’m taking it down to the bottom as it’s a bit ‘lost’ up here…

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  11. Chri Wood

    Trading standards assured advice says a minimum period of 6 months is required and NOT 14 weeks. Rightmove have acted far too late and seemingly in breach of TSO advice.

    Link to NAEA Warwick Trading Standards primary authority advice http://bit.ly/2b8zRMy

    Rightmove – find your morals

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  12. StanLaurel35

    Is it me or did juggling start getting worse when Rightmove started its ‘Intel’ – The last time their Rep came in to my office and I stated that I ‘hated it’ he looked at me in astonishment and said I was the first Agent ever to say this – Is it just me? I told him what was happening in my area with the corporate companies distorting the figures and said it was creating an unfair advantage for dishonest agents – I also hate it because when we come up with a new creative idea/ advertising program, other agents see it’s working and jump on the bandwagon.I have requested several times to come off the ‘Intel’ only to be fobbed off.

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    1. wardy

      I had a competitor use zoopla stats on a valuation a few weeks ago. A lovely pie chart showing how many flats they had sold compared to us this year.

      We haven’t been on Zoopla for nine months.

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      1. Robert May

        Manipulated performance charts  and the false claims made by agents can now be referred through to trading standards rather than ASA. No more naughty step and slapped wrists.  This industry just got tilted in favour of the decent people.

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    2. AgentV

      Hi Stan,

      Are you interested in a way to start fighting back against unfair practices and at the same time create more generated business for yourself? I have an idea.

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      1. AgentV

        How can I get 10 dislikes for just trying to be helpful?

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        1. Property Paddy

          LOL

          someone clearly has it in for you.

          Must be something you said perhaps ?

          I’ll click “like” just to be fair.

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      2. StanLaurel35

        Thanks for the offer AgentV but so many other commitments at the moment, wish I could

        ….I’m totally aghast at all your dislikes….Have you got a stalker?

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  13. PeeBee

    From above:

    femaleagent88
    December 14, 2016 at 9:29 am
    But what happens to the consumer who is tied into a contract with them?

    A great question, femaleagent88 – and one which those policing the industry should be ready and able to answer and deal with.

    In my humble opinion, should those Agents fail to deliver on their stated service standards, then any Contract they have with a Vendor or Landlord should be nullified with immediate effect.

    Whilst most Agents are free to decide which portals they list their properties on, the public ultimately decide whether that coverage is sufficient to instruct that particular Agent.

    Removal or change of any ‘service’ which was included in the package when the Agreement was signed could potentially result in the homeowner wishing to disinstruct their current Agent in favour of one whose ‘service’ is seen as superior.

    Obviously, a decision from TPOS etc should be sought (consider it ‘sought’ – I’ll do it now) – but I cannot see TPOS deciding in favour of an Agent whose ‘marketing strategy’ revolves around slapping an ad on RM & Z if those portals refuse to carry those ads due to the Agent’s unacceptable listing practices.

     

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    1. PeeBee

      Question asked – I will update via EYE.

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    2. Robert May

      where is that quote from?

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      1. PeeBee

        Directly under the post from ‘Nick Turner’.

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        1. Property Paddy

          Hi Peebee,

          I must have taken (yet another) stupid pill this morning. re : femailagent88 question “But what happens to the consumer who is tied into a contract with them?”

          I think her question needs expanding as I’m struggling to work out what interpretation of the contract she maybe referring to.

          🙂

           

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          1. PeeBee

            I dare say you’re right, Property Paddy.  I simply (maybe over-simply) took the question to relate to Contracts that unsuspecting Vendors/Landlords have signed with Agents who are removed from the portal(s) for shoddy, misleading or illegal practices.

            Let’s see what femaleagent88 comes back with.

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            1. femaleagent88

              Your right with the understanding of what I mean’t apologise, Joe Bloggs has signed with Mr Portal Juggling agent, portal juggler gets band from advertising for 14 weeks, what happens to poor old Joe whoes signed an agreement for X ammount of time with Mr Juggler?

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              1. PeeBee

                It’s actually not a 14-week ban, femaleagent88 – it would be permanent, as per Zoopla’s comment in the story of the day:

                “Where any agent deliberately attempts to circumvent these processes and manipulate their listings to mislead consumers, we have a dedicated compliance team whose job it is to identify these rogue agents and remove them permanently from our platform.”

                FYI – I’m currently ‘working with’ their compliance team on this very matter.

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                1. femaleagent88

                  Gosh Zoopla would loose of the London agents, they are the worst for portal juggling and most london buyers use Zoopla as a platform over rightmove,

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                  1. PeeBee

                    MORE reason then for ALL Agents to play fair!

                    ;o)

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  14. Russell Williams

    This all makes for interesting reading.  And I have a few points to add.

    I cannot comment on Rightmove’s intelligence reports, as I have never used them, but I do use Zoopla’s Marketview.  I was once at a disadvantage to some of my local competitors due to the Zoopla reports, but once I looked into things, I was able to correct things:

    At the point that we changed an instruction to Under Offer or Let Agreed in our software, it turned out that our software was then immediately removing that property from Zoopla.  Thus, rather than the Zoopla system showing us as selling and letting properties, it identified us as simply withdrawing them all!

    After finding out how to control the defaults in our software (our oversight), we altered it so that when we changed an instruction to Under Offer, that change would be sent to Zoopla.  The property would stay on Zoopla, but with an Under Offer banner – and then the stats started correctly showing that we weren’t the Laurel and Hardy outfit that other agents were making us out to be before.

    Occasionally, if we do actually withdraw a property, or neglect to change it to Under Offer, then it will show up as withdrawn in the stats.  And we have had a small number of customers who have wanted it removed from the sites straight away, which again means that even though we’ve sold it, it shows up as withdrawn.

    It sounds as though Rightmove’s system doesn’t do this, judging from the comments above?  It sounds as though Rightmove’s system classes withdrawn as sold – and so I’m not at all surprised if some agents are playing the system to make themselves look better.  If so, that’s a big oversight, Rightmove.

    In addition, when we were trying to work out why we were bottom of the pile, so to speak, it was explained to us that most agents don’t actually supply much decent address info to the portals, for example they pretty much never send the property number.

    And so instead, the agency software creates a reference for each instruction.  And this reference stays with the instruction for life.  This is what the portals look out for.

    So, if they see a property come through with reference 123456, and they know they saw that reference  less than 14 weeks ago, they’ll treat the property as ‘old’, a continuation.  But if the gap is more than 14 weeks, the property with that reference will be treated as new.

    And so (and I’m sure Mr May can back me up here), if I simply re-use, or hide-unhide-hide, the same record in my software, then the portals can tell this and tackle portal juggling and stats falsifying.

    But, if I simply create another record within my software (and therefore a new reference), the portals will see it as new.  Even if the price, etc are identical, or nearly identical.  And because they don’t bother about the address info, even if I did supply the full address details, on both the original and the follow-up, the portals would still treat them as seperate adverts and both would be New when added.

    And finally – what about lettings?!

     

     

     

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    1. Property Paddy

      Re: “In addition, when we were trying to work out why we were bottom of the pile, so to speak, it was explained to us that most agents don’t actually supply much decent address info to the portals, for example they pretty much never send the property number.”

      Yes if you know how the numbers work in the street/post code you could for example re-post through your software number 2, then number 3 then 4 etc etc. And RM wouldn’t see it unless a “human” looked at it and reported it.

      So if you were really unscrupulous you might list 17 houses on the same street at 12:01 AM and remove all except the correct one at 05:59 (or whenever) and then the next day show a huge jump in new instructions.

      And if anyone asked.

      Oh ! It was a software glitch !!!

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    2. Robert May

      Both duplicated listing and status changes  can be identified, a property that doesn’t follow an expected pattern of For Sale, Sale agreed  Sold (with the occasional sale that falls through) or withdrawn is highlighted.

      A point system that allows   a certain volume of transactions to not follow that pattern means  it is only repeat examples that  need to be investigated.  During  investigation  all the changes  are audited.

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  15. Innocentvendors60

    Hello All,

    I massively agree that something needs to be done to prevent unscrupulous agents from abusing property listing companies like Rightmove from  agents that keep regenerating their stock marketing online. HOWEVER…. this is very unfair on vendors caught up in situations. Example: Vendor accepts an offer and as generally accepted and demanded, the buyer insists on removing the property from all websites. Vendor removes, then the buyer proves to be a time waster or pulls out weeks after. Vendors then remarkets and his agent puts it back on Rightmove . The listing date on the listing shows as the original date (in this case many weeks later due to interference of Christmas/New Year period).

    The above makes the property look ‘old’ on the market AND does not generate property email alerts to prospective new buyers!!! This is hugely unfair to the vendor and keeping the old date gives misleading information and I believe a misdescription as factually incorrect.

    Has anyone consider the vendors in all this as they are and will be the innocent sufferers because of badly behaved agents.

    Surely in this day and age Rightmove can manage to create a system to weadle out (& ban persistent abusing agents) the untrue new listings and agents WITHOUT MAKING INNOCENT VENDORS SUFFER.

    Seems there is no respect for vendors in this set up. Vendors pay for the service even if via the agent.

     

     

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