In a new video interview, estate agent Simon Shinerock claims Rightmove has ‘failed miserably’ to show empathy for estate agents and see things from their point of view.
The views come on the back of reports that multiple members of the Federation of Independent Agents are considering cancelling their Rightmove subscriptions due to fee increases.
The interview of Shinerock, Chairman of Choices Estate Agents, is conducted by industry commentator Christopher Watkin and focuses on Rightmove’s relationship with the estate agency industry.
A lack of empathy for the industry
Shinerock says that Rightmove has failed to see estate agents’ point of view in a number of ways. He discusses with Watkin the example of his own website.
“I have a website, I want to promote my website, they do everything possible to stop the traffic going from Rightmove to my website,” he says.
“Why can’t they offer me an open market search on my website? Why can’t they develop my business?”
Market leader that has brought little creativity to property
In the interview, Shinerock also criticises the portal for its lack of creativity. He says Rightmove’s offering is more or less the same as when it launched, but that agents are now charged a huge amount more for the same product.
He describes Rightmove’s proposition as ‘purely passive’.
“How come Rightmove – the so-called leader in the portal business – has done nothing on social media? You could almost say they are anti-social media,” Shinerock argues.
“As a company, they are holding the industry back to some degree because of their dominant position.”
Agents should be suspicious of Rightmove
When discussing the portal’s relationship with the estate agency industry, Shinerock tells Watkin that agents are right to be suspicious.
“Right from the beginning when Rightmove was free, I was super suspicious of them. That suspicion has carried on entirely through our relationship with Rightmove,” he says.
He says we was worried to read that the portal has been testing an instant transaction function on its commercial platform.
If Rightmove put an instant transaction function on its residential platform, it could decide to disintermediate agents, according to Shinerock.
Watkin suggests this could see Rightmove becoming the estate agents themselves, even though they have promised they’d never do that.