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Could This Spell The End Of Rightmove?

February 2023


Over the last several years there has been a growing trend and movement in favour of properties transacting in the ‘off-market’ sector. As a result, could this spell the end of Rightmove and its rivals as they all stand on the edge of a precipice?

This is where properties are bought and sold away from the bright lights of Rightmove, social media and open public websites. Discretion, confidentiality and a need to know basis are all at the top of the priority list, where only buyers in the very best positions to proceed are given access to a range of properties which don’t have an online presence.


The database of information

When one thinks about it, estate agents spend time and money acquiring properties to sell. They have gathered a plethora of information about sellers and indeed buyers, which is all now at their fingertips on their database. What then seems somewhat ridiculous, is that estate agents then pay an often sizeable fee again per office, for Rightmove and other platforms to take the information they have already and then automatically place it on another website.


Online presence and exposure

However this isn’t a one sided position. Sellers and buyers are now ever mindful of their online presence and exposure around this. For example, having a full virtual tour around your home, with range of accompanying photographs adds to your digital footprint. Sellers and indeed buyers in the mid to high end price bracket often don’t want the whole world to know what the inside of their wardrobe looks like. Not only is this a breach of security if too much information is put online, but the eventual purchaser may not want their new home splashed around and having an associated digital presence that is extremely difficult to remove, where they have no control over the information.


Rightmove needs estate agents

Without estate agents willingly paying to give their data to Rightmove and its counterparts, the online portals don’t have a business. Do remember of course that most are publicly listed companies and report to shareholders. These companies therefore need to show an upward trend in share price and woe betide a CEO who makes this go the other way.


Estate agents are becoming more proactive

Estate agents are now spending more money on their own websites and bringing proactive buyers to their own front door. For many online focussed estate agents, the lure of social media and promoting themselves on the back of clients homes I feel is questionable. Whilst many of these types of agent would say the off-market sector is a retrograde step, knowing your market and the people within it, has never been more important. Picking up the telephone to known sellers and buyers is what estate agency is all about and the ability to place property with the right individuals. Of course, technology has a place in the mix, but it is a tool and needs to be used in the right way.


Low profile selling

The rise of the off-market sector is something that is gaining traction. Some sellers simply wish to keep a low profile and are happy for matters to take a bit longer. If they get a sensible price without the digital confetti that goes with it and a handful of selective viewings, then so be it. Estate agents themselves are also increasingly frustrated with the high costs of Rightmove and its rivals, which provide mixed results. By bringing it back to their own base, the agent remains in control and is where Rightmove could start to see overall numbers decline.


Could this of all spell the end of Rightmove? Perhaps it’s time for Rightmove to move right over?


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