This week local estate agency owner and lettings specialist Gareth Cheshire gives us his views on players in the Property Portal business
Play nice now kids…….
To quote the late Charles Aznavour ‘Yesterday when I was young’ well when I was younger (it wasn’t yesterday, it was a few years ago) I would often enjoy a playground spat, this didn’t really change in my career with the corporates, ask a few of my ex line managers! Now, much like the late Sir Henry Cooper, I enjoy sitting back and smiling at you youngsters having a go.
Sit back and smile
What has brought the latest smile to my face? Well The Property Franchise Group (no, me neither) are a big listed company and are having a go at Rightmove another big boy in the playground. They want to refer Rightmove to the Competition and Markets Authority (all these long words!) and indeed have gone as far as instructing a barrister who specialises in these matters to give an opinion – well I suppose they wouldn’t instruct a barrister who specialises in traffic offences would they?
Anyway it appears that TPFG feel that Rightmove are overcharging agents, have a monopoly over the market and as a result can charge what they like. They want to form a Holy Alliance, not a court action yet, to persuade Rightmove to see the light and treat agents fairly. Well good luck with that then.
Competition in the property portal market
Only a few years ago a few big agents got together to form a mutual called Onthemarket whose aim was to bring big, bad, nasty, overcharging Rightmove down a peg or two and sort them out. Well we all know how that went.
The thing is that Rightmove IS very expensive but the public perception is that they are the daddy of property portals, and they are, and it’s that which is important – what the public think. Jo Schmo doesn’t give a monkey’s about Rightmove fees or their monopoly of the market, they want to know ‘When will it be on Rightmove?’. Simple as that.
If other big boys in the market place want to trouble Rightmove then they should make their product better and allow market forces to take control. We have seen it in Cwmbran where certain agents tell prospective vendors, not how good THEY are and what THEY can do for clients but come out with the classic ‘whatever Chesh says he will charge you, I’ll beat it ‘ – and good luck with that one as well.
Property Market Forces
Market forces will and do prevail and ‘Yesterday when I was young’ when Rightmove launched they gave it away and slowing but surely built up the brand and more importantly their strangle hold on the market.
Trying to get THEM to change rather than change the way you operate ain’t the way the change things.
**Cheshire and Co, independent estate agents and lettings agents, based in Pontnewydd, use Rightmove to advertise all their properties for sale across Cwmbran, Pontypool and Griffithstown.
**The Rightmove Property Portal receives, on average, over one hundred million hits on its website every month.