Could Rightmove ever be an estate agent?


Letting agency guru Christopher Watkin has caused a storm on LinkedIn when he pondered the possibility of whether Rightmove could become an estate agency.

Watkin told The Neg that it’s never going to happen but says that with the average fee at 1.6% in 2004 yet now somewhere around 1%, the industry had become incapable of creating value.

One of the reasons as a cause of that is our over-reliance on the portals.”

Watkin argues: “One of the reasons as a cause of that is our over-reliance on the portals.

“Have you ever wondered why Zoopla bought uSwitch? Did they see Zoopla as a huge dragnet to bring people to their switching site uSwitch? Remember, Zoopla has millions of peoples data inputted into their system, they know their name, telephone, email and where they live and what stage they are in life… talk about a goldmine of information and informatioin is everything nowadays.”


Watkin says Rightmove has become the dominant over-arching layer in the estate agency industry, and as part of their procedures, they too have data-mined in the background since 2000 the name, address, email and telephone number of landlords, vendors, buyers and sellers who has been on their site for email alerts.

He adds: “If you have ever signed up to Rightmove, they send you mortgage offers, removals quotes, free val enquiries. It wouldn’t take two seconds for Big-Dave in IT at Rightmove Milton Keynes (HQ) to change your logo to theirs?

“Yet instead of becoming utilities switching service, they could become an Estate Agent?

“So, envisage what would happen if Rightmove chose to make their own, branded estate company with the only purpose of sell and let property?”

Read more about the debate.

Go to Publisher: Proptech Archives – The Negotiator
Author: Robyn Hall