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Letting Agency

My Love-Hate Relationship with Rightmove

As a former letting agent I used to HATE Rightmove.

I hated their market dominance.  I hated the fact that I NEEDED them to succeed. I hated them so much, because I needed them so much.

I needed Rightmove to succeed.  I needed them to feed the agency success.  And because they fed that success so well, I also LOVED them.

It was a bizarre love-hate triangle.

Rightmove was a behemoth.

And I always felt like a cowering and insubstantial David to Rightmove’s Goliath.

Maybe it was the imbalance of power which made me hate them so much?

Maybe it was because the relationship felt so one-sided that I hated them so much?

Maybe it was because I needed them more than they needed me which made me hate them with such a vengeance?

And I know it probably sounds crazy to any normal business owner to have such a passionate love-hate relationship with a supplier.  But it exists.  And I know I was not alone.

And it was a feeling which tinged my entire relationship with Rightmove: they knew I needed them.  And for that I decided they were arrogant.

Which made me hate them even more.

I hated the fact Rightmove knew they were so good at what they did.  I hated the fact they were so good at what they did.  And I also loved that they were so good at what they did – because it made me good.  It made me good at letting properties.

Without a doubt, it is the oddest business relationship I have ever experienced.

Looking back now, without my letting agent hat on, maybe I was unfair and maybe I was wrong: Rightmove did need me.

Without me as an agent listing my properties with Rightmove they would not have as many properties.  Without me and my properties they would not have such a massive selection of properties.  Without me contributing my small bit, they would not have their BIG bit.

Because despite my “small-ness” compared to their “big-ness” Rightmove needed me.

I may have only been a small fish in a big ocean, but every small fish provides a meal for a whale.

Every small fish has a part to play.  Every small fish is needed.  Even whales need to eat.

Without agents – no matter how small or how big – Rightmove is dead in the water.

And they know that.

Rightmove know they need the small fish to be the BIG whale.  Without the small fish playing their part, swimming alongside and scattering throughout the waters the whale will start to get hungry.

And big whales need a lot of small fish to survive.

7 comments
    1. Daz Bradbury

      That’s not really true – OpenRent is charged a multiple of the single agency fee for every 20-30 properties (the average of the number of properties their letting agents have).

      1. Sam

        Daz – I am interested to hear more. I thought it was based on geographic area and once you had a certain proportion outside of the main office area then the “additional agency fee” kicked in?

    2. Sam

      I agree Simon – the one size fits all approach is very hard to make work when the market is full of so many different agencies

  1. Babs Jones

    I reckon http://www.propertypropertyproperty.co.uk could be the third member of this love triangle! See her as your wife who truly gives you value for your love and respect – the other is just an over expensive bit on the side!

    Estate agents seem to have forgotten that they are suppose to be individuals – that’s why they are so good at what they do! Don’t be a sheep!!

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