Rightmove is the abusive partner you’re scared to leave. Don’t fall for the short term charm. Get out now, or the abuse will continue.
Two days ago Rightmove made an offer to its agent customers (partial deferral for a few months but no discount) that resulted in mass outrage. It was so insulting and derisory that by yesterday thousands of agents had sent in their cancellation notices. Rightmove’s share price fell sharply.
Today Rightmove has emailed its customers, apologised for how badly it misjudged things and has put in place a blanket discount of 75% for 4 months starting in April, no strings attached.
On the face of it, this looks like a sincere acknowledgment of how badly they got it wrong.
If you stay, they will hurt you again.
But don’t be fooled.
This is the behaviour of an abusive partner, who after years of abuse has pushed it too far, now fears the relationship will end, and is begging you to come back with a short term offer.
In their email, they say that this measure will cost them between £65m and £75m. That sounds like a lot, but is one-third of one year’s profits really going to hurt them if they keep all their customers?
Countless reports from agents speak of being unable to contact a rep, being told to “Pay, downgrade or leave”, and absolutely no concession being given to anyone except their largest corporate customers.
While some agents say they find Rightmove good value for money, most average agents find their relentless price increases (with no associated increase in value) deeply unfair and unsustainable.
If this is a relationship you don’t feel happy in, now is the best chance you have ever had, and likely ever will, to get out.
Zoopla smells Rightmove blood and moves in for the kill.
This morning Zoopla has announced very aggressive discounts and free periods in return for an 18 month commitment. They are offering 3 months free, or 9 months free followed by 9 months at full price, IF YOU LEAVE RIGHTMOVE.
This is aggressive competition. Given the short term survival challenges, Zoopla is rising to the occasion and offering agents a genuine pathway through the uncertainty of the rest of this year, but only if you leave Rightmove.
Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.
For agents who dislike Rightmove, Zoopla’s offer seems like a no brainer. At the very least, this could knock RM off the top spot if Zoopla manages to achieve larger numbers of listings. But is there a risk? The risk is that by committing to come off RM, you may not be able to get back on to it for 18 months. If you’re worried about that, you can take Zoopla’s 3 month free offer without having to leave RM. But in my mind, the risk of being stuck on RM is a much bigger one.
If you feel abused by Rightmove, I would walk away. Ignore their 75% discount offer, generous though it seems. It is the desperate plea of an abusive partner who will say anything to get you to stay, so they can carry on abusing you as normal after a few months.
Getting out of an abusive relationship is frightening and difficult.
The use of the term ‘abusive relationship’ is no metaphor or joke. It is how many agents genuinely feel, and it is their livelihood at stake. What could be more upsetting or emotional than that, in your working life at least?
Everyone knows of someone who has been through this. In your personal life it is horrific, but not unexpected. Agents should be able to sign up to a supplier without fear of being trapped at the expense of their business and livelihood.
The image used for this post was taken from a blog about how to leave an abusive partner. If it is of any help, it can be found here: https://psychcentral.com/blog/the-one-word-i-used-to-end-my-abusive-relationship/