Pre 2000 nobody had really heard of Rightmove, actually nobody really searched online for a property, around this time vendors and estate agents alike would have to rely on the local newspaper to advertise their home in the hope of finding a buyer, that together with having their property in the local estate agents window gave them a platform for finding a buyer.
Fast forward to 2010 and within a short space of time the property market has changed and how the tables have turned. When was the last time you searched for a property to buy or let without using a computer?
We’re told that 90% of house hunters now look online for their next property and of those surfers almost 90% will search on Right Move.
After the dot com boom and bust who’d have thought that even in today’s tough economic climate that a website could be worth nearly £1bn, it’s a remarkable rise and there is obviously some competition out there but exactly how can you stop the runaway train that is Rightmove PLC?
The challenge is gigantic, many have tried but the power of Rightmove brushes aside all before them, there are some players still hanging on in there trying to dent the PLC’s market share namely Prime Location and Find a property and Zoopla.
For as long as Prime Location and Find A Property remain two separate websites I cannot see how they will be able to progress as a serious contender, I understand that they are two separate brands but surely they’d be stronger combined? Maybe they’ve given up on the idea of being the number 1 portal and are happier to have a more upmarket brand alongside a regional one.
However you look at it the public have the power – and they don’t want to search 3 or 4 websites to find a property they want it all in one place which makes Right Move so strong.
Zoopla is an interesting player, they have some grand plans to eat into Right Move’s lunch but this is going to take time not to mention support from 90% of estate agents and they need the public to make the switch from Right Move or to educate them to browse more than one website for property.
Right Move continue to up their fees as do most portals so at this stage it would be unfair to assume that estate agents are unhappy with Right Move’s position so the likes’ of Zoopla will have to really go some to gain the public’s clicks on their site, once they get this and begin to provide more leads to estate agents then it becomes very interesting but you do get the feeling that this really is a David vs Goliath battle but we all remember what happened in there...