Zoopla and OnTheMarket have given their first reactions to Rightmove's portal juggling extension of its property re-listing deadline from two weeks to 14 weeks.
Yesterday Rightmove revealed it had updated its technology to allow listings to be relaunched on to the site and sent out in property alerts only if they had been off the site for 14 weeks or longer.
Last evening Zoopla gave its response, saying: "We have always had extensive automated rules in place for both sales and rental listings that require them to be off the market for an extended period of time before they can be re-listed as new. This is precisely to prevent this type of practice by a limited number of agents.”
“Where any agent deliberately attempts to circumvent these processes and manipulate their listings to mislead consumers, we have a dedicated compliance team whose job it is to identify these rogue agents and remove them permanently from our platform. We take this issue very seriously and Zoopla has led the way in providing accurate and transparent data to consumers to help them make smarter property decisions" says a spokesman.
OnTheMarket said it would study the Rightmove initiative.
"We installed a robust set of procedures prior to our launch to ensure we could quickly identify any attempt to re-list properties as new” says a statement from OTM chief executive Ian Springett.
“Any apparent examples of gaming identified by our internal procedures or flagged externally by other agents will always be thoroughly investigated. We constantly revisit the measures we have in place to ensure that they remain robust. We will be assessing the announcement by Rightmove in this context" he adds.
Yesterday’s move by Rightmove was welcomed by both The Property Ombudsman and the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team; both organisations were quoted in the official Rightmove statement made to agents and to the trade press.
“The step is part of the Rightmove Data Quality team's continual improvements to ensure the accuracy of data and to improve the home-hunter's search experience” the statement said.
The portal says its investment in technology to achieve this “is alongside the technology and processes that are already in place to remove hundreds of thousands of properties each year that have been sold or let, that agents do not remove.”
Rightmove director Jason Bushby says the move “will help to prevent any agents who may be deliberately trying to incorrectly relaunch listings and we will be continuing to improve and update this technology."