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This is how much you were paying for portals – and now it could be double

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Mon 18 Nov 2019

This is how much you were paying for portals – and now it could be double

Exactly five years ago, in November 2014, EYE conducted a seminal industry survey on the rates paid by agents to the portals.

Revisit it now – and the average price of £600 we found that single-branch businesses were then paying to Rightmove may now be getting on for double.

Five years ago, our survey was the first of its kind – independent, confidential, and enlightening.

Ahead of the launch of OnTheMarket, agents were essentially asked about the ‘duopoly’ – how much you were paying at that time to Rightmove and Zoopla.

Revisiting the results five years on is interesting, given that Rightmove has reported, in its last set of results, that for the first time branches are paying on average over £1,000 a month (£1,077 per month, up £90 from £987 last year). That average means that some are paying less – but others are paying more.

Five years ago, the average according to our survey was just over £600 per month for a single branch business listing both sales and lettings on Rightmove.

Single sale-only branches were paying between £400 and £600 on Rightmove per month, and on Zoopla between £100 and £600 – quite a spread.

The lack of a rate card five years ago persists today. The price spread if anything seems wider, and Zoopla still seems cheaper in comparison with Rightmove – but what is irrefutable is the sheer cost to business of portals, especially when agents are paying for all three.

OnTheMarket was not around five years ago, but agents are now reporting anything from free upwards.

We routinely hear of single offices paying £1,230-£1,500 per month plus VAT for Rightmove; between £230 and £975 per month for Zoopla; and, when paying, between about £200 and £350 for OTM.

While we know of agents paying around £1,200 per office per month to Rightmove, others say their bills are almost £2,000 a month and they are expecting price increases.

If you are paying more, or less, than the amounts quoted above, please do let us know.

Inflation is, of course, not confined to property portals: the Bank of England’s inflation indicator suggests that something that cost you £100 in 2014 would now cost around £111.

We should say that simple inflation also does not take account of improvements that may have been made in products, and the portals will argue that they have made substantial enhancements in the last five years.

Crucially, though, our readers also often tell us that they do not want these enhancements – just basic, affordable, advertising packages.

We would be interested in your thoughts.