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Rightmove issues sausage warning

Rightmove is delivering a stark warning to agents about the quality of their listings at part of its national roadshow series.

Commercial director, Miles Shipside, warned the 100-plus agents to have gathered at Bournemouth FC’s stadium on Wednesday that it was imperative to offer buyers “the sizzle, but not the sausage” when it came to property details.


He advised agents to provide enough photos to show the best features of a property, but warned against giving so many that they deter buyers from contacting them for further details.

Shipside added that agents who opt to provide a limited selection of pictures and invited viewers to call their firm for more information should ensure they have enough staff to respond to enquiries.

But attendees were divided about his advice. One agent said he preferred the consistent approach of uploading the same number for each client, whereas another said he preferred to upload as many as possible to help prospective clients make an informed decision before contacting him.


Agents were also divided about picture rotation. A Rightmove case study showed that an agent was able to improve his click-through rate on a listing from 1.01% to 6.87% by changing the main picture and using capital letters to highlight some of the features of the property. Shipside says: "It shows that small, simple changes can have big results.”

He adds that agents can use the suggestion of a picture change as leverage for reviewing a property price if it’s proving difficult to sell. “If you suggest a picture change and it doesn’t improve the CTR, you can then introduce a price review conversation to help persuade a vendor that the asking price is perhaps unrealistic.”

But another agent expressed concern that a picture change may confuse and thus irritate returning site visitors, who may either struggle to find previously viewed properties they like or revisit properties they disliked because the new picture led them to believe it was a new listing.

Attendees were, however, unanimous in rejecting Shipside’s suggestion of auto-rotation functionality on Rightmove, which would automatically rotate the main picture on each listing, without an agent's input. One agent said: “It would make a mockery of what we’re trying to do, in terms of maximizing consumer interest. We want control over what viewers see.”

Agent choice

As part of the seminar, which was one of a range that Rightmove is hosting as part of its national roashow series this year, the portal revealed that 61% of vendors living in the Bournemouth area instruct an agent because they are dealing with the same type of property as theirs, while 57% instruct an agent because if their prominent high street presence, despite the fact that respondents were part of an online survey and clearly researching the market online.

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