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Nubricks Blog - Rightmove and its web 2.0 competition

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09 Sep 2006

Rightmove and its web 2.0 competition

Declaring itself the UK's number one property portal, Rightmove.co.uk was founded in 2000 by Halifax, Countrywide and Connells. As the largest classified advertising portal in Britain, it has the highest traffic among the real-estate classified sites and in March 2006 Rightmove was publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Rightmove states that:
"More than half of all UK estate agents advertise their properties on Rightmove.co.uk displaying properties worth over £146 billion. Eight of the top ten corporate estate agents (those with 100 or more branches) currently list their properties on the site.

Rightmove attracts over 17 million visits from active home movers every month, who view over 346 million page views per month. We have successfully positioned ourselves as the UK's number one property website, offering our members exposure to the largest home moving audience in the UK.

Not only is Rightmove an established property portal, it is positioned as the 10th largest website in the UK ahead of well known brands such as Friends Reunited, Lastminute.com and Easyjet.com, showing that the British public has well and truly embraced the concept of using the Internet as a research tool."

It's published statistics for May 2006 are as follows:

Page Views: 346,159,423
Total Visitors: 17,009,903
Searches: 31.5 million
Registered Users: 2.1 Million
No of Properties: 817,387

That is an impressive list of figures, but with all that market share and volume of visitors, why has Rightmove's property search technology remained unchanged?

Do Rightmove know something we don’t or they adopted the mentality of “if it ain’t broke then don’t fix it!”. Having watched the site develop since its inception, it was interesting when the site after a recent redesign, changed back to a similar design adopted in its earlier days, a fairly clunky but simple design. Is this decision a reflection of their target user base?

Last month we reported on new online tools which can help you to find out the selling price for property based on Land Registry record data, useful when buying an investment property or just your own home. Rightmove beware, as now a whole new wave of Web 2.0 UK property sites are springing up everywhere, which are making searching for property even easier. Take Extate.com who have just released the second version of their site. It’s new features include:

ExtateExpanding UK coverage
Save properties to your shortlist and share/collaborate with others
RSS feeds for your refined search
More details: price per sq ft, lease expiry, etc

Nestoria.co.uk only covers London at present, but their tagline states “London today, the rest of the UK soon”.

NestoriaNestoria have a great search tool, using tags and area list in alphabetical order and my favourite, a mapping tool using a Google mashup. As you go through and filter your results the map changes accordingly, so it is not too cluttered. It also includes the proximity to the nearest tubes, shops, schools, pubs, photos, health and census.

Rightmove without a doubt have the market share and very deep pockets, however with social networking now a hot topic, will the rise of web 2.0 property sites take the place of those old clunky database-driven property websites?

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