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Fudge at Christmas - Portal Juggling

So it’s the time of year when the e-mails with numbers or percentages are sent out from all estate agents, claiming that the statistics show they performed the best over the year, generally claiming that they sold the most in 2016.

In fact I received one such e-mail yesterday evening from a competitor, exclaiming that Zoopla ranks them as number one in the city centre. This isn’t such a great feet as many agents are now not on Zoopla, and chose to switch to On The Market.

I was disappointed that our agency isn’t ranked number one by Zoopla, or number one by Rightmove and decided to have a look how we could become number one.

Looking at the systems you have got to get lots of new instructions, and you have to sell them quickly. Being an agent we have access to log in to Rightmove Intel, where the system shows you how many properties each agent has sold, and the information about them. I studied the agent which has been ranked number one by Zoopla, I thought I should learn from the best.

Wow, look, they sold the same property at for £89,950 4 times in the last 12 months. And they are still advertising it as under offer today. They must be good, to get the sales through so quickly each time, although disappointing they only got the same price for the vendor each time, unless they are up to something else.

I had a look at what they have got on the market today, and wow, they really must be good as over 20% of their property was introduced to the market as sold stc already, unless they are up to something else.

Oh, hang on a minute, number of properties sold, speed of the sale …………. I think I might now know how to be ranked number one next year. But we won’t as we don’t have the time, resource or inclination to do this.

The practice of ‘portal juggling’ as this is known is absolutely rife amongst estate agency. It is carried out to fudge the figures and make the agency in question look like they are the best in their area.

The portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla keep saying that they are taking this issue seriously although with only an hour of looking at my competitors this morning I found this one instance of it. I’m sure they could do more.

So this is just a word of warning, when an agent pulls out the statistics, offer them a piece of fudge, and smile ……. “Fudge” ?

It’s definitely true that you can get the figures to say anything you want them to.

Robert Kenyon

Sales and Lettings Manager

Suttons City Living