Rightmove – rated by Forbes last week as the world’s most innovative growth business – could lose its shine and is not innovative at all, a leading proptech commentator has warned.
Its biggest threat could be Purplebricks.
Eddie Holmes said that while Rightmove is widely recognised as one of the best businesses in the world, he does not consider it to be innovative at all and that Rightmove “fundamentally offers the same product to consumers and customers as it did when it began trading in 2000”.
He said that unless it develops a new growth strategy “it will struggle in the future”.
Holmes said: “Rightmove enjoys supernormal profits from a monopoly position amongst advertisers.”
But he said there is very little headroom for growth through acquiring new advertisers – ie, agents and developers.
He also said that even if new advertisers were acquired, “the annual growth rate appears to be slowing”.
Holmes cited a number of potential problems facing Rightmove.
He said: “The rise of Purplebricks in recent years must be viewed as a threat to Rightmove.
“Where most estate agents are customers of the business and are unlikely ever to adopt any other relationship, Purplebricks (or indeed another, potentially as yet unknown technology driven estate agent) have the potential to gain so much market share as to make their own brand well enough known in the eyes of potential property purchasers to draw traffic from Rightmove.
“If the site loses consumer traffic it will be less attractive to advertisers.”
Holmes concluded: “Rightmove is an excellent business which is about to come under serious pressure from multiple angles.
“It seems impossible that it can maintain financial performance or grow in the long term based on its current strategy for an indefinite period. Instead, it should now be looking to develop and implement a new growth strategy while it is in the Innovation Window.
“Rightmove has a golden opportunity right now to develop and implement a strategy that will keep it relevant for another 20 years.
“Instead, it has recently promoted a new CEO from within, a strategy very unlikely to challenge the status quo. We wonder if complacency will ultimately undermine Rightmove’s long-term future.”
The full piece is here – and it is worth reading: