A Lancashire-based estate agent has slammed GetAgent.co.uk for refusing to pass on what it considers its valuation leads and passing them on to competitors instead.
With low stock levels and high demand creating fierce competition between agents for properties, Neil Robinson says he is ‘disgusted’ the estate agent comparison site he says is using his agency to help generate leads , then refuses to transmit them.
Robinson, the owner of Neil Robinson Estate Agents in Skelmersdale, told EYE he spoke to a GetAgent representative yesterday who let him know that his firm had received 12 leads in recent weeks from owners looking for a evaluation, but he could not receive them. because he was not registered on the GetAgent platform.
The main problem Robinson has with GetAgent is that his company, like many other well-established agents, is listed as an agent on the comparison website, without his consent, with details shown to potential sellers, giving them the impression that his company will, according to Robinson, “call them back if they ask for an expertise”.
However, since he is not a paying member of GetAgent, these leads are not forwarded to his company.
He said: “Sellers put their details on the website and select the agents they want to hear from. The seller then supposedly sits down and waits for the agent to get in touch.
“Only here is the burn. If you don’t have [paid up] relationship with GetAgent, then this lead does not reach you. Thus, the provider puts his contact details into the GetAgent platform in good faith, only to then hear from the agent he has selected.
“Apparently 12 people selected us for a callback last month, and obviously because those leads weren’t passed on to us, those vendors will probably think we can’t bother contacting them.
“The other concern, of course, is that these people will almost certainly hear from one of our competitors, whereas they may have specifically signed up through the GetAgent platform, possibly through Google, to have our news.”
He added: “What an absolutely disgusting way to do business. Not only does GetAgent, as the press pointed out last week, encourage people to cut freelance agent fees, but they also knowingly mine provider data by claiming to offer the entire market, just to retain those leads and distribute them to the few agents who pay them.
“In other words, they give my leads to other agents.”
“An absolutely dodgy outfit, in my opinion. This practice is heinous and must be stopped immediately.
GetAgent.co.uk founder and CEO Colby Short defended his company, describing Robinson’s accusations as “a bit misleading, to say the least”.
He commented: ‘Unfortunately Mr Robinson has not quite provided an accurate picture of our interaction with him or our suppliers and so his accusations are misleading to say the least.
“As one of the most successful agents in his area, for which we commend him, he is recommended to potential sellers and a number of these sellers have requested a review from his business.
“However, Neil Robinson Estate Agents is not a member agent of GetAgent and so when these valuation requests are made, we contact him personally by telephone to tell him so and offer him the opportunity to purchase them – as he hinted.
“What he failed to mention was that on each occasion he declined that offer and, naturally, he didn’t receive one.
“In addition, we certainly do not leave the seller in the dark and he is quickly sent by e-mail [see below]to let them know that the agent in question is not currently working with GetAgent, in which case we encourage them to find a new agent.
“We have provided and will continue to provide our vendors with an overview of the market, but as I am sure Mr. Robinson can appreciate, as a business we can only provide leads to agents who wish pay their way.”
Sample letter from GetAgent:
Dear (Seller Name),
I hope you are well and thank you for using our service to find the best real estate agents!
You requested an assessment with (name of agent)
We have spoken with the agent to request this, however, they are unable to work with GetAgent and receive your review request.
Feel free to book assessments with other agents by simply viewing your shortlist. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us on 0203 608 6556.
When you select an agent through our site, you can also use our free monitoring service, to see how your sale is progressing against the rest of the market. Simply review your shortlist when your home is on the market or ask us for more details.
Good luck with your sale!
(Name of Sales Associate)”
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