The Rightmovecrush team were invited to Rightmove Towers, myself @rightmoveaddict, Emma @Agency Express, Mick @Mickelous and Rich @Whiskeyrich, sadly Rich was unable to join us.
The day began in a blur, I knew I had to get Sammy to nursery, hubby off to work all a lot earlier than normal. As we were trying to get ready the Sky box froze and a confused and bored Sammy started to potter. First my Clinique moisturizer was opened, next a big pot of body lotion was nearly emptied on the bed. I started to find things for him to play with as Hubby quickly got ready. Off downstairs we went where a rushed breakfast was consumed as Sammy was dazed by the speed things were happening, this morning was in roadrunner style.
We managed to get him in the car, have to say hubby was a great help, noticing the time ticking. Secretly I think he was thinking – If she misses this train its me who will be in trouble. As I drove off to nursery Sammy kept asking for his Grandma & Granddad (he knows they are visiting soon and is very, very excited) so as we pulled up at nursery world war 3 erupted. As I left an uncontrollable Sammy in the arms of his key worker, I walked back to the car with a tear in my eye and a guilty feeling in the pit of my stomach – every mum knows what I mean. Apparently he was fine about 5 minutes later and playing with the cars outside.
The journey to Cardiff began. I was met with traffic, a couple of accidents (why do people slow down to look?) and then the car parking decision. I knew where I would prefer to park but was nervous there wouldn’t be any spaces. I took a risk and as I saw the time ticking and my heart racing there it was. One of those moments when you think – yeah someone is watching over me today. The platform was busy, full of commuters and holiday makers, confusion arose when those booked for coach C realized there was no Coach C and everyone fought for the reserved seats on the other carriages. My pre-booked seat was there with a table, facing forward – phew!
Arriving at Paddington, I met Emma (@Agencyexpress) for the first time and it was like two old friends meeting who hadn’t seen each other in ages, no awkward pauses just great conversation. When walked round Soho Square seeking Rightmove Towers, think we thought it would be brand blasted all over the front of the building, it wasn’t.
We arrived at the offices and tried to negotiate the lift, let’s just say if it had been filmed it would certainly be on “you’ve been framed”. We finally asked the security guard who laughed and informed us we needed a special security chip, phew we weren’t being stupid after all.
Their offices are all open plan and are so quiet, as Emma and I giggled through the doors we must have sounded so loud. We were kindly met by our photos displayed on the TV screens throughout their offices, so that’s why they wanted our photos! Mick (@Mickelous) arrived and the gang was complete
Sarah, the face and person behind @rightmove twitter account, kindly met us and gave us a guided tour. What we found out is there is so much more detail involved than we thought. Lots of project teams who LOVE their index cards and post-its.
There are two floors of the Rightmove London Office, each floor has a series of desks linking together to identify the different teams. Each project team told us what they were working on, we shared some ideas, issues and even got informed of a top secret project – have to say it’s really exciting! No sorry bribes will not work, or will they???
One project team run by the wonderful bubbly Nimah, are working on the new iPad app. We got to see the work in progress and even selected our preference on the home page – will they take our recommendation, we will have to wait and see. We also bombarded her with lots of ideas for the app, I am sure many are not possible, but she listened with interest.
One thing that I learnt about Rightmove is that it is always working on the next thing, never satisfied with the status quo they want to do it bigger and better. They always have their customers in mind and everything is tried and tested prior to release. Each project team was passionate about their field, although some were rather quieter than others.
The funniest team for me was the guys who looked after the website and network. They looked uncomfortable about having these strange Rightmove fans in their zone. As soon as they opened the door to their server room they became completely animated looking at the cables and flashing flights with such pride.
If you think the people at Rightmove are property mad, surrounded by the latest house magazines and looking at dream properties, think again. They are IT professionals busying away on their pc’s not a magazine or fabric sample in sight. Yes there was the desk with the sci-fi figurines (which @Whiskeyrich would have loved) and the stereotypically IT geek but Rightmove didn’t feel geeky, it felt cool. They even have a games room!
Sarah ended our visit by treating us to lunch. We agreed it was a really insightful visit, thanks again to the entire Rightmove team for taking the time talk to us and make us feel extremely welcome.
In my exploration of the real people of the property industry where should I visit next?