Written by Brendan Simpkins
Controversial industry disruptor Purplebricks has begun approaching real estate agents ahead of its Adelaide launch in coming weeks.
Purplebricks – self-described as the “Uber for real estate” – launched in Perth early last week after operating on the east coast for several months, and now has Adelaide in its sights as the company looks to fulfil its national roll out.
SA Real Estate News can exclusively reveal that Purplebricks have begun approaching a number of agents in the southern and western suburbs as they seek to establish a presence in the South Australian market, according to an email obtained by SA Real Estate News.
The Britain-based company is looking to muscle into Glenelg and surrounding suburbs such as Plympton, Seaton, Clearview as their target areas in the west, while Morphett Vale and Christies Beach are targets down South.
Agents working under the Purplebricks banner will charge a flat fee of $4500 to sell a home, which falls drastically short of the 2-3% commission an agent would typically receive from a traditional sale.
The company estimates that homeowners will save around $11,860 operating this way and claims to have already saved its customers $5 million in commission fees.
On their website, Purplebricks claim that “you pay a fair fixed fee for a full real estate agent service,” compared to a traditional agent who receives “High commission rates that don’t reflect the amount of work done.”
This is not necessarily the case, though.
Michael Bruce, co-founder of Purplebricks, told Frank Chung in an interview with NewsCorp that the company provides support in advertising and marketing.
“They’re (agents) concentrating their efforts on what they do best, which is getting more properties on the market,” he said.
The vendor then has to do the majority of the work in selling the property, while the agent still receives $4500 for the listing.
Effectively, it is the cheapest way for the vendor to sell but not always the best option.
Purplebricks has received its fair share of complaints from its customers in the U.K since its launch in 2013.
One homeowner said of the experience with Purple Bricks, “I get the feeling that once they have your money it doesn’t matter to them if it gets sold or not.”
While another described their treatment as “shambolic.”
SA Real Estate News contacted Purplebricks for comment regarding their recruitment campaign before their Adelaide launch but received no response.