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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Purplebricks launches in Northern Ireland

Online estate agency Purplebricks is expanding its reach by launching in Northern Ireland. 

The agency – which has ‘local property experts’ working in various regions across the UK – has announced it now has three members of staff working in Northern Ireland.

Purplebricks was launched in April 2014 by brothers Michael and Kenny Bruce, who formerly managed Burchell Edwards before it was bought by Connells in 2011.

The brothers were brought up in Northern Ireland before moving to England at the age of 18.

"Having spent most of my childhood in Northern Ireland, I am delighted to be able to return home, bringing Purplebricks with me to offer the local people the chance to save thousands of pounds when selling their homes,” chief executive Michael Bruce told the Belfast Telegraph.

Bruce added that he believes Purplebricks is challenging the traditional estate agency model which has been left ‘untouched for too long’. 

The firm – which describes itself as the world’s first 24/7 estate agent – says it now employs 150 people across the UK.  

The agency is thought to be considering an initial public offering this year after it appointed Canaccord Genuity to oversee float preparation.

Purplebricks has also received high levels of investment since its launch, most notably from celebrated fund manager Neil Woodford, who ploughed £7m into the business last August.

  • Rob  Davies

    Nice story, in the sense that they get to return home and open a branch, but shouldn't they be focusing on making a success of it in England first. I haven't seen much evidence of that so far.

    On a separate point, do the brothers play themselves in that awful Purplebricks advert?

  • Daniel Roder

    They've got a pretty decent website and they've obviously received plenty of investment since launching. But extensive PR campaign and naff TV adverts aside, what have they achieved? Are they really the world's first 24/7 estate agent? Well, that's debatable. And, more importantly, how many properties have they sold/let?

  • Glenn Ackroyd

    Hi Daniel - we've been operating 24/7 many years before, so that is not true. I think their website and adverts are very good. Having the person at the forefront might be cheesy, but it's real and people like that. They also have nearly 3,000 properties, so out of the pay up front, online offerings, they seem most likely to make it a success. One thing that I am not keen on is there 'No upfront payment required' - but they get their customers to take out a credit facility with Close Brothers (factoring), so they get paid day one, and the customer must pay by month 10, or earlier if the house sells. Novel, but interesting to see what happens if the house does not sell. They are also burning millions on TV ads - so the $million question, which will no doubt be set out when they float, is how much they are spending on marketing compared to income received.

  • Algarve  Investor

    Yes, that really is the million dollar question, Glenn. I'm not so sure it will make great reading.

    They seem to be in a similar boat to easyProperty - plenty of investment and huge PR teams behind them, but a struggle to translate this into actual tangible results. Maybe they'll both prove me wrong.

  • Emma  Mitchell

    We've heard a lot about them (and seen the adverts) but I'm also interested to see how well they're doing in real terms. Let's see what happens when they float.

  • Karl Knipe

    The adverts are cheesy as hell, but they do draw your attention. In that sense, they achieve their primary purpose. As does the colourful purple branding, whether you love it or loathe it.

  • Jon  Tarrey

    Their adverts make me switch channels immediately. Having said that, I don't doubt their financial might or their ambition. Like Glenn says, will be very interesting to see how much actual income they are making if/when they float.

  • Robert  McKechnie

    The adverts are cheese personified, but they convey their message pretty well and make sure that you remember the name. From an advertising point of view, they're very effective - even if they are annoying to some people.

  • Richard White

    Worryingly, I'm in agreement with Jon Tarrey!

    The adverts are appalling. Not only are they naff, but owners appearing front-of-house very much smacks of egomania. Have they never heard of David Brent?

  • Tim Gorgulu

    If I'm being honest, the adverts really annoy me too. They attempt to be tongue-in-cheek but just come off as try-hard and naff - bit like, as Richard says, something David Brent would do to sell his 'vision' of Wernham Hogg.

    Ads aside, I really have no clue how well they're doing. Serious investment behind them, but we don't seem to know for sure whether that's having any impact. We won't probably be able to gauge that until they float.

    Will be a tad embarrassing, given all the hype and PR fluff, if they're not performing quite as well as they'd have us believe.

  • Jon  Tarrey

    Richard, me old chum, it's nothing to be ashamed of. You're just starting to see sense :)

    David Brent nails it to a tee. Unfortunately, the ads aren't even funny in a really cringeworthy way, they're just naff. As the recent OTM ad also showed, it doesn't matter how many millions have been ploughed into something - if it's bad, it's bad!

  • Richard White

    I do hope not, Jon! Say it ain't so! ;)

    Alas, human history is replete with examples of awfulness, packaged and sold to the public by the bucket load. See: just about every British car made between 1970 and 1980, McDonalds, 'Vanish' stain removal and Mariah Carey to give a few eclectic, but choice examples.

  • Trevor Mealham

    They need to change their costings as shown PLUS VAT. rather than including VAT

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