One of the world’s leading property portal and online consultants says Purplebricks, which is now operating in Australia and the UK, is the epitome of estate agency ‘disruption’.
PropTech expert Mike DelPrete - who last week praised Rightmove in particular for its global-leading operating as a portal - has again used the columns of Property Portal Watch to counter arguments put in Australia that Purplebricks in not a truly ‘disruptive’ service because it uses ‘agents on the ground’ rather than relying purely on digital technology.
But now DelPrete, a former head of strategy at New Zealand portal TradeMe, says Purplebricks’ use of Local Property Experts means that the service “is what disruption looks like in real estate, and this is why everyone should be paying attention.”
He says disruption and the ultimate change in real estate will not come in the form of an app, nor as Artificial Intelligence, nor as algorithms or complete automation. “Consumers still want a hand to hold and an expert to guide them” he says, and the LPEs provide that.
DelPrete says disruption is going to come from a company that offers a superior experience at a superior price, and is not necessarily wholly dependent on technology.
He says the success of Purplebricks and other online-based agencies in the UK have already secured five per cent of the UK sales market - which he describes as “a very big deal” - and they have led to a position where Countrywide closes 50 per cent of its traditional high street branches and offers its own online-based sales service.
“If that isn’t disruption, I’m not sure what is” DelPrete says.
He concludes by saying that it would be wrong to do as some PropTech exponents have done, and dismiss Purplebricks as a true disrupter just because it uses local experts as well as digital technology.
“Even if a new model doesn’t look like Uber, it can still shake up the incumbents. Yes, disruption is coming to real estate” he says, adding: “And it will look a lot like Purplebricks.”