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Purplebricks chief executive now involved in AllAgents peace talks

Estate Agent Today can reveal that the ‘peace talks’ between the AllAgents review website and Purplebricks now involve the agency’s chief executive, Michael Bruce.

Back in September AllAgents, for the first time ever, suspended an account - that of Purplebricks - because of what it described as "repeated threats of legal action forcing the removal of negative reviews from our website”.

Purplebricks disputed the accuracy of at least some of the reviews, which produced a very different picture of the agency than that which comes across from its reviews on the Trustpilot site.


However, at the end of last month there were so-called ‘peace talks’ between the two sides in Scotland. So far these have come to nothing but now AllAgents has told EAT that it is confident of progress in the near future.

Martin McKenzie of AllAgents told EAT last evening: "We have been disappointed that the 'peace talks' have so far been a bit of a damp squib. However in the final days of our crowd-funding campaign [Purplebricks chief exeucitve] Micheal Bruce has personally taken control over the dialogue.

“We are hopeful that by talking directly to the CEO that this may be the catalyst to finding an amicable, workable resolution. We are currently awaiting responses from California so we are unable at this stage to make further comment."

Bruce is based in California at the moment, overseeing the US launch of the agency.

During the course of the dispute, Purplebricks has claimed that it has repeatedly asked for information from AllAgents to prove the authenticity, or otherwise, of the reviews.

Meanwhile an AllAgents crowdfunding appeal - aiming at £50,000 for legal fees the site may incur if it again displays disputed reviews - has reached two thirds of its target with four days remaining. 

  • Carl Smales

    I just don’t understand the issue here!

    Why do Purple Bricks think they are different to any of the other agencies out there?

    We will all have bad reviews (no company can ever get 100% positive reviews), I don’t see all of the other companies threatening legal action.

    If Purple Bricks are as good as they say, why don’t they just move forward and get on with their business. Could it be they know that these revues have substance and they care more about the effect of their share price than that of the Vendors sales?

    I certainly don’t want to get into a ‘mud throwing’ argument but I personally do not believe that Purple Bricks can give the same service to the Vendor as some ‘High Street’ Agents for the price they charge.
    I do not argue that they can ‘sell property’ but I believe there is a huge difference between ‘selling a property’ and ‘getting the best price for a property.’ The problem is the some of the public don’t understand this and it’s our job to try and help educate them in the difference (rather than trying to just rubbish them).
    I recently had a property where the the vendors expected a sale price of £115,000.
    The Purple Bricks ‘local expert’ agreed with the vendor and advised them to market at that price.
    I attended the Market Appraisal (having lived in the are all of my life (46 years), with 22 years in property) and suggested a different price for the property.
    We completed on the property at £127,000 (an extra £12,000).

    I agree they can offer cheaper fees, but honestly believe if we can offer a better service and inturn achieve a better sale price.

    If you were having a triple heart bypass, would you want the cheapest surgeon or the most experienced?

    Happy days!

  • Jon James

    Bang on. This is absolutely the theme we are running at the moment. There is a place for every kind of agency but clearly we are here to get the best possible price. The online model does not operate on quality of price as we have seen and the public looking for a cheap headline need to be reminded the damage to what they receive in their pockets by poor/non existent negotiation.

  • Simon Shinerock

    PB rhymes with teehee, I don’t want to be small minded or childish about this but.....

  • Peter Wright

    I think it is fair enough for PB to ask ‘all agents’ to double check that the reviews are fairly posted. In my opinion It’s been pretty obvious for some time that most could have been written by disgruntled agents. For ‘All agents’ to be a trusted site it should just hold an unbiased audit and double check. It’s not rocket science. If you are in a position to influence vendors selling decisions you should be seen to be fair and truthful.


    Completely agree as should Trustpilot.

  • icon

    I doubt Micheal would not have been getting kept in the loop on what his team were doing , so I just hope Allagents has a contingency plan if it all goes sour again . Interesting enough their shares have shot up 3% today so it looks like the market are warming to it

  • Welsh  Cynic

    It is not as simple as Purple Bricks suggest, what about data protection? What I find more unlikely are the enormous number, approaching 100%, of glowing 5 star reviews on Trustpilot. I consider us good agents and I wouldn't in my dreams expect that. I think PB. as part of their clever master plan, could forsee the importance of testimonials and that is why they took such strong exception to the more realistic ones on AllAgents.

  • Peter Wright

    But you too are guessing. There is no data breach ifits done anonymously.

  • Welsh  Cynic

    If it's anonymous, how can you check it is genuine?

  • Peter Wright

    Simple. There are processes allowed under the data protection act to check the veracity of these posts. Use them.


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