Purplebricks’ well-publicised attempt to break into the Australian market with a similar model to the one being used here has come up against an unexpected obstacle - another hybrid operator, apparently using a similar business model.
Industry monitor service Property Portal Watch says Sello, a newly-launched Sydney-based hybrid agency, is being led by a former director of long-established high street agency Macquarie Real Estate.
“Like Purplebricks, Sello's real estate agents will charge a fixed-fee of $7,550 to home sellers. The portal enables sellers to monitor the progress of their sales campaign via a web-based dashboard, any time they wish to. The agents will also dispense with traditional shopfronts to work remotely” says PPW.
A spokesman for Sello is cited as saying that the model was designed to address criticisms of traditional agency by customers - chiefly concerning allegedly high commission, low quality service levels and a lack of transparency.
"The vendors we spoke to consistently felt the real estate agent was holding all the cards in the transaction. We want to empower vendors through information so they can interact at a higher level of understanding" explains the Sello spokesman.
However, the Sello operator insists that the arrival of another hybrid in addition to Purplebricks does not mean commission-earning agency is dead. Instead, he says “a binary marketplace” now exists for house sellers down under.
Fellow investors in Sello include another estate agency and a tech entrepreneur.
You can see the Property Portal Watch article here.