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'Old dinosaurs' can't deal with Purplebricks says Aussie buying agent

A buying agent in Melbourne says ‘old dinosaurs’ in traditional estate agencies ‘have no idea’ how to deal with the arrival of Purplebricks in Australia.

An article on the website Property Portal Watch says that Purplebricks has joined other disruptors “in putting pressure on fees” in the house sales marketplace.

The piece, by writer John Michonski, says there are differing views, including that of financial column The Motley Fool which has advised investors in the UK-based hybrid agency to sell. 

However, even this could be interpreted as good publicity for Purplebricks, Michonski claims, adding that since launching its business in Australia the agency has “sold many more pieces of real estate than previously thought.”

Most controversially, perhaps, the piece quotes Melbourne buying agent David Morell as saying: “Many of the old dinosaurs in the industry are not prepared for [disruption] or have no idea how to deal with it.” 

Michonski concludes the piece by saying that notwithstanding the controversy over whether Purplebricks sells high volumes of its inventory or merely lists them, the agency is shaking things up - “it's just unknown to what extent.”

Meanwhile the Australian Financial Review, which has previously carried an interview with Purplebricks founder Michael Bruce, recently praised disruptors in that country’s estate agency industry.

It wrote: “This ... has aided the growth of a wave of digital disrupters, led by London giant Purplebricks, which launched its fixed-fee, high-tech offering in Australia just over a year ago and claims to be growing ahead of expectations. To date Purplebricks Australia has sold over Aus$1.1bn of real estate – about 2,200 homes – charging an average price of Aus$5,282, and has recruited 105 real estate agents. Customers can track their campaigns online and don’t have to fork out thousands of dollars in advertising.”

You can see the Property Portal Watch piece here.

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