Purplebricks says it completely rejects any claim of bullying its representatives in Australia.
The Australian Financial Review, which last week reported the hybrid agency was losing Local Property Experts as a result of a downturn in the housing market down under, has now carried a strongly worded statement from Purplebricks.
The AFR says it has been told by “current and former agents” that “they had been bullied, threatened and undermined at the company during the course of their employment.”
Now Purplebricks has come out fighting and its spokesperson quoted in the AFR says:
”Purplebricks rejects the serious allegation of a bullying culture.
"We take all criticism of the company extremely seriously and it is disappointing to hear that a small group of former employees reported negative experiences during their time with us.
"We do not accept that these allegations reflect the culture at Purplebricks and they are not representative of the experiences of our employees. We work in partnership with our agents and are committed to investing resources to support them in changing market conditions.
"This includes many services not offered by traditional real estate agencies such as our call centre capabilities, rapidly expanding team of sales associates, marketing investment and around-the-clock buyer and seller contact platform."
The AFR then details Steven Bashford, a former Purplebricks Newcastle (Australia) agent as saying anyone who achieved success "gets chopped back".
The paper says he claimed Purplebricks' head office would call his vendors to "draw out any complaints" against him.
Meanwhile Purplebricks says it’s thriving in Australia, where it launched two years ago, despite the state of the market.
It says 18 new LPEs have been hired over the past two months and claims its revenues in Australia will increase 250 per cent.