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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Purplebricks to launch Purplebricks Plus as it seeks 10% market share

Purplebricks has told the Press Association it wants to secure over 10 per cent of the agency market share in the UK, and will next year launch ‘Purplebricks Plus’ - a new service for customers.

In an interview with PA, reported in some regional newspapers this morning, Purplebricks CEO Michael Bruce says the new Purplebricks Plus will be an online platform allowing sellers to see all their domestic suppliers on one dashboard. 

No further details are given, except that it will launch by next April.

He says Purplebricks Plus will allow him to keep the company's brand in customers’ minds, even though most people use estate agencies to move house only every seven or eight years. “My vision has always been to have a long lifetime relationship with our customers” he tells PA.

Bruce also says he believes the market in the UK is ripe for his firm to expand its share to around 10 per cent; he also disputes the accuracy of some claims about his agency's conversion rate of listings into completions.

With regard to further overseas expansion, he says the ideal would be to follow the model of his company’s recent acquisition of the Canadian firm, DuProprio/ComFree.

The PA story says the agency has Germany in particular and Europe in general in mind for expansion after receiving £125m investment earlier this year from the German publishing giant Axel Springer - that operation now owns some 11.5 per cent of the hybrid agency. 

Michael Bruce says acquisitions - rather than start-ups from scratch - would be the model he would prefer when moving into new territories.

“We’d be more interested at this stage in an acquisition than putting some troops on the ground” he told PA. 

“We’re not directly touting, but it’s clear that people know us and the brand and what we’re trying to achieve.”

“We know who’s doing OK in these markets and we’re observing them” he says.

Earlier this month Purplebricks announced that it had snapped up DuProprio/ComFree, which carried some 39,000 property listings in 2017. Purplebricks described it as having “a profitable 20.2 per cent market share of the real estate market in the province of Québec, and has more recently launched into new territories, securing a 2.0 per cent market share in Ontario and 2.3 per cent in Western Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta).”

  • Simon Shinerock

    Why not 100% where’s your ambition Michael? Want a bet? How about in five years time I’ll have a bigger business than you...

  • David Robinson

    I suspect he will have sold out long before then!

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    Purplebricks and its clones will do to high street agents what Uber has done to black cabs. They won't put them all out of business overnight. But the emphais on tech, ease of use and value for money will eventually result in them taking a very significant amount of the market. Expect trad agents to lobby Government for protection now. But I think they will get short shrift. There are far, far too much people taking money out of people's pockets in the property transaction ....

    Simon Shinerock

    Uk estate agency is the cheapest and most competitive in the world. The availability of cheap direct advertising will place emphasis on better service not cheaper fees. You can save money by doing it yourself but it will probably cost you a lot more in the long run, but then you already know that right James?

     
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    What I see across a range of "traditional" industries is incumbants who don't understand what "service" means anymore. I might be wrong, but I suspect Simon you define service as sending people emails with PDFs attached, ringing them constantly on their mobile phones, dragging them into an office to talk face to face. Over 60 year olds do INDEED consider this "service". But I fear that under 40s, and certainly me, consider this anything BUT service. Service is an App on my phone which just works and shows me the info I need cleanly and immediately. The bad news for traditional agents is that most young people HATE having to phone someone to do a piece of admin. Like Uber, Spotifiy, Occado, Amazon, Netflix etc. - they expect it to just work on their phone. I suspect you are confusing "service" with "friction". It is a mistake many other industries have made, and that is why so many traditional companies are going bust now.

     
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    It always makes me laugh but its so true everyone wants modernisation except within the industry that they work.

     
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    UK Estate Agency might be cheap and competitive - but to the consumer Purple Bricks etc are much cheaper - market forces will always override

    Simon Shinerock

    Override what exactly? It’s not price but value that overrides, I’m all for competition, bring it

     
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    Purple bricks seeks a new way to remove money from clients pockets for not very much.

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    The Shinerock ego has a tendency to forget that his success was built on opportunity and not from outstanding customer service.

    Simon Shinerock

    So Michelle, I guess PB has huge ambition whereas it’s clearly just my ego talking :)

     
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