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Purplebricks slammed by Canadian agent over ‘savings’

The online agency acquired by Purplebricks in Canada has started facing the same criticisms that its parent company have faced in the UK and the US over apparent savings for sellers.

Last month Purplebricks acquired DuProprio, a website with a similar business model that lists around 20 per cent of the homes for sale in Quebec province. That service says, based on an average Canadian resale house price of $481,000, it can save a vendor more than $27,000.

However, the online news service from Canadian Broadcasting is now carrying a story that traditional estate agency ReMax is unhappy with the claim by the new Purplebricks acquisition.


"In my opinion, that's very misleading" says Christopher Alexander, an executive with real estate firm ReMax.

"So, sure, you save $27,000, but if you could have gotten an extra $50,000 on the sale of your house, you're losing money" he says, citing the argument that traditional agents may be able to secure a higher sale price than an online operator.

"Like any industry, you can pay a premium for a good service - you can buy a Honda or you can buy a Porsche" Alexander says.

However Michael Bruce - Purplebricks’ co-founder, also quoted in the article - fights back by claiming his firm is “a flat-rate, fairly-costed, full-service real estate agent" which focusses on marketing and driving new clients to its website; he says licensed representatives then provide professional services from initial pricing to helping with negotiations.

He says traditional competitors recruit agents who are good at property transactions but then misuses them. "Actually, 85 per cent of their time is spent acting like marketers, trying to prospect, trying to find the next customer, and they're not very good at it" he claims.

You can see CBC's full story here.

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    • Mr P
    • 23 August 2018 08:57 AM

    The statement of fact that everyone seems to forget-"So, sure, you save $27,000, but if you could have gotten an extra $50,000 on the sale of your house, you're losing money" he says, citing the argument that traditional agents may be able to secure a higher sale price than an online operator “. True in the UK, Canada, America, Australia and the rest of the world. Oh and the comment of helping negotiate is BS it’s all online, there’s no help the agents aren’t interested once the property has been listed and they don’t qualify offers. I offered on a property in 2016 had a call told them I was cash they said “okay but wouldn’t you like to talk to a mortgage advisor” no thanks I don’t need a mortgage”. 2 years later I’m offering on properties and haven’t heard from them.....Traditional agents are suffering globally because these guys have a business model revolved around undercutting to get the business. What’s the expression pay peanuts get Monkeys! Hey there’s an idea maybe someone should start a business called Purple Monkeys and charge 10% less that PB and take over the PB market share. Oh hang on isn’t there an agency that likes sheep that’s trying to do that! Ewe decide! I’ve said this before an I’ll say it again, if your an idiot and think that paying a cheap fee for a company to just stick it online and wait for a buyer to rock up to view who then has to deal with a seller with no sales skills or an agent who doesn’t care whether it sells or not as THEY HAVE ALREADY BEEN PAID! Then good luck to you, but why agents moan about PB and don’t launch their own marketing campaigns and actually explain to the public what the differences are between traditional and online is beyond me! Have a great day 🥜🙈

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    Bruce's twaddle won't wash over there either.

  • Paul Singleton

    So Michael Bruce claims to be a “full service agent”. Except not having any local shops for people to come in and discuss their requirements, no database of buyers for their staff to call to generate viewings, no proactive calls to potential buyers to generate viewings, no vendor calls to update them on progress of the marketing or suggest ideas/new photos/photo switching/price adjusting, no viewing feedback from the office ever (viewers have to do this themselves), no real negotiating (vendors do it themselves), no negotiating on onward purchases, no sales progression (vendors and proper estate agents expected to do this) and............it goes on and on. Apart from all that I agree with Mr Bruce!!!
    It’s like the Monty a Python sketch, what have the Romans ever done for us?


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