x
By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
award
award award
award award

TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Purplebricks claims it sells three times more than next biggest agent

Purplebricks claims it actually sells - not just lists - three times more than the UK’s next largest estate agency. 

The claim is made via a passing reference in a statement about its sponsorship of Team GB at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

After explaining that the agency was changing Sold signs into special Team GB Gold ones, the statement claims: “With Purplebricks selling three-times more homes than the second placed agent, a touch of gold has been appearing all over Britain's streets.”

Previously the company has been reluctant to say how many, or what proportion, of its listed properties it actually succeeded in selling. 

In early 2018 the financial consultancy Jefferies questioned a claim made at that time by Purplebricks that it sold more than three quarters of homes listed with it. 

Jefferies said Purplebricks' sales success rate was just over 51 per cent - a figure vehemently denied by the agency.

The agency’s Olympics statement also does not clarify whether it regards the second largest agency as the Countrywide group or LSL Property Services, which by some measures is thought to be larger than Countrywide. 

Estate Agent Today asked Purplebricks for clarification on all of these points; there has been no response.

In the statement Purplebricks’ UK chief executive Vic Darvey (pictured above) also refers to the agency as “proudly British” - even though it has a business in Canada and until recently was pouring resources into its failed US and Australian outlets, too.

The rest of the statement is given over to publicity about two Olympians visiting the agency’s Solihull headquarters.

Katherine Copeland, a gold medallist at the London 2012 Olympics in the women's lightweight double sculls, and Goldie Sayers, a bronze medallist in javelin at Beijing 2008 and three-time Olympian, led a number of activities for Purplebricks employees, including a smoothie bike challenge, yoga and HIIT exercise classes, as well as discussions on health, wellbeing, and high performance teams.

“The health and well-being of the workforce should always be at the heart of any successful company and Purplebricks certainly recognise that. Our TeamWorks proposition has been a great success since Team GB launched it in December last year and I'm really happy to join Goldie here today to spend time with Purplebricks to deliver this programme. We look forward to working together further in the build-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games” said Copeland.

And Vic Darvey added:“Purplebricks is a proudly British company so we are delighted to welcome Katherine and Goldie to our head office in Solihull. Throughout the day, they shared their experiences and passion for sport, fitness and high performance. It's a fantastic opportunity for Team PB to learn from Team GB by meeting athletes and taking part in a range of activities and focusing on achieving their personal bests.”

The agency also said it “will be mobilising the support of their own Team PB – both employees based in Solihull and the wider team of more than 600 local estate agents across the UK - with today's event kickstarting the initiatives.”

  • icon

    Well in that case, Pink Street (Portsmouth) sells 16 times as many properties as all of the other Estate Agents in the whole country COMBINED. Please don’t question this factual statistic... Thanking you in advance

  • icon

    Sells? ....sticks on Rightmove more like!

  • Paul Singleton

    Estate Agent Today asked Purplebricks for clarification on all of these points; there has been no response. ENOUGH SAID!!!

  • Lee James  Pendleton

    It’s so simple. Prove it

  • Andrew Stanton Estate Agency Insights Strategies

    If tracksuit Vic, is correct, and his company sells three times as many properties than any other agent - why has the company made ‘a full-year operating loss of £52.3 million.’ this year?

    Vic is a little prone to throw away lines - 'the company is not for sale’, just at the point Axel Springer is likely to take the company private. Maybe the three times was just another off the cuff comment.

    For me, and I have been crusading on this point for two years, is what is the conversion rate of listings to exchanges? I have read Purplebrick's company statements in the past boasting of a 73% and the 81% conversion rates, but no proof.

    The reason this is important to know is that in a pay upfront model, sale or no sale, if half your clients get no exchange on their property - shouldn't that be something that Vic talks about.

    I even offered a £1,000 of my own money for anyone from Purplebricks to prove this 81% conversion rate, not a single taker. Why? because I feel it likely they complete on average on every second property they list, in line with industry norms.

    My proof - click on rightmove today - see how many Purplebrick properties are listed for sale and how many are sstc - the ratio around 50%. Is this a true figure well, given that 28% of the sstc will fall through and rightmove keeps sstc on site for a number of months, any skewing of data about balances out.

    Put it this way, if you were selling 80% of your stock then around 80% of your stock on rightmove would have a sold sticker on it - that is not the picture I can see. I am more than happy for someone to prove me wrong, any takers?


  • icon

    In my patch i have seen a few for sale boards but NEVER a sold board. This company exists on its massive marketing campaign, without that it is dead. Its just a matter of time.

  • Andrew Stanton Estate Agency Insights Strategies

    It's me I am back again, I have just had a look at Purplebrick's annual accounts, and they have gone from their last year end April 2018m 152.8M cash in the bank to only 62.8M cash in the bank in April 2019, since which time they have had some hefty bills to pay to close down operations overseas. So that is a 90M burn in a year, which given they had income from upfront fees of probably 100M plus is not good news, that's a burn of 7.5M a month, I bet the executive toilets are made out of gold.

    Also, and I find this fascinating the way the company sets out its spreadsheet, Revenue 136.5M, cost of sales (56.6M), gross profit 79.9M, gross profit margin 58.5%, BUT THEN THEY ADD IN ADMIN AND MARKETING COSTS admin costs 61m, marketing costs 70.7M, and we get the operating loss of 52.3M.

    Call me stupid and many do, but the admin and marketing costs (Purplebricks adverts on multi-media, all the head office staff costs) are costs before any profit, just as in a traditional agent where you have income, expenditure and gross profit, you do not record a profit in the accounts and then add in the incidentals like your 60% staff costs or your advertising budget of 15%. Maybe, Purplebricks shareholders are not familiar with balance sheets.

    With only 60M in the war chest it will be interesting to see the interim accounts mid December and the full accounts next April, I think that mountain of cash at the bank may well be down to 20M, and then we will see if Purplebricks wins any golds at the Olympics.

  • Andrew Stanton Estate Agency Insights Strategies

    It's me I am back again, I have just had a look at Purplebrick's annual accounts, and they have gone from their last year end April 2018m 152.8M cash in the bank to only 62.8M cash in the bank in April 2019, since which time they have had some hefty bills to pay to close down operations overseas. So that is a 90M burn in a year, which given they had income from upfront fees of probably 100M plus is not good news, that's a burn of 7.5M a month, I bet the executive toilets are made out of gold.

    Also, and I find this fascinating the way the company sets out its spreadsheet, Revenue 136.5M, cost of sales (56.6M), gross profit 79.9M, gross profit margin 58.5%, BUT THEN THEY ADD IN ADMIN AND MARKETING COSTS admin costs 61m, marketing costs 70.7M, and we get the operating loss of 52.3M.

    Call me stupid and many do, but the admin and marketing costs (Purplebricks adverts on multi-media, all the head office staff costs) are costs before any profit, just as in a traditional agent where you have income, expenditure and gross profit, you do not record a profit in the accounts and then add in the incidentals like your 60% staff costs or your advertising budget of 15%. Maybe, Purplebricks shareholders are not familiar with balance sheets.

    With only 60M in the war chest it will be interesting to see the interim accounts mid December and the full accounts next April, I think that mountain of cash at the bank may well be down to 20M, and then we will see if Purplebricks wins any golds at the Olympics.

  • icon

    Andrew well said, unless another seriously gullible person/company invests, surely next year it is all over for them.

  • Andrew Stanton Estate Agency Insights Strategies

    Well hopefully not - you see Axel will take them private and they will hoover up the vendors who want a cheaper fee and sell in the 230 - 270k price range, in large towns and cities, there is a place for the model.

    If they change the model, they might have something, but the fees need to be much higher and instead of just listers LPE's they need SELLERS - which means more cost to the business even if it is 'self-employed' status and off the balance sheet.

    Also, they have done millions and millions for no return, if they had used it to build a Proptech solution - not a digitization of the traditional agency model they might have made, but a system that made the sale journey easier, and quicker, rather than the model they have, where vendor and buyer are almost a peripheral afterthought, rather than prime drivers.

  • icon

    Well, i hope it is over for them. They are a thorn in the side of any chain of sales and lower the reputation of good hard working Estate Agents. Unfortunately, but lucky for PB, lots of the public do not know the difference between us.

  • Algarve  Investor

    Its Tube adverts say it is the biggest agency in the country, but then have a quick disclaimer in small print which slightly contradicts this.

    On what basis are PB the biggest agency in the country? Does PB actually have more listings than anyone else, or is just smoke and mirrors, pure PR spin?

    I see the boards a lot, and you can't avoid the adverts, but the major question mark is whether PB is very good at the bread and butter - and we seem no clearer after these latest provocative claims.

  • icon

    No sold boards in my patch tells me that answer.

icon

Please login to comment

Zero Deposit Zero Deposit Zero Deposit
sign up