A series of damning reviews about Purplebricks’ working environment, apparently written by existing and former staff, have appeared online.
Indeed is a job recruitment site that also has a reviews section, encouraging staff to relate their experiences of companies: they are also encouraged to rate the company out of five stars.
As with all review services, it is difficult for an observer to be sure of the absolute accuracy of the content; all of the reviews are anonymous but many are sharply critical.
One review, apparently by a former employee, talks of a training session involving “borderline bullying tactics” and contains a passage relating to a trainer:
“He then proceeded to prompt and poke every single new starter into divulging more and more information about their personal lives and the net forced result was approximately 5 out of 15 adults crying in a room full of strangers. This horrendous tactic I am sure was designed to break down new recruits with the intention of ‘building’ them back up the way Purplebricks wanted.”
Another review, again from someone describing themselves as a former employee, says:
“Middle management are a joke, if you're in the clique you're ok, days off changed to suit you, hours flexible and meals out every Friday, but if not you're nothing. This has led to a crazy turnover of staff because of the parity between what's expected to be done by people in the clique and people out.
“Disciplinary matters, some that are highly sensitive and confidential information (such as unexpected deaths in the family) are shared around the office by middle management.
“Your training will be great, run by some of the best people you'll meet and work for, but after the two weeks you'll understand why half the office looks miserable when you sit down for your first day.”
The most recent review on the site as of yesterday evening was dated June 16 and read:
“I was sold the job of academy member taking young people who want to become estate agents and training them. I was told 10 months progress. It’s not month 9 and all I have done is viewings. I don’t even know how to do anything else. I have a massive area to cover and on a wage of £1200 and forking our £500+ a month just for the fuel to go to work is a JOKE. my advise would be NEVER WORK FOR PURPLEBRICKS. SELFISH COMPANY AND SUCH A CON.”
There are also several, shorter, reviews giving extreme praise to Purplebricks.
For example a current employee wrote in January this year:
“Working at Purple Bricks is very beneficial as I gained a lot of skills from working here. The atmosphere and the people are very friendly and management are supportive.”
Another, dated September 2017, says:
“One thing that stands out for me at Purplebricks is the positive culture, and the treatment of employees. I joined Purplebricks just shy of 4 months ago, and already feel like a valued member of the team. One month in I was invited to the Summer Conference, where I learnt so much about the companies values and visions and was even lucky enough to win a trip to Spain in the raffle! Purplebricks really care about their employee's and are always looking for ways to improve their benefits. I've just enrolled at the local collage [sic] to complete a funded course that's going to help me progress up my chosen career path. I thoroughly enjoying working for a company that puts just as much into their employee’s, as the employee’s do themselves working here.”
A Purplebricks spokesperson told Estate Agent Today: “We’re always listening and working with our teams to understand how we improve the working environment for our people. The Purplebricks model appeals to estate agents who would like to run their own business and enjoy the flexibility that offers."
She continued: “We do expect our local experts to be available outside normal office hours to help customers, but this is usually not a problem for people who want to work in an agile way – and many LPEs have been with us since we started five years ago.”
You can see the reviews site for yourself here.