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Ex-Purplebricks boss defends 'nightmare' stories of LPEs earning 'peanuts'

The former chief executive of Purplebricks has defended claims that some Local Property Experts are underpaid, saying that success comes through mindset, hard work and preparation.

In the latest video interview with industry consultant Chris Watkin, Lee Wainwright says that the agency hires some 'very successful people who work hard and do very well'.

"If you took any business that had 600 people doing the same job, you're going to have a bottom 10%, 20% that aren't earning what the top quartile are [earning], that aren't earning what they were told they were going to earn on recruitment because they're not performing at the average numbers," he says.


Watkin suggests that he has heard 'nightmare stories' of 'people working for peanuts'. 

"The vast majority of people working for Purplebricks love the business they work for and are very proud of what they're doing for their customers," says Wainwright.

He also suggests that the 'nightmare stories' come from a minority and that the majority of employees at any company don't tell stories when 'everything is OK, everything is great here'. 

Watkin asks Wainwright what a Local Property Expert has to do to be in the top quartile of performers. 

"They do a great job at valuations, prepare well and give honest valuations," says Wainwright. 

"They articulate the brand proposition, don't exaggerate [and] don't sell the same story to every vendor."

"[They are] very clear about what Purplebricks can do for them and what they can't. They then do a great job of hand-holding the vendor from point of instruction to completion," he says.

He concludes by saying Purplebricks hires some 'very, very talented people' who are 'doing the right things in the right way'.

You can see the interview in full below - our thanks go to Chris Watkin for sharing this video exclusively with Estate Agent Today readers.

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    To earn really good money at PB you have to be a territory owner the LPE's below dont earn the sort of money the TO's do and once a LPE gets good in the local area the TO is underpressure to sub divide the patch (postcode) and get someone else in so that the vals that book can get seen within 3 days not waiting weeks for a valuation. You can earn good money at PB though but you do really have to work hard 8am-8pm to make good money. YOPA on the other hand no way can you earn anywhere near the money that PB earn, the brand is unrecognisable to most people and the val quality is poor.


    I disagree, I've been with Yopa for three years. My invoice for last month was £4500 and this month I'd earned £1800 before I even set foot out of the door thanks to our No Sale No Fee proposition

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    How would Lee wainwright know he was only there a year and never was an Lpe with over 2 years of experience with Pb I would say over 50% of lpes don’t earn as good money as when they did in the high street or they burn themselves out trying to sustain there income as due to being self employed

  • Paul Singleton

    So if they're all self employed how do they get the big group discount from rightmove?

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    This guy is such a sell out, I was at countrywide when he was MD in London and i actually thought he was a great MD at the time. He had every branch manager in London attend a day event where we made videos and speeches about why Purplebricks were not to be trusted and High street was better, In his last interview i see he stated " I never bought into the Online vs High Street ", Well YES you did Mr Wainwright. Shortly after that event he left countrywide for Purplebricks and is still to this day talking absolute waffle. Maybe he is vying for his way back in now the Bruce's have vacated.


    Hi jack, I hope you’re well? I have to correct you on the videos created. They were focused on the proposition of our brands and not a slant on competition. I remember clearly one video taking that approach but for me I have always been passion about clearly differentiated services. We had a lot of fun pulling this together at Orsett Hall back in 2016 and we created a significant improvement in our performance, something I remain very proud of.

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    I think after all this "waffle" the only option for these outspoken followers of PUF would be an online position-they have burnt bridges anywhere else -who would take them seriously especially as most sensible operators are looking to increase fees not reduce them

  • Steve James

    Lee Wainwright is talking out of his backside. He was excellent in training but when he was made CEO we never heard hardly a peep from.him. He was hated by the other senior managers and oh yeah he only stuck it for 12 months...why did he leave? Cos it sucks working there and there is only 20% that make decent money. The other 80% don't. Lee Wainwright was and is completely out of touch!

  • Tony Sinclair

    It doesn't take long until they quit and realise they can make better money at McDonlad's.

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    Where to begin. The ex-CEO actually goes on record and confirms that Lpe’s are employees, and not self-employed. This will be no surprise to other estate agents, but does pose a tricky problem when HMRC and trading standards pick up on this point. As lpe’s are supposedly self-employed.

    I broached this point - the employment status of lpe’s with the estate agency team trading standards in Wales, about a month ago and I would hope that the ex ceo’s comments might get some fresh traction on the subject.

    The more that actually comes to the surface regarding the real business model of purplebricks as confirmed by persons who ran the operation, the more dubious it becomes.

    On a second point I offered a £1,000 reward to anyone at purplebricks or a former employee so Mr Wainwright is a candidate, who can prove that 80% of instructions listed by purplebricks go through to completion. I offered this reward for a month and it has been over a week and there are no takers.

    I will keep all informed if anyone comes forward in the next three weeks and claims the £1,000.

    Lastly, and I wonder if Chris Watkin could ask mr wainwright, when an lpe is with a potential client/vendor does the lpe disclose he/she is going to get a referral fee or set commission from signing the client up.

    Or does the lpe have to disclose as he/she is self-employed, but, 75% of the fee the client is about to pay goes as a referral fee to purplebricks.


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