Purplebricks says its aim to move 650 staff from self-employed status to employed has had a 95 per cent success rate.
It was on August 10 that the company confirmed rumours that it was ending its self-employed Local Property Experts operation and moving to “a fully employed model for its field sales agents.”
The transition was completed by September 1 and chief executive Vic Darvey, in an exclusive interview with Estate Agent Today, says he has been “absolutely delighted and bowled over by the passion and enthusiasm” of his Local Property Experts in particular to the move to employed status.
“We’ve said that we would make our staff a more compelling offer than they could find with agents on the High Street and that’s what we’ve done. We’re offering very competitive salaries and uncapped commission” he adds.
Darvey says he wants his staff to be able to out-earn competitors, and that 95 per cent of his LPEs have risen to that challenge.
He had anticipated that such a dramatic shift in employment status over such a short period of time would lead to a degradation of service to customers but he claims the change has been achieved without any operational problems at all.
Darvey says there is no financial consequence of the change that will require a further recasting of the agency’s business model, and he believes that ultimately the improved performance of LPEs in particular will mean the change will save more than it has cost.
Two months ago Purplebricks pledged to return vendors’ upfront fees if the agency fails to find a buyer, albeit with strings attached. The agency will continue with its current fees of £999 including VAT outside London, and £1,499 including VAT inside.
Meanwhile the company - which has just concluded its Olympics 2020 marketing campaign - has confirmed to EAT that an additional £3m to £4m will be pumped into marketing across all outlets.
The new campaign, which "starts soon" according to Darvey, will emphasise the 'localness' aspect of Purplebricks' activities and its LPEs' expertise.