Purplebricks is claiming that literally thousands of High Street agents from conventional bricks-and-mortar firms are applying to the agency.
It says this is down to the success of its transformed operating model, which last year moved from a largely self-employed workforce in the field to an employed model.
“We already have in excess of 95 per cent of our required sales workforce in place and applications to join Purplebricks are higher than ever, with over 4,500 applications from the High Street received since September” says chief executive Vic Darvey.
He says the agency’s new operating model enables us to deliver a much more consistent service for customers and also creates “the most compelling employee value proposition in the industry.”
Darvey adds that it’s “attracting the best agents across the category looking to combine the flexibility of working from home with the opportunity to earn uncapped commission. We have re-designed our field and support functions, grouping together the right capabilities in the right places, to enable our field to focus on valuing and listing houses and ensuring a successful outcome for our customers.”
He adds: "New training in the PB Way and ongoing performance management is starting to yield results across our key performance metrics.”
The upbeat sentiment from Darvey appears at odds with a downbeat trading statement issued by the company yesterday, but the chief executive insists that the half-year figures delivered 24 hours ago are lagging behind current performance.
In a presentation to shareholders, Darvey has explained the structure of the new operating model.
Firstly there are six Divisional Sales Directors.
Below those come 43 Area Directors, overseeing the work of Senior Property Partners, Local Property Partners, and Local Property Agents;
There are 420 Local Property Partners - these conduct and deliver valuations, manage instructions and marketing reviews and negotiations to reach property sale targets; in addition the LPPs sell ancillary products to customers and collate property listing and advertisement content;
Next in the hierarchy come 120 Local Property Agents - these conduct accompanied viewings for Purplebricks’ Pro Package properties, manage customer relationships post-instruction, provide marketing advice to customers, and sell ancillary services.
Darvey says: “Whilst we are very pleased with the impact that moving to a fully employed model is having, it did cause short-term disruption to our business and trading, resulting in Purplebricks underperforming the market during this [half year] period.
“This disruption was short-lived however, and since September we have started to see the benefit of our new operating model with an improvement in performance across a number of our leading KPIs.
“From the period September to December 2021, our conversion rate has improved by 4.0ppts, and we have regained some lost market share, with share of new instructions improving by 0.6ppts, a lead indicator metric on our ability to convert valuation opportunities into instructions.
“Launched as Pro Package in July, our assisted viewings attachment rates have increased by 8.4ppts since May. Whilst it is still early to predict our performance for the second half, we are encouraged by the impact of our change in operating model.
“We now have much greater alignment between the aspirations of Purplebricks and our field workforce and it is enabling us to deliver a far more consistent service to our customers.
“Our employees are more incentivised than ever before through our uncapped commission structure to self-generate business, to sell mortgages and conveyancing services and to engage with customers throughout the whole house purchasing process, all of which we believe will enable us to return to market share growth."