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Purplebricks planning to be ‘less susceptible to housing market whims’

Purplebricks is working on ways to diversify its revenue stream to be less susceptible to the whims of the housing market, its chief executive has revealed.

An interview with Helena Marston was published in The Times over the weekend where the boss of the beleaguered online agent set out plans to turn the brand around.

This includes focusing on technology such as its app and a new in-house mortgage advice service.


Her priority, according to the interview, is to “sort out performance and raise standards” and she is also trying to instil a “sales culture” with leaderboards so agents can compare their performance against colleagues.

She also laments that the brand stopped talking about being cheap or “good value” compared with high street agents and explains why her start date as chief executive was delayed due to a previous bankruptcy.

Marston told the paper: “The story is perhaps not as interesting as people hope it might be. 

“I was a single mum going through a very difficult period and I couldn’t keep up with my mortgage payments. Does it bother me that it’s out there? Yes, it’s not nice, but in a way I think it’s good to show others who may be struggling that it doesn’t have to define your future.”

Acknowledging that her approach since taking the role, which has included scrapping advertising plans and abandoning its money-back guarantee, may be seen as “brutal”, she added: “If I was to take over this role and come at it with a gentle approach, I think our investors would be very concerned. This business needed grabbing by the scruff of the neck and being given a shake.”

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    Excuse me if I’m wrong but if people don’t buy a house why would they need mortgage advice. It’s a chicken and egg. They need a boyant property market to build up a mortgage business to take advantage of the remo leads in a few years time.

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    Worryingly Helen has zero knowledge or experience of being an estate agent, and sees that as a strength.

    She makes no connection between Purplebricks 9.57p share price as having anything to do with her lack of ability, knowledge or strategic incompetence - which is just incredible arrogance coupled with self-delusion.

    And even more worringly her hatchet approach to the business, creating a mass exodus of talent, is identical to a certain Alison Platt, who also had zero estate agency experience (unless Tesco's counts) who crazily became CEO of Countrywide Plc, the UK's largest estate agency group from 2014 to January 2018, before falling on her sword ... after a 90% fall in the company's share price. (Are we seeing a pattern here?)

    Let's put it this way if the Alternative Investment Market heard that David Plumtree of the Connels Group was going to be the CEO of Purplebricks, would the share price go up or down? Correct. And why would it uptick, well everyone would know the company was in safe hands, had a proven CEO who would know the path to success.

    I think the most telling part of the Times article was,

    ' but Marston does not know how long she will stay with the business. A lot will depend on how succesful she is in getting it back on a steady footing. “If the job is to keep [a business] ticking over and not to disrupt it, then I’m not your woman. I love gnarly problems, making ballsy moves and getting s**t done. Maybe there will be another exciting opportunity at Purplebricks. I love the role. It’s challenging, but that’s what I thrive off.”

    If the Times article was a ruse for Helen Marston to puff up her wings prior to this Friday's day of reckoning - all it has done is plunge Purplebricks deeper (and I paraphrase Helen) into the s**t.

    Lastly being 'ballsy' is fine if you have been ballsy and successful in the past, I think this part is missing from Helen's CV as quoted by the Times, no doubt when she was recruited Purplebricks they came across it? Or was she or was just someone in the business at the time with minimal qualifications who could talk a good game - well probably prior to Christmas that game is up.


    Talking of those who talk a god game LOL pot kettle

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    Alternative Investment Market heard that David Plumtree of the Connels Group was going to be the CEO of Purplebricks, would the share price go up or down?

    Total rubbish
    Stop licking Connells boots they pay sales staff peanuts and have a huge staff turnover

  • Samantha Sullivan

    “sort out performance and raise standards”
    Ah, so you're going to bash your Agents to do 'better' and make people use the in house mortgages. Careful on that one!


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