Purplebricks exits Australia

So, you probably heard the news that PURPLEBRICKS will exit the Australian market, two and half years after entering it with a promise to shake things up.

Purplebricks initially grabbed the attention of the selling market with its fixed fee offers and misleading assertion about portraying industry practitioners as pimped and preened show ponies – which gave us a good giggle (and lets face it, some in our industry are not so humble) but Purplebricks attempt to downgrade the entire real estate profession backfired when they forgot to focus on business.

“During the two and half years that Purplebricks has been operating in Australia, market conditions have become increasingly challenging. This, combined with some execution errors, has resulted in the business not delivering the progress the board expected,” the company said in a trading update.

Blaming the market conditions seems “a bit of a smokescreen” if you ask me.

In Australia, both home buyers and sellers value having someone to walk them through a transaction as significant as a property sale. In this way, their model wasn’t quite cut out for this market. The importance of nurturing a long-term relationship far outweigh any commission structure in Australia.

While we understand the public don’t relish in the idea of making real estate agents ‘richer’, I think selling your house is one area where it might be false economy to aim to save a few (thousand) dollars.

With a very good negotiator on your side – and the incentives in place – you will be very surprised at the final price and the service. Truth be told, selling a property is harder than people think.

Whilst property transaction volumes have dipped by 20 – 30% and this is going to affect anyone working in the real estate industry, there are plenty of businesses who are doing very well in these conditions. The biggest innovators and hardest workers show through when conditions are challenging and when there is demand for a new way to do things.

You need big thinkers not big talkers in this era of real estate to be a game changer.