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Purplebricks may fail in Australia too, says First National Real Estate chief

The head of one of Australia’s largest networks believes that the arrival of Purplebricks in Australia has failed to ignite consumer interest and that the company is on track to replicate the significant losses incurred on its home soil.

“Since its August 2016 launch, when more than a quarter of a million properties were listed for sale with Australian agents, Purplebricks has sold little more than 150 properties and currently has just 310 properties listed,’ First National Real Estate chief executive Ray Ellis said.

“By any measure, that represents a rejection of its “low cost” model and a market share smaller than 0.1 per cent.’

Purplebricks claims to be the third biggest agent in Britain by client instructions with a market share of 5 per cent, but in September the ABC’s Media Watch reported just one in four UK customers gives it a rating of one star out of five on its Facebook page.

“Australians have an entirely different view of property ownership and are focused on building wealth through property investment. They understand the extra value that a professional agent brings the marketing, negotiation and sale of property, and therefore continue to choose agents to maximise their sale price,’ Ellis said.

Last week, Purplebricks opened up new offices in Sydney and the Central Coast, with plans underway to expand into Perth and Adelaide in the coming days.

Purplebricks new set-up comes just four months after it opened offices in Brisbane, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.

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June Ramli

June Ramli was a in-house journalist for Elite Agent Magazine.