Purplebricks hire high-profile COO to improve Australian operations

Purplebricks have hired Neil Tavender as their Australian Chief Operating Officer, giving him share options worth approximately $2.5 million.

As reported by The Negotiator, Mr Tavender’s role will involve turning around the sales operations in Australia, especially after allegations from former employees about the agency’s profitability and work conditions.

Purplebricks said recently their Australian operations would become profitable within 12 months, despite the agency reporting a bigger than expected loss and decreased agent numbers.

In the year leading up to April, Purplebricks Australia generated revenue of £13.5 million ($24.2 million AUD).

That figure came off the back of the Australian Financial Review releasing information from disgruntled staff, who claimed the fixed-fee agency had unreasonable standards for employees who were struggling to support themselves working for the company.

Mr Tavender has a long history in real estate. He was enlisted by UK-based Rightmove in 2003 to grow their business in new homes, before being promoted to Sales Director for the company in 2004. In his time with the business they regularly exceeded revenue targets of £40 million ($70 million AUD).

From there Mr Tavender moved to the News Corp UK/REA Group venture, taking on the role of Commercial Director.

In his time in Australia Mr Tavender has worked in a number of roles, including with media company APN and loan startup Nimble.

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Hannah Blackiston

Hannah Blackiston was an in-house journalist with Elite Agent. She worked with the company from January 2018 to January 2019.