Purplebricks tried to offer an olive-branch to the industry, but it came out like a poke in the eye with a stick.
The interview appeared on the “Secrets of the top 100 agents” podcast, which is aimed at interviewing the biggest listers and sellers in Australia, of which, none of Purplebricks’ agents were featured in the top 100 category in 2018.
The interview came out a day after the AFR published an article stating that analysts from investment bank Berenberg warned the self-titled industry disruptor would need to exit the Australian & US markets if it wants to survive.
Green: No-Beef With “Old Fashioned Commission Collectors”
Interviewed by Tim Neary, editor at Momentum Media, the executive spoke about the company’s struggles to adapt to the Australian market, and the ongoing battle with real estate agents.
“We have no beef with real estate agents in Australlia, ain fact most of our agents in the field have previously been real estate agents with other franchise groups or independent offices,” Green said.
Despite the efforts to repair the relationship with agents by appearing on the podcast, Green still referred to agents by the nickname now famous from their TV adverts.
Neary: “I’ve talked about that online as the traditional model, so we’ll keep that sort of theme consistent, (calling it) that traditional model of real estate-”
Green: “We do refer to that as the old fashioned commission collectors, but I’ll go with traditional-”
When asked by Neary why he thinks there is a poor relationship between Purplebricks and established agents, Green says of agents
“… they’re fundamentally threatened by the new player being Purplebricks, and the way we market our product in terms of it’s a lot less fee so there’s a fear for them with a downward pressure on fees in terms of our fair fixed fee that we charge, that it’s going to have a downward push in terms of the income that they’re going to earn.”
Bad Press & Cultural Issues
Relating to the recent and unrelenting coverage by the AFR regarding Purplebricks, Green spoke about the company’s restructuring efforts to meet the demands of the Australian market.
“I think to be frank and honest with you, there were some mistakes that Purplebricks made when they first came to Australia with their model,” Green says.
“I think the original business model they brought to Australia probably wasn’t the best one for Australia, and therefore I think there was some ramifications from actually implementing that model,
“From what I’ve read and what I’ve heard there were some cultural issues, I think the model moves fairly quick, it’s a fairly progressive sort of business, I think there have been some people potentially left behind with the way we’ve moved fairly quickly.
“I think the modelling around what agents were able to earn on a per sale basis made it challenging for them to make a living in the early days, obviously we’ve made a substantial change to that.”Sean Green, Purplebricks
Editors Note: Quotes from the “secrets of the top 100” podcast have been shortened to keep this article concise. The full interview can be found here.