Former Purplebricks professionals launch new hybrid agency

Three former senior members of Purplebricks have teamed up to launch their own hybrid estate agency, The Agency UK, in the south of England, with plans to expand across the UK later this year.

Founders, Andy Vass, Mark Bruce and Steph Walker, have created a concept which is designed around offering a self-employed business structure.

Each agent working with The Agency UK will be given their own local market and be responsible for a property portfolio that is solely managed by themselves.

The new company says that it will also provide agents with the required support to generate buyer interest and new instruction leads such as lead generation, admin, IT, centralised support functions, a branded website, and marketing tools to include showcasing homes via portals, advertising, and PR.

The Agency UK has already taken on a number of self-employed agents who are now actively operating across Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex.

All three founders of The Agency UK have long-established property careers.

Andy Vass

Vass, an industry trainer, played a significant part in launching Purplebricks in 2014. He has overall responsibility for creating, planning, and implementing the strategic direction of The Agency UK.

Bruce’s career accolades include Countrywide and Fine & Country before joining Purplebricks during its early years and moving up the ranks to a territory owner. At The Agency UK, he is responsible for selling homes in Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight, having done so since 1993.

Meanwhile, Walker was part of the Purplebricks’ global management team and helped launch its operations in the US, alongside Vass.

Previous roles include being a senior branch manager for Countrywide offices in Merseyside, followed by area manager at Abode where she was responsible for multiple offices in and around the city.

Now operations director at The Agency UK, she will look after everything from agent onboarding to supplier relationships and the build-out of centralised functions.

Steph Walker

Vass, Bruce and Walker are also supported by agents Ian Taylor in Bournemouth, Jonathan Crawford-Jones in Mid Sussex, with Lloyd Westall and Cam Carter in Southampton.

Vass said: “I am delighted to be working alongside Steph and Mark again. Together, we want to take the best aspects of the US and Australian models such as local agents being their own brand, earning a higher proportion of the commission and making them relevant to this market, whilst instilling British culture and being relevant to British clients.

“The Agency UK will enable agents to concentrate on doing the deals, whilst combining the sophistication of a premium brand with the agility of a start-up, and empowering them from start to finish with great technology, operational support and personalised marketing strategies. In turn, this will have a positive impact on our buyers and clients.

“Many clients feel abandoned once they have instructed an estate agent, feeling they’re passed around from employee to employee – often to somebody with little experience, who is dealing with thirty or more sales at any one time. By working with only a handful of clients at The Agency UK, this allows us to dedicate more time to them and potential buyers.

“We know from experience that rushing around, promising the world to as many clients as possible, doesn’t give them or the sale the attention it deserves – but with us, we have remedied that issue by keeping sales volumes for each agent to a manageable level. Premium quality shouldn’t be confined to the high-end property market. Each client deserves the absolute best regardless of price point; from the marketing and advertising of their home, to the expertise of the agent and to the experience from for sale to sold.”

The Agency UK is currently on the hunt for more agents to join their expanding team, particularly within Surrey, Hamshire and Sussex.

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20 Comments

  1. smile please

    Best of luck to them. Brave launching at this time.
     
      I see they have ‘recruited’ the journeyman Cam Carter who has been at pretty much every online / hybrid agent and or recruiter.  
     
    Interesting to see how long he lasts in this role.

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    1. Knowitall

      Worked with Cam at PB and he was amongst the best they had in fairness and everyone says how good he is however keeping Cam on track is another thing. I know his boss at PB could have lost his hair with cams exploits.

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    2. Cam Carter

      Not sure why I’ve taken the time to create account after all these years to reply to the most negative person on PIE. We all know the reason PIE doesn’t make you use your own name is so cowards can make these comments in first place with no facts so here’s some.    Countrywide (18 months)  Fox and sons ( 3 years)  Purplebricks ( 3 years)  Spicerhaart ( 6 months) this was in Cheshire where I moved to be closer to a partner.  Keller Williams ( 6 months ) a split with partner etc meant I needed realign some things.  Career break, self investment and  studying CeMap etc for 6 months followed before joining  The Agency UK this month.  PIE reported the average time an estate agent stays with one company is 21 months….  Your are clearly very uneducated as to how many “online/hybrid” agencies there are to say ive been apart of them all?  Thankfully I know my own worth as an agent and will continue as always do, to be successful in the roles I choose to be in.  I wish you all the best with your career thats clearly spanning to long. 
       
      And I can report to Know It All all my previous bosses have a full and very healthy head of hair. Slightly grey maybe…

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      1. Hillofwad71

        The very best of luck with your new role

        “PIE reported the average time an estate agent stays with one company is 21 months”

         

        That really is a quite concerning stat

        Gone are the days then of a couple of early career moves to gain experience and find a decent  home  to progress your career progressing up the ranks.senior neg.,associate, partner and equity partner .

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      2. smile please

        Welcome to the party Cam.

         

        I would not say negative, i would say realistic.

         

        Problem for you is, you like to put yourself center stage hence why your name has become synonymous with every new shiny start up.

         

        If you crave the attention, then you must expect people to call you out on it.

         

        You have sung the praises of a number of former employers but leave. So when no doubt you sing the praises of yet another start up its important people see the full story.

         

        A lot of naive negs are falling for the self employed model and will lose job security and no doubt end up in debt. Its important people like me show the other side of the coin so they get a balanced view.

         

        Simon Whale, sums it up well, Is it scalable, is it sustainable. My opinion Yes scalable as the bar is low with dreams promised. Is it sustainable, No not for the individuals. Its like selling Herbalife not many make money from it.

         

        I honestly wish you the best of luck Cam and hope you find what you are looking form, But i am guessing within 21 months you will be at the next shinny offering ….

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        1. smile please

          I was not going to post this but …… Oh well why not.

           

          Cam 70 Neva Road showing under offer though the agency is the third time this year you have listed it as sold.

           

          1, Carter Grace

          2, Cameron Carter Powered by KW

          3, The Agency UK

           

          Do you not find that misleading?

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          1. Cam Carter

            Busy day Smile Please? Clearly not or even ever…

             

            Here goes then….

             

            Sing praises. Where have I mentioned Agency UK? Anywhere. I’m not on LinkedIn etc and we have a fantastic recruitment partner whose job it is to recruit. Im happy focusing where I need to be right now.

             

            Centre stage? Leave etc well only time ive ever had any negative connection is with PB upon leaving and there is a story well above your pay grade for that.

             

            You say your comments are about having people see both sides but as twitter shows I know who you are and you clearly haven’t done enough experience or research to just discount an entire model of estate agency to say its Catches naive negotiators. Infact across all the self employed models id argue a majority have been in senior roles and fully know what is required of them to succeed. The difference is when you fail in a branch it can be hidden if you fail self employed its for all to see. Thankfully that works the other way and intime im sure the top earning 100 agents in UK will be self employed. No one forces anyone to try it thats for sure.

             

            As for the listing.. originally sold via KW which was the Carter Grace branding. So its the same. It fell through I resold it with Agency UK. Your point?

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            1. JEL

              I don’t know you or anything about your career but why don’t you just set up on your own and forget all these other businesses, just find an area that suits and open an office …

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              1. Cam Carter

                I tried a solo approach with a partner in that gap. We split up, corona hit hard etc etc wasnt the right time and lost a fair bit of money to be honest. Truly were see what any future holds but I think these models when done correct can offer some real value. Lets see how the next 21 months go I guess…. 😉 

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                1. JEL

                  Ok …Good luck

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  2. Hillofwad71

    Yes the best of luck having returned back to Blighty with their tail between their legs after Bricks disastrous trips abroad  ripping through Axel ‘s investment in double quick time .
    I suspect the best aspects of the offer gleaned abroad were  few and far between.
     
      On that note Bricks investment in Homeday,Germany looks to be going the way of all flesh.
     
    On the 23rd December 2020, a new law passed by the Bundestag and Bundesrat relating to the payment of real estate broker commissions came  into force, whereby in future, both buyers and sellers will each pay half of the brokerage commission.
     
      Homeday  pre-empted the new regulations by a week with the introduction of their own flat 3.9% broker commission including VAT, payable 50:50 by buyer and seller .
     
     
      They face stiff competiton in  Germany  from  McMakler who have has just raised a further €60m, with a large chunk coming from private equity group Warburg Pincus .
     
      Homeday kicked off about the same time as Bricks who Invested £11.1m in 2018 and a further  £4,6m  in 2020 .
    Homeday have  less than 600 instructions  with 200 brokers .
     
    That’s less than  3 each  not cutting the mustard .  
    What can Bricks offer apart from a passive investment.?
    Not a fat lot .
     
    Just like Walker & Vass  ,Paul Vickerstaff   one of the original Sales Directors was farmed out there to add his “expertise”  Came back very quickly  within a few months .
     
    The experience so traumatic he is no longer with Bricks but at SpicerHaart  

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  3. ExTOgirl

    Sign up and deal with a low client count ratio and these three ‘experts’?

    They are just unemployed PB’ers who rode the train and still want to cash in on the Bruce name (Mark is a nephew or cousin).

    Cam is a catch too LOL.

    I think I’ll pass.

     

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    1. Knowitall

      Your name shows your bitterness, let alone the comments.

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  4. haveathink

    Looking at the way all these online agents have gone – can we have some proper analysis £ invested and how many still in business or profitable? None of them are anywhere near are a required return for the money invested.

    If the Bruce’s go anywhere near this after selling the whole  of market dream that is Boomin there will be a lot of egg of faces within the industry.

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  5. James White

    Good luck; and welcome to the viper’s nest.

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  6. Theselfemployedagent

    Euggghhhh no thanks !

    Does seem like Mark Bruce is the spare part with the right name doesn’t it.

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  7. Whaley

    I’d be very interested to understand if this is an affiliate of the Australian business run by Peter Kakos and. Matt Lahood, with the same model and concept?

    https://theagency.com.au/

    Well the trend whatever is very clear , with the likes of Keller Williams, EXP, F&C  associates amongst a few others this seems to be the big expansion point in the industry. It’ll be fascinating to see if its scalable and indeed sustainable

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    1. smile please

      Name, branding and concept seem identical.

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    2. letstalk

      There is also ‘The Agency’ owned by Mauricio Umanski https://www.theagencyre.com/ in the US, someone may have been watching too much RHOBH when deciding on a name!

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  8. majortom1

    Everyone deserves a chance I guesss and I wish them luck. As long as it is indeed “professional” as the header suggests. We have enough pay upfront cowboys thank you.

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