Purplebricks CEO says new appointment demonstrates ‘size of our ambition’

Helena Marston

Purplebricks says the appointment of well-respected Vince Courtney as chief sales officer forms part of the firm’s medium-term plan to return to profit.

The firm revealed last month that it intends to increase its annual cost savings target from £13m to £17m and make redundancies across the business.

The online agency also plans to diversify its revenue streams after recording a £42m loss in the year to 30 April, compared to a £7m profit the year before.

The new strategy, part of its “turnaround plan”, includes the launch of an in-house mortgage advice arm “five months ahead of plan”.

The turnaround plan, according to chief executive Helena Marston, is to return to positive cash generation in early 2024.

Purplebricks appear to be going about their business quieter than usual as it seeks to find a path to recovery. The struggling online estate agency did not inform the press that it had hired Courtney. But after EYE broke the story yesterday, Helena Marston was happy to comment on the appointment.

Marston told EYE: “With over twenty-five years of industry experience, successfully building and leading residential agency sales teams, Vince is ideally placed to embed a performance culture throughout the team and grow our market share. His appointment is a sign of confidence in our turnaround plan and the size of our ambition.”

Courtney added: “I am excited to be joining the UK’s biggest estate agency brand. My role here is to combine the best of estate agency experience with new technology that will transform the way people buy and sell homes.  I have had a fantastic induction and the talent and passion of the people has far surpassed my expectations.”


EYE NEWSFLASH: Purplebricks appoints ex-Romans MD as Chief Sales Officer



Email the story to a friend


  1. Robert_May

    “10% of all transactions by 2016”  was the ambition, the commitment made to staff and investors in 2014. Open 24 hours a day 7 days a week with  every member of staff a qualified estate agent – a local property expert

    Purplebricks current advertising claims to sell more properties than any other single brand { a marketing hair splitting} that might be true but it is also the firm that fails to sell more homes than any other brand and it charges  its full fee for its failures, disappointments and dashed dreams.  It’s all well and good having fancy marketing but in a service industry where past performance and recommendation determines future success the 51.6% of people who managed to sell through PB are balanced out by those who didn’t and have been  left with a bad taste from reality being very different from the marketing claim.


    Mr. Courtney might be a superb agent, manager and motivator but  so were Michael and Kenny- the staff loved them and respected them. Mr. Courtney cannot change the issue  Purplebrick has; it does not have enough #local agents to compete in  3000 #local activity centres where  2 or 3 established agents have a long history of sales success.


    This might be textbook lifted spirits stuff but  I can’t see what Mr. Courtney can do (that he will be allowed to do) to make any difference to the outcome and future of the business.


  2. 0racle

    Fluff, fluff and more fluff

    they could appoint Richard Branson and Lord Sugar and still face the same fundamental problem….

    They may sell the most but they also fail to sell the most, whilst still charging a full fee, which to most people is simply a rip off


  3. Diogenes

    The killer is that to save money, they need to reduce advertising. As Henry Ford said ‘A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time’ 

    They failed to succeed in the best sales market in years, and now face the challenges of a more difficult market. Their salvation could be in lettings, but they are seriously bad at this. How long before they offload this as they can’t make it work. Why? Well, they are simply too slow. By the time an LPE books an appointment, the agent down the road will have a list of tenants hoping to view. Then there is the service – just read their customer services twitter account…


    I don’t know this new chap-feedback from others looks solid -but as an industry veteran myself-if I was reporting into an HR director running who knows nothing about running an EA business that will last about a week .  
    42 million loss is eyewatering and with transactions expected to be down this year cash burn will only go one way
    Why did he pack his bags in his previous tow short stints ?

  5. Woodentop

    There is a fundamental reason why some business succeed and others do not in Estate Agency. I said this from day one of PB and other on-liners, they do not understand how and why it works and will all go under. Many have found to their cost I was right. The idea you can do it cheap failed, the idea you can do it with limited resources failed. The idea the internet does it all for you, LOL failed.


    I’m not going to tell companies that wish to destroy the high street the magic recipe but in the main, the consumer is no fool to their shenanigans and their cost competitiveness which they rely heavily upon is now a dead duck and they are about to go the way of the dodo. No market, no staff, no money, the end is nigh after 10 years of using other peoples money to stay afloat to achieve less than 4% of market share as a national company.

    24 August 2022 12:13 (Sharecast News) – Shares in Purplebricks were rising on Wednesday afternoon, after its non-executive chairman purchased another million shares.
    Today: Ordinary share price under 10p from daily decline in August at 19p.


    8 December 2022 07:52 (Sharecast News) – Online estate agency Purplebricks reported a widening of its first-half losses on Thursday but said it was on track to meet full-year expectations as its turnaround plan was being delivered “at pace”.


    In the six months to the end of October, operating losses widened to £11.7m from 11.1m in the same period a year earlier, with revenue down 16% to £34.5m.

  6. Stuart

    I’ll give this 12 months max..2023 looks like a tough year ahead


You must be logged in to report this comment!

Comments are closed.

Thank you for signing up to our newsletter, we have sent you an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Additionally if you would like to create a free EYE account which allows you to comment on news stories and manage your email subscriptions please enter a password below.