Purplebricks fee hike ‘strikes the right balance’, says CEO Helena Marston

Helen Marston
Helen Marston

Purplebricks has defended its decision to increase its pricing and scrap its money back guarantee.

The online estate agency has announced that it will be increasing its pricing on 11 July and its money back guarantee will be abolished from 25 July. The standard package will increase from £999 to £1,199. 
The pro Package will increase from £1,399 to £1,599.

The higher priced regions Classic Package will increase from £1,499 to £1,999.

The higher priced regions Pro Package will increase from £1,999 to £2,499

Purplebricks’ recently appointed chief executive officer, Helena Marston, described the price increase as “a necessary step, not just to strengthen our revenues, but also as a result of the additional costs our business has had to absorb over the past few years”.

She continued: “We are confident that where we’ve landed strikes the right balance, maintaining a great value proposition for our customers, while also enabling us to invest further in our technology and support our field agents to deliver improved and consistently strong service.

“Our proposition has always been about enabling customers to sell their homes for a fair, fixed and transparent fee and in the current climate, this is unquestionably the most cost-effective way to do that. As you know, the cost of a similar service on the high street is considerably more, particularly when set against a commission-based model which has benefited from the extraordinary growth in house prices.

“As we communicate our new pricing to customers, it is crucial we emphasise the benefits of our proposition, the opportunity to tailor the service they require to meet their needs and dispel any misconceptions that low price equates to low value.”

Marston insisted that the decision to remove the money back guarantee from 25 July was taken “after reviewing all customer feedback”.

She explained: “When this was introduced, its objective was to inspire confidence among customers that we would deliver for them, and if we did not, they had the opportunity to get their money back. However, feedback shows it was not highly valued by customers and too many of our conversations in the living room have been taken up discussing the impact of failure, rather than demonstrating why our affordable proposition will succeed.

“We hope its removal will support our field agents and focus all their attention on communicating our affordable fixed, upfront fee and build confidence with our customers that we will sell their homes.”

 

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22 Comments

  1. IheartRE

    Good luck Helen, you’re going to need it.

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    1. janbyerss

      she probably earns more than you so

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      1. IheartRE

        I doubt it.

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      2. IheartRE

        Yep, looks like I do earn more.

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  2. John Murray

    I had a flash-back to TV adverts where people kept falling into pies, with the strapline ‘commissery’ – can’t seem to place who that was…

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  3. Diogenes

    It doesn’t seem that cheap for those in the North East, but hey.

    Besides, “Our proposition has always been about enabling customers to sell their homes for a fair, fixed and transparent fee and in the current climate (?), this is unquestionably the most cost-effective way to do that” – It’s not that cost effective if the property doesn’t actually sell….. 

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  4. That70sGuy

    Pay more, get less. Can’t see PB advertising this during Corrie

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  5. Robert_May

    This is going to be a nasty  jab in the kidneys to the best listing staff Purplebricks have.  Where good #local estate agents are working for PB their ability and  skill as an agent, along with the reduced fee offered the best of both world to vendors; a cheap fee and someone who cared about selling property. For the agent they could pick up instructions like low hanging fruit. There are several Nests where Purblebricks have got it just right.

     

    This fee increase will benefit central office but unless there is a corresponding incentive for the  agent there will be no benefit to them and the fees  advantage just go trashed.

     

    This  benefits the company but there’s  nothing in it for the listing agent.   This is bean-counter thinking that will dis-incentivise the staff who really are quite good.

     

     

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  6. AndSotheStoryBegan

    The fee is irrelevant if there’s no distinct message. Aside from fair, fixed and cheap, there’s nothing. As a consequence, vendors may come to the conclusion that they’re better off paying more for an agency that knows their worth, instead of one that is basing the fee on what the competition does and what increase they can realistically get away with.

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  7. Gangsta Agent

    Helen Marston…………………..who?

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    1. janbyerss

      Gangsta Agent……….. who?

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      1. Gangsta Agent

        janbyerss, who…………….has never made a sensible comment

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  8. janbyerss

    The obsession with PB continues LOL

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    1. Robert_May

      It isn’t an obsession it is a reaction to disruption. Disruptor tended to be over-confident know it alls who made all sorts of claims and disparraging comment about their professional conterparts in the industry.

      Stories like this are the predicted inevitabilities of  a business model that  could not ever  properly compete with #local agency. If the story wasn’t published there would be no comment to make.

       

      The accountants are trying to make the model work, trying to make it pay.  That won’t happen because where Glen Ackroyd got  the hybrid model right the other disruptors built stuff that couldn’t work

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  9. IheartRE

    Absolutely janbyerss, watching PB and the Bruce’s go down is something I derive great pleasure from.

    (Comment removed as it breached posting guidelines)

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    1. Ric

      ERM… maybe edit out the last part hey.

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      1. IheartRE

        No Ric, janbyerss is likely one of the abusers.

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        1. Ric

          I mean the reference to the people… (but not my business I suppose)

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    2. IheartRE

      janbyerss, I’m pretty sure you’re one of the PB people abusers. We’re getting the last laugh though.

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  10. NHGURU

    Is PB really saying that the feedback has been that customers don’t want their money back for a failed experience.

     

    PB are now more expensive than some bottom feeding traditional High Street Agents-you can get it for 1500 or a grand in some locations with indies prepared to accept a salary of circa 40k for running their own business

     

    This is I’m afraid the beginning of the end for PB-of  the end of the end.

     

    One big difference between the Bruce’s and the new CEO-the Bruce’s were blackbelts in the  art of spin.She most certainly is not.

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    1. IheartRE

      Poor Helena Marston, because Paul Pindar has put her in a position way beyond her capabilities of leading, but certainly perfect to be the spokesperson to publicly release statements he desperately hopes will bring his shares back to some sort of value.

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  11. Woodentop

    Try convincing the penny pinching vendors that the model is now such a great deal, after all that is what their client base/business operations is based on ‘commissary’ and how they got to where they are today? They have for some time (if not from the beginning) never got beyond the first hurdle of being a true success for consumers and going forward should not be a concern for agents anymore.

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