Purplebricks sells 77% of the houses it lists, it was said yesterday.
CEO Vic Darvey made the claim in a webcast yesterday after Purplebricks’ interim results were announced for the six months to the end of October.
He told attendees, including journalists and City analysts: “We sell 77% of the houses we list.”
Darvey did not define what he meant by “sell” and numbers were not given as to sales.
However, Darvey said that Purplebricks’ success rate was far better than the industry average of sell-throughs, and that he did not want to change it.
Much of the webcast was in the context of changes to Purplebricks, including its pricing, placing emphasis on sales rather than listings.
Purplebricks yesterday reported that it now has a 5.3% market share in completions.
Chief financial officer James Davies said that this increase was “further proof” that Purplebricks was aligned with customers’ objectives, to sell their homes rather than simply list them.
Purplebricks is to trial a new pricing model in the UK which could mean that sellers pay a higher overall fee – but this would be split into a lower upfront fee and an amount payable on completion. One possible example given was that one-third of the fee could be charged up-front, and two-thirds on completion.
Answering a question from an attendee about Local Property Experts and the financial impact that this might have on them, Davies said: “We are not going to starve our LPEs for six months like Yopa did.”
He said that the whole concept was to weight payment towards completion.
However, Darvey was adamant that Purplebricks would not move to a No Sale, No Fee commission model.
Darvey said that splitting the overall fee but reducing the upfront charge would open the business to a wider customer base.
He also emphasised that Purplebricks’ LPEs would be remunerated better than their high street counterparts, and he spoke of recruiting the best talent in the industry. He said that improved automation would give LPEs one day back a week.
He also spoke of improving Purplebricks’ technology and systems, with “dedicated squads” enhancing the customer experience.
He said that Purplebricks now contacts buyers and sellers at different points in the transaction process, with the result that the time has been reduced from SSTC to “completion” by seven days.
Darvey described Purplebricks as the biggest and most successful estate agency in Britain: “We now sell 5.3% of all houses – we sell more houses than any other estate agent in the UK”.
Davies also said in the webcast that while Purplebricks’ lettings business was slightly down year on year, when adjusted for the tenancy fee ban, there was underlying growth of 10%.
Previously, then group CEO Michael Bruce claimed in October 2016 that Purplebricks sold 88% of houses within ten months. The last UK CEO for Purplebricks, Lee Wainwright, has put the figure at over 80%.
Purplebricks reported 32,850 UK instructions in the six months to the end of October. At a 77% success rate, it will have sold 25,294.
Yesterday, its shares closed at 105p, up 1% over the day, but having been as low as 100p and as high as nearly 109p.
Yesterday Purplebricks also announced that senior independent non-executive director Mike Wroe has left the board and been replaced by Simon Downing. Paul Pindar, Purplebricks chairman, assumes the role of chairman of the audit committee.