Our story last week about Purplebricks’ mammoth recruitment drive for new Local Property Experts drew some interesting comment.
And none more so than this – which, as it was posted fairly late, you may have missed and it is therefore reproduced below:
“I have mixed feelings about Purplebricks as a brand. The positive is that they do try and get actual industry experts into the positions, but it’s still not really ‘local estate agent’.
“Just something about it feels like it still loses a personalised edge which High Street agents provide best, and that loss of a physical office means they are relying solely on internet listings which can be very hard when the market is struggling. Also I’m diametrically opposed to the idea of someone paying up-front fees for their property to be sold.
“To try and help clarify the earnings side of things for Purplebricks LEs, I applied for an LE position in my local area a while ago and through the interview process I learned about how it works.
“They start you off with a basic salary of something like £2k for a couple of months while you get started. You then earn money from various means including acquiring the listing from valuation appointments, getting the property sold and selling professional photography and floorplans to the seller.
“This works out at a few hundred per listing. You then also earn an additional couple of hundred from the buyer side if you successfully refer insurance, conveyancers and mortgages etc.
“I think the cap per property was something like £550. They aimed to do something like between 15 to 20 sales per month but said there were people working hard to manage 20 to 25.
“On that basis you’d have something like £99,000 by selling all the products every time, and for that high achiever they’re earning around £165,000. So it’s very much product referral based.
“They also ask for applications to have a minimum of three years in a management position within an agency setting. The pull they make is that as it’s self-employed you’re running your own business and getting out of the branch rat race, yet they provide you all the tools you need to get on with it.
“In my area I’ve heard some positives about Purplebricks and like elsewhere there are signs going up here and around. I probably prefer them to any other online agent as it’s SORT of hybrid. Just the up-front fees really get me. I think if they really pull their trousers up they could be quite formidable.”
This post threw up some interesting points, particularly on the earnings potential. Could a local property expert really be earning £165,000 a year? That’s a lot of listings – and a lot of referrals.
We were also intrigued to hear that local property experts are incentivised to see a sale through, although we have not been able to verify this with Purplebricks. It leaves us rather suspecting that if there is an incentive, it has more to do with local reputation, as presumably it would soon get round if a local property expert never actually sold anything.
But back to the earnings. A bit of scouting around suggests it is likely that the best paid local property experts are actually building up businesses on the back of Purplebricks.
They have sub-licensees and earn a proportion of earnings from their instructions.
Indeed, one interesting case study that formed part of the presentation at the last Purplebricks results shows how Paul Brown has built a team of six in Sheffield and Doncaster, and is recruiting more.
Brown himself is ex-Countrywide, as is one member of his team. Two others were with rival corporate Sequence brand William H Brown, and one was from haart.