When you hear the name “Purple Bricks” what do you think of? “What a funny name, what is it?” or “New Real Estate Competitors? Yeah, they’re a big con.” or “They’re a force to be reckoned with”. Whatever you think, they are out there taking the Australian Real Estate industry by storm.
Should you be worried? Well, yes and no. Let’s take a closer look at what threats they pose and whether they’re really a problem?
Their biggest selling point is they offer a Flat Fee over a commission. So they’re cheap for people selling houses that would ask a commission higher than $4,500—which is most of them. So, unfortunately, this point will be a winner for them—it’s a hook. Don’t be too concerned, though. Soon to follow, vendors will likely find themselves disappointed with what they get and they will be out of pocket. At that point, they will again be fair game for the rest of us but they’ll need some hand-holding which is the short-term frustration.
A good defense here is to play on the points of difference. If you can provide more than Purple Bricks at a minimal price or even include it in the commission, you are more likely to convince those that do their homework.
What the Vendor Really Gets
According to Purple Bricks, the vendor gets approximately 10 photos, standard listings on realestate.com.au, domain.com.au and purplebricks.com.au, a simple floorplan, and a generic Purple Bricks “For Sale” signboard all along with some basic sales process helps. That’s really not that much. In fact, you probably do most if not all of these for a lesser price and provide more service on top of that for the commission you get.
This point is where you can really make a difference. There are ways to provide much more marketing for less. Bringing in a service like Hausfly, you can get 8 photos, a simple floorplan, an actual property promoting signboard, and an additional 360º virtual tour in the standard package for just $499 and their packages only gets better from there. This can give your package a lot more marketing boost, and it’s a bigger incentive for vendors to go with you. You can also list with realestate.com.au and domain.com.au along with others (such as the new gumtree service), giving the vendor some flexibility as to whether they go for higher promotional plans or not.
The Process and Customer Service
The service they provide is actually quite minimal. The vendor gets a local Purple Bricks contact but their process is primarily automated and limited to one set of options they provide so the representative would merely be a face to talk to without much control. They also consider making the connection between the buyer and seller transparent as a selling point. This potentially takes the work from the agent and puts it onto the seller—a sneaky trick. Their dashboard, on the other hand, appears to be a nice touch, however, the results are only likely to change when someone actually changes something. As an agent, you would provide the same information to your vendors with more details.
Under the surface, it’s actually quite unfair to the agents that associate themselves with Purple Bricks, in that they sell the idea that they can provide listings on a plate, but this takes away their experience, their opportunity for commission and their region of influence if they leave.
This is more of a warning that getting involved with Purple Bricks may be a bad idea. From a vendor’s point of view, though, knowing that their agent has full control of their marketing is a huge seller. Also, as an added bonus to you, Hausfly will be giving out recommendations for leads to real estate agents in the area. They are soon to start a major marketing campaign to generate lots of leads. It will be worth getting involved.
This really is a misnomer. Purple Bricks claim that they don’t tie in their clients and that real estate agents do. Purple Bricks may not tie them in with a contract until sale, but they get their money regardless of sale and there is tie-in by obligation. Also, due to the limited marketing that is provided, they are tied into a stagnating package for fear that their money was misspent. As soon as they move on to another agent, they’ve lost all that marketing and will have to pay another large sum of money for another.
Again, this is where Hausfly can benefit you as a sales tool. The services Hausfly provide are not branded to any Real Estate agent except by request. Providing this freedom to take their marketing package with them between agents is a selling point in itself but then why would they need to change agents if you can simply provide more marketing at a cheaper price.
Purple Bricks are really quite a limited solution and a risky one for vendors, but you can make a difference to the market by proving the difference and providing better marketing options at lower prices. The services Hausfly provides will be invaluable in your mission to fend off the Purple Brickers.