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Agencies & People

Another part of the Purplebricks empire disappears from public view

Owner of the Purplebricks business in Canada says the name never did - and still doesn't - fit the Canadian property market.

Nigel Lewis

purplebricks

The Purplebricks brand has disappeared from Canada and been rebranded as FairSquare, leaving it only with a presence in the UK and in Germany through hybrid-agency Homeday.

Desjardins Group, a leading cooperative financial group in Canada, bought the firm in 2020 and kept the name, just over a year after Purplebricks closed both its failed Australian and US operations.

Pascal Laflamme, president of FairSquare Group Realty, says Desjardins invested in renovation with RenoAssistance, a comprehensive platform that helps homeowners and commercial operators complete renovations by giving them access to top contractors.

He tells Real Estate Magazine: “They are offering to their members and clients a more integrated approach to homeownership and we’re part of that since July 2020. So that’s why we needed to rebrand from Purplebricks.”

Shareholder choice

Adds Laflamme: “When we rebranded from ComFree to Purplebricks it wasn’t the choice of the business, it was the choice of the shareholders because they wanted to create that global brand. And I felt the marketing, the messaging also, wasn’t perfectly adapted to the Canadian reality.”

Desjardins bought Purplebrick’s Canadian holding company and its two brands—Purplebricks Canada and DuProprio which then had more than 500 employees in Canada, in a deal worth CAN$60.5 million. It has now evolved into a full-service brokerage that charges a fixed fee to clients, with agents working as a team instead of working as individual, self-employed realtors.

January 17, 2022

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