The senior brain drain from Purplebricks continues apace after the company’s Lettings Operations Director Howard Russell yesterday revealed that he has left to join a competitor.
30-year-old Russell was at Purplebricks for five years and, like many of his contemporaries, joined as an LPE after an early career in independent lettings at a Birmingham high street agency.
He was then promoted through the ranks to establish its lettings operation but has now decided to join Accommodation.co.uk, the recently-launched hybrid lettings platform that is in direct competition with his former employer.
“I had an amazing time at Purplebricks because everyone there had a passion for the business, but it is going through a significant transition at the moment under its new leadership and there’s been a cultural shift that hasn’t suited everyone,” he told The Negotiator.
Based at its headquarters in Manchester, Russell’s new job is to manage Accommodation’s growing team of Local Letting Consultants (LLCs), many of whom also have Purplebricks backgrounds.
“I joined because they share my vision of what the future of estate agency looks like,” he says.
“There are a lot of lettings technologies out there at the moment but there isn’t one that is able to bring it all together and produce an end-to-end digital journey for a landlord.”
Russell says he watched Purplebricks grow from its early days and says it’s that experience he’s bringing to Accommodation.co,uk, which is only five weeks old.
“You’ve got to be able to turn your hand to most things and have a good spread of abilities during the start-up phase,” he says.
Accommodation so far has LLCs in Manchester, Leeds, Telford, Swansea, Lincoln and Stockport and this month will open operations in Liverpool and Canterbury.