New Purplebricks boss promises to ‘do it better this time’

Sam Mitchell says Purplebricks is back and has an exciting future to look forward to under his leadership as adverts go out promoting 'free service'.


Purplebricks chief Sam Mitchell has broken his silence since his firm bought the troubled agency for a £1 last year.

He has spoken about why Purplebricks failed before it was taken over last summer by rival Strike, and how he plans to turn it around.


Speaking to City Am, he says its former management didn’t understand how to sell houses.

“I don’t know how with a straight face you phone someone up after 10 months and say ‘I haven’t sold your house. You owe me £2,000’. That’s just poison for your customers,” Mitchell says.

And he says Purplebricks didn’t have anyone in charge who understood how the property market works. But the agency has an exciting future, he says.

TV campaign catapulted us back up to being the biggest agent in the entire country.”

“We bought the business in June last year, we relaunched on Boxing Day, and it’s been an incredible response – we’ve put a very small TV campaign together through the North and Midlands, which catapulted us back up to being the biggest agent in the entire country.”

Around 10-15% of jobs were cut and the organisation restructured, with a financial services arm that is training mortgage brokers.

Something different

Mitchell says the brand has not lost its attraction. “If you ask the general public on the street what they thought about Purplebricks, they’d say I’m aware of it as an estate agent doing something different and charging less for it.”

He also accepts that last year was a tough one for the housing market, but there are strong signs of improvement.

Raving about us

And Mitchell says Purplebricks is targeting London next with its marketing strategy. He says he’ll know they’re back on track when “people are raving about us at the school gates”.

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One Comment

  1. So he says the previous management didn’t understand how the property market works & then cuts the already minimal workforce offering an even less for even less service? Mmmmmm, pots & kettles come to mind!

  2. “Biggest estate agent in the entire country?” – not the most successful at selling homes for the best price, not the most trusted, not the most recognised. Simply the biggest.

    Being the “biggest” invites comparison and competition. Often, there is no other goal than to beat the competition. There is a focus on maximising returns for investors, and customer acquisition is often a priority over customer service.

    “Free advice is often overpriced.” – Charles E. McKenzie

    The cost of customer acquisition will undoubtedly go through the roof if TV advertising is a marketing strategy. Great for FMCG but not for a service industry. Consumers wilfully ignore advertising on TV. Just ask the founders of eMoov and House Simple.

    What’s missing from this business is a radically different message – being biggest and cheaper isn’t a compelling enough reason.

    Good luck with increasing market share in London – that’s when the chickens will really come home to roost.

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