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Leading independent agent vents outrage at yesterday’s Purplebricks ‘report’

Founding CIELA member says report is just "scare tactics"

Nigel lewis

CIELA purple bricks powerPerry Power (pictured, right), a founding member of the Charter for Independent Estate Agents (CIELA), says he is “outraged” by a Purplebricks report published yesterday which claims that millions of vendors in the UK are being overcharged by traditional agents.

The report, which quizzed just over 1,000 members of the public about their attitudes to estate agent pricing and service, was used to support Purplebricks’ claim that agents are ‘out of date’ and ‘out of touch’.

“Purplebricks likening their online service to that of dedicated, passionate independent estate agents is like comparing two plastic surgeons when deciding to get major reconstruction,” he says.

“One may be cheaper but only practiced the procedure twice, whereas the other costs more but has completed it thousands of times and has a brilliant reputation. Who would you enlist your trust in with something so important?”

Shake up the industry

“I applaud anyone who tries to shake up our industry, god knows we need it, but when it involves unsubstantiated comparisons…and bullying I can’t sit back and let a company with huge marketing spends try to take down the hard working independents.

“Purplebricks should be applauding these people, but instead they surveyed a tiny fraction of the UK with cleverly worded questions to get the headlines they want.

“It’s scare tactics, but we don’t see them admitting to only having a 30% completion rate yet still taking consumers hard earned money, do we?

“You can easily quantify an online buy or sell, but you can never put a price on the human element, which ultimately is the most important part of such a huge decision.”

April 7, 2017


  1. Couldn’t agree more with Sheila and Perry. PurpleBricks and their like manipulate the vendor through price, fear, novelty and peer pressure. It works with vendors that either know no better, or are too lazy to dig deep in their search for a better agency.

    They also manipulate the media with over-blown comments that have neither substantiated fact, nor subtlety. These half-truths are spread around the media. Some journalists, consequently have an ‘easy story’.

    The independent agency has no need to resort to price to manipulate vendors. That some do is testament to their lack of creativity. Vendors aren’t choosing your product or service. They’re choosing your character. Those that have ‘character flaws’ might prosper short-term, but will never inspire loyalty. For the simple reason that eventually, the truth will out.

  2. Well said Perry! The crazy thing is, as you say, with online-only listing services (can’t really call them ‘estate agents’ can you?) payment is upfront and it’s all lost if they don’t sell the property. No figures for that are bandied about are they?

    Could you imagine people paying £500 upfront for a flight that would normally cost £1000 with a quality airline, to save money… and then having the flight cancelled (no refunds) because they couldn’t find a pilot?

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