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Purplebricks radically alters its fees structure in Australia

Hybrid agent says change is to reflect consumer demand for its 'all inclusive' service but will also help agents earn more cash.

Nigel Lewis

Purplebricks is to raise and alter its fees in Australia in response to both local regulatory and housing market difficulties and to help its agents earn more cash, it has been revealed.

Purplebricks is to now charge $8,800 for a sale in two key territories – New South Wales and Victoria – half of which will be charged up-front and the other half on completion.  This is a significant increase on its original up-front fee structure of $4,500 at launch in 2016.

The company argues this ‘all inclusive’ figure includes all marketing costs which in Oz are often charged separately on top of sales commission by high street agents.

But one key driver of the move is to help its local property experts, a substantial number of whom have quit the company over the past 12 months. The new pricing structure will double their commission per sale from $1,000 to $2,000. Purplebricks lists 85 local property experts on its website, down from 105 a year ago.

As The Negotiator reported exclusively last month, some its agents are also struggling to achieve the company’s punchy sales targets, missing them by up to 50% in some territories.

Neil Tavender (left), Purplebricks’ global COO who is based in Sydney, told the Australian Financial Review that: “We are excited about the changes we are implementing, which are a natural evolution of a business that has really captured the imagination of Australians,” he said.

“In a short period, Purplebricks has sold over 4000 homes and saved sellers more than $49 million in ‘traditional’ real estate fees and this is just the start of our journey in Australia.”

Regulators are also beginning to dig deeper into Purplebricks’ Oz business model. Investigators last week grilled a former territory owner over ‘suspected contraventions’ of Western Australian business laws. This follows a $20,000 fine for the company by Queensland regulator in March this year.

September 17, 2018

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