Daren Cridge has worked in estate agency for decades but in 2015 he moved to Purplebricks and was one of the first industry players to sign up as a Local Property Expert. But in August this year he decided to leave and join Keller Williams and head its Market Centre in Weybridge, Surrey.
“I spent a good couple of months finding out about Keller Williams before I joined including going to their learning days and I met one of the senior US agents – Sue Adler – who is based in New Jersey and heard her describe working within its network,” he says.
“The culture started to resonate with me because it reminded of Purplebricks during the early days when I first met Kenny and Michael Bruce at the company’s advertising company in Covent Garden.
“I walked in to have exploratory talks about joining and walked out having committed to start training in Birmingham.
“I had a fantastic time at Purplebricks and that’s why you won’t see me on social media slating it.”
Daren says he believes the culture at Purplebricks has changed a lot since the early days and that he likes Keller Williams because its culture is more established and more ‘relaxed and calm’.
“I was listening to Alex Harvey, one of the bigger UK Keller Williams franchisees based in West Sussex and heard how he and his wife take a ‘family’ first approach to running their business, something Purplebricks used to be like when it first started up.
“When you walked into the Purplebricks head office everyone was high-fiving each other and Michael instilled a lot of that; he used to walk around during training saying things like ‘I love you and you love me’ although it was a bit surreal sometimes,” says says.
“But I stuck and it and I’m glad I did – it changed my life and the way that I look at estate agency.”
Cridge says he wants the hybrid approach that Purplebricks pioneered to work because it helped reinforce the idea that self-employed model can work, and that “they just need to get their pricing right and pay their agents correctly”, he says.