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Purplebricks launches in Canada but with directly-employed agents

Despite initially saying it wouldn't, Purplebricks has launched its brand in Canada although without the usual City investor update.

Nigel Lewis

Purplebricks has launched in Canada despite saying it would not be introducing its brand to the country following the purchase of local hybrid agency DuProprio in July last year for £29.3 million.

But DuProprio’s Chief Operating officer Lukas Lhotsky appeared on Canadian TV over the weekend dressed in a purple branded shirt (see above) and was subtitled as its in-country CEO.

During his interview with Canada’s CityNews TV channel, Lhotsky made familiar claims that Purplebricks would save vendors ‘tens of thousands’ of dollars via a flat upfront fee of $800 for a listing on Canada’s Rightmove equivalent Realtor.ca.

This includes taking photos and help with pricing, although it charges an extra $400 for viewings and $1,900 for a negotiation service.

In Canada vendors traditionally pay a commission of 5% on the sale of a property.

Flat fee

Lhotsky took the camera crew on a tour of Purplebricks’ new offices in Toronto and revealed that, unlike in the UK, its agents would be directly employed and be paid a flat fee for each sale achieved.

The TV show also claimed that Purplebricks agents in Canada are expected to sell 280 homes a year.

But it was also revealed that Purplebricks has been operating for some months under the radar; one property vendor interviewed said she has already sold two homes via the business.

The Purplebricks.ca site is live and it says the business covers four key Canadian provinces; Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia, offering vendors a $2,000 cash-back if they sign up to use its service.


January 21, 2019

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