A Purplebricks LPE from the East Midlands has claimed that 80% of the agents working for the company in his area are looking for a way to leave the company after significant changes were made to the way they are paid over the past few months.
The LPE, who is still working for the company and does not wish to be named, has told The Negotiator that once his outstanding invoices are paid at the end of this month, he will leave.
“I have worked in this industry for four decades and after running my own company successfully for many years I left the industry and took time out,” he says.
“I then joined Purplebricks because I wanted to re-engage with the industry because I like working as an estate agent and missed it, and their model seemed a good fit for my circumstances,” he says.
Despite his industry experience the LPE says his hours were ‘crazy’ starting at 7am and finishing at 11pm most days, and although from the outset the contract he signed was always going to be hard work, in recent months it began to unravel.
“My Purplebricks territory owner made me sign a new contract which effectively reduced my income by 30% including a £25 reduction in our listing fee,” he says.
“It also became much harder to receive commission from conveyancing and mortgage referrals.
“I haven’t been paid my referral fees income yet from February, and they blocked off my diary until I signed the contract – which many people might construe as bullying behaviour.”
The LPE claims he was one of many agents who joined the company just before the lockdown, but that he believes there will be a major exodus next month.
“When I ran my own company we looked after our staff because they were the geese that laid the gold eggs – but Purplebricks don’t seem to take that approach,” he adds.
“This is a concerning story but not an experience we recognise. LPEs are contracted by Territory Operators, under our guidance: together we have zero tolerance of bullying and take any allegations very seriously,” a company spokesperson says.
“Our model gives LPEs the flexibility and control to manage their time and work in the way that suits them best. We’ve spent the last 12 months working hard to improve the value proposition for our LPEs and have increased numbers in the field by around 15% year on year. In a recent survey, over 90% of LPEs said they were proud to work for us and felt personally committed to Purplebricks.”