Purplebricks has revealed its plans to survive the crisis including a complete halt in TV and radio ads, and has said it will eventually furlough its directly-employed staff, but has not yet decided when.
Purplebricks has around 300 call centre and head office staff on traditional work contracts, while another 600 are self-employed territory owners and LPEs.
As well as stopping its radio and TV adverts and severely restricting its online marketing, Purplebricks says its digital platform, which enables customers to upload their own photographs, videos and property details, has enabled it to switch many of its usually face-to-face activities online and is now offering both video valuations and virtual viewings.
Despite these initiatives, Purplebricks says it has seen a weakening of activity since the government urged people not to travel and, last week, not to move home unless contractually bound to do so.
The hybrid agency is also reducing its supplier costs and other overheads as it tries to preserve its £35 million cash at the bank and implement a lean operating model throughout the crisis period.
“The COVID-19 situation continues to evolve and is likely to remain uncertain for some time,” the company says.
“Given the recent impacts Purplebricks now expects revenues to be below expectations for the full year to April 2020.
“It is too early to predict the impact on [Purplebricks’] financial performance for the 2021 financial year until the impact of COVID-19 on the housing market becomes clearer.
“Nevertheless, the company believes its flexible, digitally-led operating model leaves Purplebricks positioned for long-term success.”