Purplebricks founders Michael and Kenny Bruce have admitted during a rare double interview that they had run out of energy at Purplebricks by the time they left the business in 2019.
During a wide-ranging interview with journalist Chris Watkins, the pair also admit that leaving the UK business to chase the dream of US domination was ‘probably not a good idea in hindsight’.
This includes that Kenny was ‘too interfering in the US business’ and that he would have been more useful back in the UK, while Michael says “both of us going off effectively at the same time and taking that strong cultural element that we were well known for out of the UK business by our absence was a mistake”.
Michael also reveals that he tried to lead from the front all the time, a common mistake made by business people of all sizes and ambition, rather than finding people to take over parts of his responsibility.
During the hour-long interview, the brothers tackle some difficult subjects including how they deal with the ‘hate’ that some agents have towards them for playing their part in helping drive down fee levels in the UK – something they deny – and that they were the ‘bogeymen’ of tech encroaching on the industry.
Michael Bruce also admits that he doesn’t read the critical commentary easily found online, some of which he describes as ‘abuse’.
But the interview also digs up some softer elements of the brothers’ background including their upbringing in Lancashire and Northern Ireland and the influence of their entrepreneurial father and hard-working mother, who raised them and four other siblings in a three-bedroom council property.
Unsurprisingly, the pair also talk about why they launched Boomin and update viewers on the progress of their mentoring charity Agents Together.