With Purplebricks set to leave the Australian market, its introduction has brought forth an interesting take on selling property that will leave investors and vendors wanting more, according to the head of an agency with a flat-fee service.
Businesses are finding themselves needing to adapt to ever-changing technology, and despite Purplebricks’ position in the Australian real estate market being a financial failure, its business model is one that could have a lasting impact on the expectations of property sellers.
Aside from offering a fixed fee to sell a property, as opposed to a percentage-based commission, Purplebricks also provided online tools to give vendors a transparent view of the selling process, giving information about views and offers as they come in.
This is a process that Adam Rigby, CEO of Upside Realty, has said is similar to other, more financially successful disrupters in other markets.
“Just like Uber has come in and changed the way the expectation of people for how to get transport and just how, when you order a pizza these days, you can see the car coming towards your house, people have an expectation that you can have similar real-time transparency over what’s going on in many aspects of your life.
“There’s no reason why that shouldn’t be in the largest transaction of your life, which is the sale of your house. So, I don’t think those things can all of a sudden be undone.”
Mr Rigby added that the introduction of technology to real estate agencies can allow them to match with other industries, and therefore matching the expectations of a public that are used to increased transparency through technology.
“A lot of people think flat fee somehow or a smaller fee has to be connected with a customer delivery or worse experience, which is absolutely not the case,” Mr Rigby said.
“If you look at many industries that have used technology to make a service or a product much more efficient, they often have improved the service and servicing of the customer’s needs.”
Not only will the absence of Purplebricks eventually lead to more technology integrated with real estate agency offerings, but it will also hopefully place more scrutiny on the advertising of agencies, according to Tim McKibbin, CEO of the Real Estate Institute of NSW.
“When Purplebricks entered the market, REINSW raised concerns about the business model and its compatibility with the Australian conditions,” Mr McKibbin said.
“However, our concerns were dismissed as a disingenuous protectionist strategy and stifling competition.”
He said that following this, after media attention placed on Purplebricks’ long-term existence in the Australian market seemed doubtful, the REINSW attempted to ask NSW Fair Trading again to stand in and protect consumers, but it is unaware if Fair Trading took any steps to do so.
“Let’s hope those with regulatory responsibilities, who were quick to and loudly challenged the REINSW’s motives, will be equally visible and vocal now that Purplebricks has ceased trading,” he said.
“All we can do is hope that Purplebricks exits the Australian market without causing consumer detriment.”