Purplebricks has launched in Perth, Australia, and says it is expanding at a faster rate in Australia than when it launched in the UK three years ago.
Australian CEO Ryan Dinsdale says it has achieved 435 sales in its first six months and claims to have saved customers $5m in fees.
Its Australian website shows more than 800 properties either for sale or sold since it launched last August.
Dinsdale told the Australian Financial Review: “We’re progressing very well and are pleased with the rate of expansion, which is ahead of our expectations.”
Traditional agents are struggling in the low listings environment. They claim the low-cost service provided by Purplebricks translates into a poorer sales outcome, a charge the company vehemently rejects, pointing to the high ratings it attracts on review site Trustpilot.
Dinsdale said the company would not have grown as big as it had if it had failed to achieve good results for home sellers.
Purplebricks charges $4,500 in Australia, where a 2.2% commission rate is said to be the norm.
Its presence in Perth adds to Melbourne, South East Queensland, Sydney and the Central Coast, with Adelaide to be next on the list.
Earlier this month, agent LJ Hooker launched its own ‘disruption play’, Settl, an online platform that allows vendors to sell without an agent. It will compete for business against itself, which sounds sort of familiar.
Separately, yesterday evening new putative trade body CIELA (Charter for Independent Estate and Letting Agents) said it had filed a complaint about Purplebricks’ TV adverts in the UK to the Advertising Standards Authority.
CIELA, founded by agency software provider Charlie Wright, yesterday evening said: “As expected, we received a heavy-handed response from Purplebricks’ lawyers in response to our complaint about their misleading advertisements. Their letter flatly refuted our claims regarding their adverts. They did not issue a Cease and Desist. They accused CIELA of seeking publicity. They also called into question the conduct of CIELA Founder Members, alleging that there is a conflict of duty with their memberships of NAEA and ARLA.
“As a result of their refusal to accept our points on their advertisements, we have accordingly filed a complaint with the ASA and expect a response within the next two weeks.”