Purplebricks could “face an uphill struggle” in America, a US realtor has said.
The warning comes from Matt Fetick, who runs successful Keller Williams franchise operations in the USA and is also managing director of Keller Willliams UK.
Fetick said that the American market is attractive, with agents earning record amounts last year.
But, he emphasised, it is a very different market.
He said: “2016 was a landmark year for the American real estate market – more consumers than ever utilised professional realtors, resulting in the highest pay-out of commission in the country’s history.
“As a company, we always welcome competition and support the idea of consumer choice.
“However, we know that the buying and selling of residential real estate is a complex process.
“For example, in the US, licensed realtors are held as fiduciaries in the transaction, so they are personally, legally obligated to assist their clients at the highest level.
“As a result, buyers and sellers require professional services that extend beyond basic online marketing; they require strategy and advice on how to protect their interests.
“There will always be a group of customers who seek price over service, but it is a very small segment.
“On the whole, the US standard of customer service is high, and people are willing to pay for it.
“Limited service and flat fee brokers are not new to the States, and there are many similar products out there.
“To date, and as far as we are aware, we’ve never seen them grow beyond a 1% market share.
“Based on this, we envisage that Purplebricks will face an uphill struggle in a market currently inundated with new technologies and property products.”