Purplebricks says it is to recruit “hundreds” of new Local Property Experts as it ramps up its bid to become the biggest estate agent in the UK.
The business already has over 500 self-employed Local Property Experts across the UK.
Michael Bruce, Purplebricks founder and CEO, said: “Our quest for more talented Local Property Experts is a direct result of overwhelming customer demand.
“People now have a great alternative to the traditional estate agent – one that will save them loads of commisery and give them a brilliant service.”
He added: “Customers love our passion for service and our willingness to go the extra mile. We want to work with people who focus on people, not just property.
“In return, we offer our Local Property Experts the support and flexibility to grow a successful business, the chance to reap the rewards of their hard work and the opportunity to join an exciting global business that is transforming an industry.”
Purplebricks said its Local Property Experts typically have five years’ experience, with many having been valuation managers, branch managers or area managers with high street agents.
Purplebricks also said that they “tend to earn significantly more than they did when an estate agent on the high street”.
According to paperwork we have obtained, a Local Property Expert who was signed up towards the end of 2015 was last year paid:
£200 per instruction
£80 for every viewing service taken up
£50 on completion for every legal instruction
£50 for every mortgage sign-up on completion
£100 for every lettings move in
(All payments plus VAT with the LPE in question running a VAT-registered business. As far as we are aware the rates have not changed.)
The LPE was also guaranteed £2,000 per month income for the first three months after commencing a ten-day training course.
The letter setting out these payments plus other points was signed by sales director Kenny Bruce.
The LPE was also paid £20 per sign, according to invoices sent to Purplebricks’ head office. In one month last year, the LPE invoiced for ten instructions, one viewing, one letting, and six signs. In another month, the LPE brought in 14 instructions, and also invoiced for 28 viewings, three sets of legals and five signs.
In their best month last year, the LPE – based outside London – invoiced for over £4,350 plus VAT. In their worst (and first) month, they gained just one instruction, with the invoice showing Purplebricks making up the £2,000 shortfall, as per its guarantee.
Some of the invoices did include £200 deductions which the LPE told us were where there had been complaints. In one invoice there were four refunds.
According to one invoice, there was a £200 refund where a property was not listed within two to four weeks.
None of the invoices we have seen had any payment for getting a property under offer, or to exchange.
The LPE, who is no longer with Purplebricks, told EYE there was no incentive other than for listing; they stressed having been happy with their earnings levels.
On the Purplebricks website, there are a number of LPE jobs listed, with OTE earnings ranging from £45,000 to £60,000, and so the invoices we have seen do seem to tally with these.
The bid to become Britain’s largest agent is a consistent part of Purplebricks’ strategy. In its operations manual of February 2014, issued to Local Property Experts, it says: “We will within three years be the largest sales and lettings business in the UK by being excellent at everything we do.”
Yesterday, Purplebricks’ shares hit a new high of 454.75p.