During the course of the last decade, good news has become a rare thing for the Australian real estate market. After a long enough period that included scary bubble rumours and lots of swinging moods, two events are marking a turning point for our once-wary housing market. The first one is represented by price trends: average numbers have been showing stability in the last couple of years, and in some key areas – Sydney, for example – is increasing at impressive rates. As it turns out, our real estate market is proving to be more resilient than anyone thought.
Secondly - and no less important in terms of a full market recovery - a new company has arrived to our country: Purplebricks, which has already shaken up the tired and outdated commission model with their flat fee offering.
A new model for a new beginning
The Purplebricks’ proposal is as simple as it is revolutionary: instead of commission and separate marketing costs, they charge a flat fee for marketing and selling your property. In a market where the average standard commission is 2.2 percent on the selling price, Purplebricks charges a flat fee of $5,500 – and this changes everything. For example, if a property is valued at $1m, selling it through a traditional realtor would mean an average commission of $22,000 (and higher commissions aren’t all that rare). But if the same property is sold through Purplebricks, the fee remains at $5,500. The result? A $16,500 saving that stays in the seller’s pocket.
Moreover, Purplebricks has committed itself to offering extra value to customers, with the intention of transforming the usually stressful act of selling property into a fast and seamless experience. To accomplish this, they’ve done two things: first of all, they’ve invested heavily in the most important selling channel of our days: the internet. In an era when pretty much everyone goes property-hunting online, having the best online selling system is a must, not an option: point for Purplebricks there.
Secondly, the company has chosen to go the extra mile when it comes to selling a customer’s property: the flat fee includes perks like marketing actions, sales boards, floor plans and professional photo services for free. That’s right: there are no hidden costs, no extra charges on all of the things mentioned above. Purplebricks seems to be determined to make a difference in the real estatemarket, and there is no other way to do it than offering true value.
How does it work?
With the goal of keeping things simple, Purplebricks has implemented a system that reduces the friction associated to the traditional selling process:
1. Book a property appraisal: it’s done online and it takes a couple of minutes. Once the date and time is arranged, an expert will visit your property to complete the appraisal – for free!
2. Get advice from a dedicated expert: A Local Property Expert will focus on your property to get the best possible price. Dedicated is not just a word: you’ll have direct and personalised contact with the expert, including email and telephone support throughout the whole process.
3. Instruct Purplebricks for a flat fee. You can choose to sell by auction (flat fee of $5,500) or by private treaty (fixed fee of $4,500). Then, the expert will create the floor plan and write an all-star description to go with the professional photos.
4. Review your advert. Once the expert creates the advert, it’s time to approve it. In addition to purplebricks.com.au, Purplebricks places adverts in high quality / high-traffic sites - such as realestate.com.au and domain.com.au – for maximum exposure.
5. Receive viewings, feedback and offers. Purplebricks’ online platform lets you control the incoming information related to your property and allow you to communicate directly with the buyer through the online platform and app and review every piece of feedback or offer made.
6. Sell...with a little help from your friends: once you choose a buyer, Purplebricks’ Sale Support team will guide you through every stage of the process for absolute satisfaction.
And that’s it! With Purplebricks, a buyer’s computer is transformed into a command center: almost everything can be done online, and no time or money is wasted. Simple, fast and rewarding: that’s how the future should be.
What do people say?
Purplebricks was established in 2014 in the UK, and is currently valued at £390m ($644m AUD). In the four months since launching, Purplebricks Australia has exchanged or settled on over 150 residential properties and delivered an estimated $1.7m in savings back to sellers and received some incredible reviews and feedback. As an indicator, Purplebricks has been rated 9.5/10 (Excellent) by its Australian sellers to date on independent rating service Trustpilot.com. For every company out there, there’s no better publicity than customers’ feedback. In the end, this is what matters: if a company does not deliver, it simply doesn’t get good feedback, or feedback at all – which is not the case for Purplebricks. Who knows? Perhaps, this company’s bold promise of changing our way to sell property – and saving money along the way – is about become the new normal.
Wouldn’t that be a change for good?