The new CEO of online
estate agent Purplebricks has hinted that the company might change its upfront,
fixed-fee pricing model.
Vic Darvey is reportedly unhappy that Purplebricks’ pricing model has been unchanged for five years, and has suggested it may not work in parts of the country where the market is slow.
Darvey has told the media:
“In certain markets, in certain pockets of the country where houses aren’t
moving quickly, there is a moment of hesitation from customers saying: ‘I know
I can save £10,000 but actually do I want to commit to an £899 upfront fee when
my house may not sell?’ ”
Purplebricks has always
previously maintained that its upfront, fixed fee pricing model is one of its
strengths in the market. However, in recent years a number of industry experts
have suggested this kind of model may not be viable either for Purplebricks nor
any estate agent. The company has also recently dropped an advertising strategy
that emphasises its commission-free approach in favour of one that emphasises
quality of service. So, it is increasingly looking like a change could be on
A change in its pricing
policy could, of course, have real ramifications for Purplebricks. However,
such is the company’s grip on the online market, any change in its business
model could have significant ramifications not only for other online agents but
for offline ones too.