In 2011, founders Michael and Kenny Bruce were talking in the office of their traditional estate agency business about the flaws in the current estate agency model – in particular that:
Michael saw that the current estate agency model was flawed and asked four questions:
This conversation acted as a catalyst to set about creating a better estate agency model.
Before launching the Company conducted research across thousands of people, asking them what they wanted when buying and selling a home. There was a realisation that the development of property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla meant that expensive high street offices were no longer needed – allowing the savings to be passed on to customers - and that ever-more digital consumers want to be able to book valuations at the click of a button, as easily as they book a table at a restaurant or order a taxi.
Following two and a half years of development, an estate agent model was created that blends great people supported by leading technology - to make the process of selling or buying a home work smoothly and systematically 24/7.
Purplebricks was launched in the United Kingdom on 13 April 2014 with 30 Local Property Experts. It grew rapidly region by region, achieving full national coverage in November 2015.
To fund the next stage of its growth, Purplebricks floated on the AIM segment of the London Stock Exchange in December 2015 raising £25 million. Since then, Purplebricks has cemented its position as the leading UK estate agent and entered the Canadian market in July 2018 with the acquisition of the DuProprio/ComFree business, with the latter subsequently rebranded to Purplebricks.
Vic Darvey, who has extensive experience of leading strong technology-focused, customer-centric businesses, was appointed CEO in mid-2019, has now set a target for Purplebricks to achieve 10% market share in the UK and to give back a day a week to LPEs through better technology. His vision is for Purplebricks to be the only place customers go to buy, sell and let their homes.
The Purplebricks platform enables buyers and sellers to engage 24/7: they can book valuations, schedule viewings, give feedback, make offers, negotiate sales and instruct lawyers – any time of the day or night. Sellers can update their sale price and see it change instantaneously across all their marketing materials. Purplebricks has transformed the market – saving customers 10s of millions of pounds along the way – and as a result within five years of launch, Purplebricks is number one at selling houses in the UK, selling three times more properties than its nearest competitor.*