In 2011, Michael Bruce was talking to his brother Kenny in the office of their estate agency business, a traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ group.

Michael saw that the current estate agency model was flawed and asked four questions:

  • Why are millions spent helping buyers know what is on the market, but nothing is spent on helping sellers, when they’re the ones who pay the fees?
  • Why is no one using technology to give transparency and help customers?
  • Why do people dislike estate agents when there are so many good people in this industry?
  • How can anyone guarantee a great service when the industry has such a high turnover of people?

These four simple questions acted as a catalyst and the Bruce brothers’ desire to make a change led them to sell their traditional estate agency business, so they could bring their dream to life.

Rather than rushing to market, Michael and Kenny spent two and half years preparing to launch the business. They spoke to thousands of people, asking what they wanted when buying and selling a house. They realised that the development of portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla meant that expensive high street offices were no longer needed and that people, used to ecommerce and internet banking, wanted to be able to book valuations at the click of a button.

As a result of their research, Michael and Kenny designed a model which blended great people and great technology – a combination that would make the process of selling or buying a home work smoothly and systematically 24/7.

Purplebricks was launched in the UK on 13 April 2014 with 30 Local Property Experts. It grew rapidly region by region and became national on 10 November 2015.

Purplebricks was launched in the UK on 13 April 2014 with 30 Local Property Experts. It grew rapidly region by region and became national on 10 November 2015.

Purplebricks successfully floated on AIM in December 2015. Since then, Purplebricks has expanded its geographic coverage, launching into the Australian market in September 2016, into the US market in September 2017 and entering the Canadian market in July 2018 with the acquisition of the DuProprio/ComFree business, with the latter subsequently rebranded to Purplebricks.

The Purplebricks platform enables buyers and sellers to engage 24/7. They can book valuations instantly, schedule viewings, give feedback, make offers, negotiate sales and instruct lawyers – or simply talk through their transaction – any time of the day or night. Sellers can update their sale price and see it change instantaneously across all their marketing materials, while buyers can arrange viewings without waiting for an estate agent’s office to open. We have transformed the market – saving customers millions of pounds along the way – and as a result within five years of launch, Purplebricks is the biggest estate agency brand in the UK, selling three times more properties than our nearest competitor*



* Source: TwentyCi, data between May 2017 and April 2018.