PHOTO: Purplebricks did not last long in Australia’s real estate market (image via Twitter).

Purplebricks’ short stay in the Australian market didn’t go well, reports Tarric Brooker.

IN MAY, British based real estate startup Purplebricks began winding down its Australian operations for an exit from the Australian market after two and a half years, amidst a storm of negative reviews and a history of complaints to state Fair Trading organisations. While Purplebricks leadership claims that its failure to succeed in the competitive Australian real estate market was due to its overly rapid global expansion, some former agents tell quite a different story of the company’s ultimate fall.

When Purplebricks entered the market in 2016, it promised a seismic shift in the way Australian’s sell real estate, by ending the relative monopoly of traditional commissioned based agents and shifting towards a cost upfront model that was intended to reduce costs for home vendors.

In reality, deteriorating property market conditions combined with an “unsustainable” business model, creating an allegedly deeply “toxic” internal culture that increasingly forced agents to “work people to the bone” according to former agent Geoffrey Duncan.