Online agent declares war on rival Purplebricks as it runs spoof ‘commisery’ advert

An online agent has declared all-out war on Purplebricks – and is deploying controversial allAgents reviews in its weaponry.

Last night, however,  Purplebricks said that the claims made by Scottish House Move are both inaccurate and misleading.

The allAgents reviews shown on the Scottish House Move’s home page are the subject of legal dispute, with Purplebricks saying a high proportion are either fake or cannot be authenticated.

Scottish House Move’s home page also tells prospective customers: “Save up to £750 over Purplebricks.”

The page runs a video which closely mimics Purplebricks ‘commisery’ TV adverts.

It features a man and a woman sitting at a kitchen table discussing online estate agency prices, as a Scottish bagpiper enters the room.

When the man discovers he paid more than he might have done, he turns a shade of purple while the bagpiper drops an egg on him.

The advert ends: “Don’t go purple and get egg on your face.”

Unlike most online agents which claim to make savings against high street firms, Scottish House Move instead claims to make savings against Purplebricks.

It says that the £750 saving that can be made is based on taking Purplebricks’ additional services such as Home Reports which have to be carried out in Scotland, mortgage referrals and legal reports.

Charging an upfront fee of £595 or £895 upon sale, Scottish House Move highlights that it takes no commission on legal fees or Home Reports.

Claiming to be Scotland’s largest and top rated fixed fee agency, Scottish House Move also displays side by side allAgents ratings for both itself and Purplebricks.

Out of 349 ratings for itself, it says that 98% of reviewers would recommend it and that 99% are satisfied with its fees.

Out of 66 reviews of Purplebricks, it suggests that only 20% would recommend Purplebricks while 41% are satisfied with the fee.

The Scottish site also runs a section called “Truth about Purplebricks” which is headed “Ten things Purplebricks don’t want you to know”.

Last night, a spokesperson for Purplebricks told us: “The claims made are inaccurate and misleading.

“We have previously written to them requesting amendments but so far they have refused.

“However, as the largest estate agent in Scotland, with thousands of happy customers, we are winning in the area that matters.”

 

http://www.scottishhousemove.co.uk/

From the Scottish House Move website – displaying allAgents reviews side by side. The reviews of Purplebricks are largely disputed as fake or incapable of being authenticated

 

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42 Comments

  1. Andrew Overman

    “with Purplebricks saying a high proportion are either fake or cannot be authenticated”

    Because their TrustPilot views seem so genuine in comparison!

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    1. DonShore93

      But they have parted company with TrustPilot and taken up with Feefo? – yet to see a Feefo review tho.

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      1. AgentV

        have they stopped TrustPilot completely?

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        1. devonlondoner59

          I looked PB up on Trust pilot yesterday and reviews are still being posted. However what I found strange is that reviews are being reported nearly every hour.  I find it difficult to believe people are so keen…?

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  2. Chris Wood

    “ a spokesperson for Purplebricks told us: “The claims made are inaccurate and misleading.”

    Never were words spoken….

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    1. Chris Wood

      ”Truer” edit function isn’t working this morning.

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      1. AgentV

        Clearly they don’t like a dose of their own medicine!

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  3. J1

    These no service estate agents are a joke.

    Kenneth Bruce posted on linkdin in the other day “we deliver the valuations, you deliver the service”

    So it’s a valuation tool after all!!!!!

    There needs to be a concerted effort to remind the public of what real agents do, and what real agents can add to a transaction.

    The onliners cannot and do not provide much of a service for their non transparent base fees.  It’s also time trading standards stepped in.

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    1. AgentV

      And many times vendors get a couple of local independent Agent’s opinions on valuation before using the Call Centre Lister anyway.

      Pity they don’t fully appreciate getting the very best sale price involves extra work above the ‘First Reasonable Offer That Comes Along’…..and that extra work does not fit in with the Call Centre Lister model of ‘get the advert running….onto the next £250 payment’.

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  4. ama18

    purplebricks are officially the joke of the industry, first it was indivduals, next its was allagents (which IMHO was their biggest mistake) and now its their competitors!

    I mean they blatently make a mockery of trational agents as well as publish trustpilot reviews everywhere,  but when someone refers to the ratings of the industry’s very own ‘trip advisor’ they dont like it!

    I have no doubt there are lots of agents referring to their poor allagents reviews. What are they going to do? Threaten them alll??

    I doubt this will be the last we hear of this.

     

     

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    1. DonShore93

      Agreed – they certainly exposed the reviews sites for what they are!

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  5. dompritch134

    Allagents really are enjoying this, it’s  the most exposure they have ever had.

    Daily view count must be up to 40, and not just agents checking to see the progress toward the worthless trophy for their shelf.

    As for the story surely there is a better lead than this, it’s hardly news.

    It seems a lot of the articles recently are just advertorial based, shame really.

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    1. AgencyInsider

      Well that ends my 100% approval of your 2018 comments dompritch. You really must get over the fact that most of the people on this site do not like your bestest friends and no matter how many times you pop up to wave the purple flag you are not going to convince anyone to change their mind.

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      1. dompritch134

        I didn’t even mention PB.

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        1. AgencyInsider

          With total predictability you pop up whenever there’s a PB connected story so I don’t think you need to mention them for us to recognise your agenda.

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    2. DonShore93

      Looking forward to seeing the ‘new’ reviews now they’re with a site where they control who reviews them.

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      1. AgentV

        Hmmmm….let me guess what they will be like?

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  6. Curious george

    From allAgents

     

    Purplebricks:
    -24% Fee Satisfaction
    – 36% Valuation Accuracy
    – 8% Recommend.

    These stats sums it all up for me

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  7. JustPlainSavage04

    Nothing better than waking up to a Purplebricks story.

    i don’t even read the article, just the headline and skip to the comments.

     

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    1. PeeBee

      Then how can you judge whether the comments are reasonable or even pertinent to the article?

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      1. JustPlainSavage04

        PeePee, don’t worry yourself my friend.

         

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        1. PeeBee

          Worried? ME?

          You’ve got the wrong guy.

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  8. Woodentop

    a spokesperson for Purplebricks told us: “The claims made are inaccurate and misleading.

    “We have previously written to them requesting amendments but so far they have refused”.

     

    Was the spokesperson looking in the mirror when they made these comments. Don’t do as I do!

     

    Loved the commercial, someone was getting a bit of their own medicine.

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  9. Essjaydee51

    For those of you old enough to remember those wonderful laughing robots in the smash adverts.

    Dom this is dedicated to you and your last two posts

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    1. PeeBee

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SAbJjktk7E
      Classic!

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    2. AgentV

      For mash get…..

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4MTgjNkfyI

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      1. AgentV

        Sorry PeeBee was trying to find it whilst you were obviously posting it.

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        1. PeeBee

          You need to change your search engine, AV – Google’s old hat now.  Full of clutter.
          It’s a cinch when you Rummage4 stuff!

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          1. AgentV

            I certainly will!

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  10. Sharon_D86

    Yeah the guys that run it got some serious funding from a venture cap and I believe are throwing £1 Million at in in next 12 months. A lot of the PB guys up here did not take them serious, saying they were too small to succeed but to be honest the advert is never off the TV in Scotland (although it is a slightly different advert).  PB are right they are now Scotland’s largest agency but have had a free run at it for 2 years or so.  Will be interesting to see how they do as they are undercutting them and being more vocal about the actual fee than PB are in their ads.  PB I suppose have 1st mover advantage but 2nd mover can sometimes catch up with some clever marketing and a decent wedge in budget.  I think the advert is fab – slightly taking the P*ss out of the PB ads.

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  11. Thomas Flowers

    Will PB ever follow other call centre agents lead and offer the choice No Sale, No fee?

    If they did, they would surely have to double their advertised fee on the basis of a 50/50 marketing to completion ratio to stand still?

    That would be interesting as around 2/3 of UK market has an average property price of around £175,000 x 1% average traditional agency fee  = £1750 plus vat if applicable.

    So a PB No Sale, No Fee may look something like (outside London and surrounding area) £849 x 2 = £1698 + £300 viewing fee =£1,998 plus £360 deferred payment fee =£2,358 for what may appear to be a similar deal to a tradition agent?

    However, if the property did not sell PB would be out of pocket for the viewing cost of £300 and the deferred payment fee of £360 total £660.

    Based on this 50/50 ratio PB would have to halve this to £330 and add this to their fee= £2,358 plus £330 = £2,688

    And this is on the basis of that they offer the same sale and after sale service less a branch base as a tradition estate agent.

    So to round off, if PB went head to head with ‘Proper’ estate agents they would have to charge nearly £1000 more than many family run estate agents for around 2/3 of the UK, on average, to stand still?

    Is it any wonder they went to OZ and USA?

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    1. cyberduck46

      >That would be interesting as around 2/3 of UK market has an average property price of around £175,000 x 1% average traditional agency fee  = £1750 plus vat if applicable.

       

      More like £3000 including VAT. Average price excluding London and the South East was £220K in March 2016 https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/bulletins/housepriceindex/march2016

       

      If Traditional Agents were charging 1% they’d be shouting it out from the rooftops, yet they’re very quiet when it comes to advertising fees. I think 1.4% including VAT is probably about right.

       

      You might also want to up the conversion rate for PurpleBricks from 50% unless you have any evidence. GetAgents published 57% completions in 12 months.

       

      Also, I’m not sure where your £360 comes from. A PurpleBricks customer pays £850 and can choose to pay £300 for viewings. PurpleBricks will no doubt get a fee for conveyancing referrals but this will only be for completions not listings.

       

      It is questionable whether other online companies will have any effect on PB unless they compete on the marketing front. If they compete on the marketing front then they would probably charge a similar amount to PB because PB already have economy of scale and brand recognition.

       

      If PB offered a “No Sale No Fee” product I imagine it would be significantly cheaper than ones offered by traditional agents.

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      1. PeeBee

        “Also, I’m not sure where your £360 comes from.”

        Then you know squat about the company you have/haven’t (delete where applicable today) invested in despite coming on like the all-knowing authority on the subject.

        Have a deeks here –

        https://www.purplebricks.co.uk/terms/service-agreement/#110

        – you’ll find what you’re feigning you don’t know exists under “Administration Charges”…

        …WHICH is a self-inflicted #duckshot considering you have previously stated that your LPE was totally frank and upfront about all costs when you appointed them.

        Keep it up, ducky.

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        1. cyberduck46

          PeeBee,

           

          This is a cost associated with somebody who i) chooses the ‘pay later’ option and ii) elects not to use the conveyancing service that they agreed to use.

           

          So not relevant if you pay up front and use your own solicitor like i did. So nice try but as usual way off the mark.

           

           

          In the vast majority of cases this fee will come as referral fees from the conveyancing firm which I did mention. So in terms of the comparison you can’t just add £360 because not every customer pays this when they sell with PB and PB will still get referral fees with a no sale, no fee model.

           

          Also for comparison purposes you need to add the referral fees that traditional agents get on top of their commission. I notice you didn’t jump in and put Thomas right on that point or any of his other points I drew attention to 🙂

           

           

           

           

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          1. PeeBee

            “This is a cost associated with somebody who i) chooses the ‘pay later’ option and ii) elects not to use the conveyancing service that they agreed to use.”

            Ahhh – so NOW you know what it is!

            Funny, that… you apparently didn’t have a Scooby two hours ago.

            “Also for comparison purposes you need to add the referral fees that traditional agents get on top of their commission.”

            What – even if they don’t get any?  Or shall we just use your skewed logic and, for what will be many Agents, call the figure £ZERO?

            Whatever – it is all if’s but’s and maybe’s. The #PurplePainsters will never adopt a NSNF model.  They couldn’t hack it.  They and their USP would be history.  

            Only their legacy of #CONmisery would remain.

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            1. cyberduck46

              >The #PurplePainsters will never adopt a NSNF model. 
               
              I wouldn’t be so sure about that.
               
              Their success has come from marketing. Their adverts have resonated with homeowners who object to paying a percentage of the asset they are selling and generally have come to mistrust Estate Agents. There’s no reason why they couldn’t come out with a product that traditional agents couldn’t compete with (unless they can demonstrate a higher conversion rate) which would be totally in line with that underlying message.
               
              Just going to read Woodentop’s post below and comment if what I’ve said here doesn’t answer it. Then that’s it for the day.

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      2. Woodentop

        If PB offered a “No Sale No Fee” product I imagine it would be significantly cheaper than ones offered by traditional agents.

        And commit suicide in the process. The business model is solely based on charging up front regardless of a sale. Once they had to sell for  a living … investors would abandon them in the blink of a eye and share price would collapse. The refusal to declare sales has been worrying the city for some time now and the city is starting to wise up. It is the certainty of revenue that keeps them afloat …. so far, but even that is only just keeping them going and the clock is ticking down as they still have to produce a yield to investors and make any worthwhile profit. Not the marginal profit cooked by accountancy, which you can only use for so long.

         

        The public are also now starting to get wiser as social media is far better at doing the rounds than TP and PB marketing. What they want to here is something that doesn’t say they are the same, they are not and the public in general haven’t been fooled by it and many who have, now wish they hadn’t. Its a stuck record and run its shelf life. It is noticebale in their media adverts, the absence of how successful they are at selling … maybe because that would open them up to having to prove it!

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        1. cyberduck46

          Woodentop,
           
          >The refusal to declare sales has been worrying the city for some time now and the city is starting to wise up.
           
          It’s only Jefferies who bang on about this and the odd unrecognised online journo. from what I can see. Have a read of this http://www.mikedp.com/articles/2017/8/21/transparency-and-bias-in-the-face-of-disruption
           
          >It is the certainty of revenue that keeps them afloat …. so far, but even that is only just keeping them going and the clock is ticking down as they still have to produce a yield to investors and make any worthwhile profit.
           
          You are kidding aren’t you? A company growing revenues at the rate PB are would never pay a dividend to investors and no investor with any nouse would want them to. Warren Buffet has never paid a dividend from his investment fund. The idea is that he can use the money better than the investor can and if they want some cash they can sell a few shares. PB’s shares have risen from  £1 to £4 in 2 years. That’s 300%. If investors want a dividend yield then they invest in mature companies who don’t need to finance expansion etc.
           
          >The public are also now starting to get wiser as social media is far better at doing the rounds than TP and PB marketing. 
           
          This isn’t bourne out by what I’m seeing with the latest listing figures. I’m told that last January PB listed around 2200 properties. My own proxy suggests they are at 1900 already for this month and that’s before Dawn French hits the screens 🙂
           
          I could be wrong but I’m not writing them off yet.
           
          Signing off for the evening now.
           
           
           

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      3. Thomas Flowers

        Cyberduck

        So if a PB client wishes to defer their payment but not use PB conveyancers they have to pay £360 ‘admin fees’.

        If a traditional agent client pays on completion they pay nothing hence the addition to fees as above on a like for like basis.

        Some traditional agents receive conveyancing referral fees as do PB which is why I discounted referral fees above even though some independent traditional agents may receive on average £100 to £200 referral fee compared to PB’s circa £400.

        Rightmove’s average house price index for February 2017 clearly shows a north /south divide whereby the average property price north of the central divide is clearly £175,000 on average to include Wales, Scotland was omitted from this index –  However, the latest January 2018 index shows an average price of £140,000 for Scotland.

        A recent average agency fee survey by PB’s own conveyancers showed an average fee of 1.2% including vat and as many small independent agents are not vat registered, similar to many LPE’s why is 1% an unreasonable comparison.

        Perhaps HMRC ought to look at this situation as LPE’s are clearly part of a PLC’s infrastructure which turned over circa 46 Million pounds – somewhat more than the circa £83,000 vat threshold!

        For this reason, I did not add vat into either fee in my posting above for comparison purposes as this situation is likely to change in the near future to the considerable detriment of PB?

         

         

         

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      4. AgentV

        BSOS23PC

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  12. GeeGee31

    Well done to Scottish House Move! Purple Bricks are quite content to have a go at the whole industry but when an agent has the guts to take them on at their own game, they throw their toys out the pram or bully them into submission by threatening legal action. I note on the Scottish House Move website that Purple Bricks are avoiding employee National Insurance, Pension Contributions, etc. by running “local property experts” through separate company structures. Why has the industry not challenged this unfair financial advantage with the inland revenue? What if all agents run their local agents with this type of arrangement? I am sure Inland Revenue would have something to say!

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  13. PrinceOfProbate

    Well done Scottish House Move. Very clever, although aggressive take on Purplebricks.

    Great article on the truth of Purplebricks – http://www.scottishhousemove.co.uk/truth-about-purple-bricks

    However would work better for an actual high street agent to publish that sort of story.

    “Purple Bricks salespeople are paid for listing your property and not for actually selling your property, you need to ask yourself what incentives are there for a salesperson to sell your property if they have already been paid. In effect, Purple Bricks rewards failure and not for a successful sale. It makes no difference financially to a Purple Bricks salesperson if your property sells or not. This should raise concerns for any sellers who are serious about getting their property sold.”

    Scottish House Move operate on exactly the same basis, therefore encouraging prospective clients to go a traditional estate agent rather than their own online service.

    People in glass houses…

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