‘Uber of real estate agents’ Purplebricks set to launch in California

The online agency, which charges a ‘low, flat fee’ for every listing not just big fees for those that actually sell, is coming to the United States.

for sale sign
California is the 'number 1' state for real estate transactions

British real estate disruptor Purplebricks Group Plc (LON:PURP) has its sights on California as it prepares to launch in the United States.

The online agency, which charges a ‘low, flat fee’ for every listing rather than larger fees only to those that actually sell, has proved to have had a winning model in the UK and last year expanded into Australia.

It is now taking its first steps into the US, identifying California – America’s ‘number 1’ state for total real estate transaction numbers - as the first launch state. The company said that whilst it builds a strong brand presence in California, it also intends to expand into other key US states via a controlled roll-out strategy.

As part of the launch, Purplebricks has hired Eric Eckardt as the group’s US chief executive. Eckardt is described by the company as a “real estate technology veteran” and the group plans to begin engaging hundreds of highly experienced, full-time real estate agents across California.

These new recruits, termed as ‘Local Real Estate Experts’, will have territorial exclusivity determined by zip code, and will be supported by lead generation from high impact TV-led marketing and technology.

"Purplebricks is launching in the US, with a distinct offering, which aims to offer a better deal for customers and a compelling opportunity for highly skilled, experienced local real estate experts,” Eckardt said in a statement.

“Our plans are progressing well and we remain on-course to launch in the second half of 2017."

Purplebricks founder and group chief executive Michael Bruce, meanwhile, added: "We are absolutely delighted to be moving forward at pace with plans for what will be an exciting US launch.

“We will be giving sellers and buyers a unique and seamless experience.”

Quick facts: Purplebricks

Price: 93 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £285.33 m

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