Real estate disruption is coming, and it looks a lot like Purplebricks

  • Purplebricks, the U.K. fixed-fee agency, is making waves and gaining traction.
  • Disruption is going to come from a company that offers a superior experience at a superior price.
  • It's foolish to dismiss a new entrant because they don’t fit your idea of what a disruptive player looks like.

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Several months ago, an article was published on Realestatebusiness.com.au titled, “Disruption is coming, but it ain’t Purplebricks.” The sub-headline is the attention-grabbing, “The real estate industry is set for a shake-up, but if you think it’s in the form of agencies such as Purplebricks, you are mistaken.” The headline and the article prompted me to respond, because U.K. fixed-fee agency Purplebricks is absolutely the type of disruption that is coming to the real estate industry. To be clear, I’m writing from a neutral position. I was previously the head of strategy at Trade Me, New Zealand’s top portal. I have no ties to Purplebricks whatsoever, but I’ve spent the past nine months looking at new models around the world in real estate that are getting traction. What disruption looks like The author makes it sounds like disruption always comes in the same package: big, digital and transformational. Uber is used as an example, and it’s a good ...