BREAKING NEWS – top 5 stories 19/03/2021

Estate Agent Networking Breaking News

PURPLEBRICKS HAS NEW HIRE – BUT WILL IT BE ENOUGH TO SAVE THEM?

Chris Beckworth has now joined Purplebricks as CSO – Chief Sales Officer, I wish him good luck as Purplebricks is going to need extra revenue to keep going.

Despite a financial pundit recently stating that with 100M in the bank and 115 instructions a day – Purplebricks are on track, I beg to differ.

Given they had inward revenue of 111M last year and still made a 19.2M loss – maybe he should look at the mathematics.

In 2016, they lost 11.9M, 2017 they lost 3.01M, 2018 they lost 30.08M, 2019 they lost 54.7M and in 2020 – up to 30th of April they lost 19.2M. Against revenues (cash in of) 18.6M – 2016, 46.7M in 2017, 87.79M in 2018, 113.8M in 2019 and 111.10 M in 2020.

So since 2016 cash in £377.99M until April 2020, loses in total £99.89M – cash at bank allegedly 100M. And they had a cash injection from Axel Springer in excess of £125M for shares (which soon halved in value) – all that cash has been burnt.

And they get £18M a year for listing and then getting dis-instructed on tens of thousands of properties – how can this be a winning model for anyone – apart from – the c-suite – the bank – but most of all the people who receive millions each year as they market the brand via digital and tv etc. These are the real winners.

COMPETITION AND MARKETS AUTHORITY MOVES AGAINST HOUSEBUILDERS

The CMA is bringing four cases against different builders including Taylor Wimpey, looking to get them to stop having leasehold terms in certain new home contracts, specifically in the vertical of ground rents and when they can be increased.

This follows many homeowners having problems on re-sale as prospective buyers solicitors are unhappy with these leasehold arrangements. The government has been very vocal with this and there may well be more cases to follow.

THE GUILD OFFERS LEVEL-THREE AGENCY QUALIFICATIONS TO MEMBERS

‘The Guild of Property Professionals https://www.guildproperty.co.uk/ has announced today that it is to offer a Level-Three Estate Agency Qualification at either certificate or diploma level in residential sales and lettings, and property management.

The Guild’s Compliance Officer, Paul Offley, together with Head of Engagement and Development, Jennifer Scott-Reid, will be responsible for this new initiative.

According to Offley, offering a formal qualification is something that the Membership has been asking for, and The Guild has been working on answering that request as part of the range of professional services offered to Members.

“While any mandatory qualifications within the industry are not quite with us yet and are unlikely to be so until Government decide on a response to Lord Best’s report on the Regulation of Property Agents, I believe people working in the industry want to be recognised for the professional service they offer to consumers and having fully qualified teams will raise standards and enhance consumer confidence,” Offley comments.

He adds that once launched, the training will be offered to Guild Members for free as part of their Membership, however, they will have to pay for the cost of the actual examination to obtain the qualification.

“The Guild already has a successful Associate Training Scheme, which carries the approval of Cambridgeshire Trading Standards, however, the new qualification offering will further enhance its overall professional learning and development services,” says Offley.

“The qualification will be accredited at Ofqual Level Three status and will cover residential sales, lettings and property management. Once in place, it will all be delivered using a digital platform and supported via a range of digital learning options to help support learning and development of candidates.”

Offley concludes by saying that the qualification will be available to all Guild Members and their teams in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland with a potential to offer to the wider industry if sufficient interest is shown’.

Having spoken personally with CEO Iain Mackenzie yesterday on this crowning achievement, which was announced out of the blue, everyone on the EAN team feels that development of property professionals is always a great thing, if it provided as a ‘free’ service and not used as a marketing inniative.

WILL UBER RULING HAVE RAMIFICATIONS FOR PURPLEBRICKS?

Though the fall out of Uber and the Gig economy is still playing out, there are murmurs that Purplebricks who has a self-employed model for its Property Experts – may itself find difficulties ahead. The focus of HMRC is now looking very closely at who provides the work, who does the work and do individuals have the ability to do other work.

If Purplebricks where to suddenly have an ‘employed’ workforce that would instantly inflate their cost base, and maybe if retrospective payments were required lead to a serious cash undertaking.

NEW CAPITAL GAINS TAX LAW

The waiting is almost over – the government will shortly outline where the tax axe is about to fall, those with second or more properties hope it will not fall on them. Let us see.

Andrew Stanton

CEO & Founder Proptech-PR. Proptech Real Estate Influencer, Executive Editor of Estate Agent Networking. Leading PR consultancy in Proptech & Real Estate. Want to contact me directly regarding one of my articles or maybe you'd like a chat about future articles? Email me via [email protected]

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