Purplebricks’ culture is far from toxic; in fact, its people value what it is doing for real estate in Australia and the savings it is making for customers.
This is the view of Purplebricks global COO Neil Tavender in the wake of recent reports that it has faced a mass walkout of agents after claims of a “toxic work environment” and other economic and business impediments.
According to the Australian Financial Review, many agents, both current and former, have made claims that they had been “bullied, threatened and undermined” after earning a little more than $1,000 per listing.
But Mr Tavender was unconvinced.
“I don’t believe that we have a toxic culture,” the COO told REB.
“We have just recently done a staff survey with our local real estate agents and 90 per cent would recommend Purplebricks as a place to work and 85 per cent have said that Purplebricks has a great culture.”
Mr Tavender said that he was “very comfortable” about where Purplebricks is, and where it is heading.
“A lot of the people that are here have been here since the beginning. There is normal frustration when you are in a start-up phase, but they really value what we do for customers and they value the savings that we make.
“We are a disruptor and we do obviously get commentary around that, but all in all, our people are very committed to the business.”
He added that the leadership team has consulted with the company’s agents during a recent tour of the country with one of the company’s founders, Kenny Bruce.
“We have listened and had to change a few things,” Mr Tavender said.
“Commission being one of the obvious ones. We now sit here in a really good place with really focused and committed people who want to take the brand to the next level.”
He said that Purplebricks is set up for success.
“We know that customers want that and we know that we get inundated with valuations each month, and we are the number one in some locations remarkably on listings and sales.
“So, we believe we are set up for success, and we believe that what we have changed with the model and how we reward is very much going to attract great-quality agents.”