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Consolidation, even branch closures on the cards in 2019, warns Purplebricks

03 January 2019 Tim Neary

Expect to see some industry consolidation and branch closures, high-profile network Purplebricks is predicting for the year ahead in 2019, with “high-street” agents not being an attractive enough proposition to cautious sellers.

Australia CEO Neil Tavender said that there has been significant pressure on commission-charging agents in 2018, especially in the latter part of it.

“In fact, one Melbourne-based agent at [one of the major networks] was even offering zero per cent commission as they looked to drum up business,” Mr Tavender said.

“I expect this pressure to continue in 2019, culminating in traditional agents lowering their commission rates, which in some cases have been extortionately high through the property boom.”
 
He said that another big move will be a stabilisation in property prices.

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“By the spring sale season next year, we predict we will have seen the worst of the price drop. At this point, we may see first home owners re-entering the market looking for a bargain,” Mr Tavender said.
 
Mr Tavender added that the market is poised for change in 2019 and beyond.
 
“First and foremost, we need to see more transparent commissions from traditional agents.

“Too often we hear stories where more affluent sellers are stung with a higher commission rate because agents think they can get away with it. Put simply, the same agent shouldn’t be handing out different rates to different sellers.”

He also said that the industry should be focusing more on technology.

“For example, with the my Purplebricks platform, you can view offers, review feedback and gauge buyer interest 24/7. This creates complete visibility of your campaign, enables you to respond directly to offers and ensures that you don’t miss out on a potential sale,” Mr Tavender said.
 
“If other agents were more transparent via technology, the industry would be in a better place.”

Consolidation, even branch closures on the cards in 2019, warns Purplebricks
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