Northern Ireland entrepreneur Michael Bruce, Founder and Global CEO of Purplebricks, has revealed some of the business challenges he has faced in a recent podcast hosted by businessman Barry Phillips,
Michael and his younger brother Kenny launched Purplebricks in 2014.
In just a few years their business has become one of the UK’s leading estate agencies.
It shot to fame with its new way to sell property – combining great people with 24/7 convenient and transparent technology. Crucially, it charges a fixed fee to sell of just £849 (or £1199 in London and surrounding areas) significantly less than the commission fees charged by traditional high street estate agencies.
In September 2015, the company was valued at £240 million and was floated on the Alternative Investment Market. Since then its share price has more than tripled.
Michael, Kenny and four older sisters were brought up by their single mother in a council house in Larne in the 70s and 80s.
His first experience of work was when he was still a schoolboy doing a milk round in the morning and collecting glasses in a local pub in the evening, while his brother did the ‘Coal Run’.
He went on to obtain a degree in law at Southampton University, and practised as a solicitor before running legal firms.
The brothers owned a successful estate agency, Burchell Edwards, before selling the business to launch Purplebricks.
In his interview with Barry, Michael says: “We didn’t want to rush to market. Many entrepreneurs think that when they’ve got a website, they’ve got a business. We spent two and a half years building the business first.”
Reflecting on the interview, Barry, Chairman of Legal-Island said: “My guess is that many people will never have come across Michael Bruce before but he, along with his younger brother Kenny, could turn out to be two of the most successful entrepreneurs to have come out of Northern Ireland in many decades.
“Michael’s journey is extraordinary and what he shares in this interview is absolutely fascinating. Purplebricks is now one of the largest estate agencies in the UK and the brand was recently rolled out in Australia and the USA.
“The company has found a unique selling point which is resonating with customers on a global scale. It is a truly inspiring local success story.”
To listen to the interview via a web browser click on www.nipodcasts.com or to listen on your phone go to ITunes or TuneIn.