Eric Eckardt is not the average executive when it comes to the real estate sector which means he finds the less than traditional real estate company Purplebricks the perfect home for his way of doing things.
The U.K.-based outfit is a web-based brokerage that prides itself on mobility and flexibility. Its business model is to cover more territory with fewer people; it’s a global, digital platform built on local expertise. In that sense, Eckardt seems the ideal general for the great disruptor’s American campaign.
A former banker and tech incubator, Eckardt’s career has taken him around the world, first to execute deals in corporate finance and, more recently, to build an online property marketplace.
“I WAS LOOKING AT THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY FROM A MACRO VIEW. I COULD SEE THAT IT WAS HIGHLY FRAGMENTED AND I SAW AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE THINGS MORE STREAMLINED.”
He now runs the U.S. operations for a British company, which are based in Los Angeles, while residing in Upstate New York. He’s global, he’s mobile and he has a clear vision of the real estate industry’s future.
“We’re at an inflection point right now,” Eckardt said. “The consumer is becoming empowered and the real estate brokers are viewed as their trusted advisor, not so much the gatekeeper of information, as they were when I first got into this business.”
Purplebricks has responded to the growing democratization of residential real estate, the shift toward online listings and broadly available sales information, by leaning into it. Through its platform, interested buyers can look for homes they’re interested in and communicate with agents digitally.
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