Leading midlands estate agency Nock Deighton has launched a self-funded proptech portal lead management tool that could, if it takes off as expected, one day be worth more than is property business, its boss has said.
The venerable estate agency, which has its HQ in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, says its new proptech enables agents to automatically pre-qualify sales and lettings leads from portals via either email or phone.
Many estate agencies have developed in-house tech for their own purposes but Nock Deighton, which is nearly 200 years old, is offering the new service to other agents.
The company’s chairman Mike Nettleton says the idea came during lockdown when his teams were ‘drowning’ in leads from Rightmove and OTM.
“One office had 1,500 rental leads from just 10 listings. It was unsustainable on every level so we decided to do something about it,” he says.
Nettleton has partnered with long-time website provider, Leon Blair of iSEV, to create a joint prop-tech venture combining his agency expertise and insights on the front-end, with iSEV’s technology and support behind the scenes.
Agents Response already has 43 other agents using the service already including Miles & Barr in Kent, SW agency Bradleys and Belvoir’s Midlands sub-brand Goodchilds.
“I’m massively passionate about raising standards in the industry and I think Agent Response does that by weeding out tyre kickers among sales and lettings enquiries and also pre-qualifying those who are serious,” Nettleton (pictured) tells The Negotiator.
He says Facebook was instrumental in creating the platform because it was while chatting with other agents in a group that he noticed some were sharing a pre-qualification form to handle portal leads. And to a degree Agent Response is an advanced, digital version of that.
“I stumbled up on this as need rather than being a proptech firm backed by millions trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist,” he says.
“The reality is that the portals send us too many leads and then moan that we don’t respond to them – so this is our solution to that problem, and it really works.”