‘Covid has weaned the industry off its reliance on property portal leads’

Ben Sellers, co-founder of Starberry claims the need to find alternative ways to find sales and lettings leads has created a 'step change' in agent behaviour.

ben seller starberry

The Covid pandemic has given the property industry the huge digital ‘kick up the backside’ it needed, it has been claimed, and helping to wean them off their reliance on the big property portals for digital leads.

Ben Sellers, who is co-founder of the digital marketing platform Starberry which was sold to Guild parent company Epropservices last week, says agents’ need to use digital tech to keep their businesses going during Covid has taken the industry to the next level over the past 12 months and ‘changed some of the slightly old fashioned ways within the industry’.

“I’m not detracting from the health problems created by Covid, but for us it’s been a phenomenal period; we’re no longer having to preach so much about digital transformation,” he says.

“We’re in a step-change period when agents are waking up to the potential of their own websites and how leads generated by them can be better quality and lower cost.”

Sellers claims says the main tools at agents’ disposal have been the portals, websites and CRM and that until recently, apart from the famous Rightmove feed that everyone’s copied, other ways of getting leads have been pretty ‘dumb’ and un-joined up.

“The agents who can achieve similar or better results from their websites via digital marketing are the ones who have begun to join the dots up and connected their social channels, email and portal leads up together in parallel with their CRMs.”

Sale decision

Sellers also tells The Negotiator why he and his brother sold Starberry to the Guild’s parent company last week, saying his largely prime agency focussed company has been seeking investment to expand into the

SME estate agency market and found an ideal home at Epropservices.

“We didn’t want to go a venture capital fund, many of which don’t understand property,” he says.

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