Moving home involves the cooperation of consumers, agents and their suppliers. Nothing will improve until something is built that serves all three groups of people. That’s what BestAgent is about. Ending the moving nightmare, for everyone involved.
With few exceptions, moving home is the most complicated and frustrating life-step taken by anyone who needs to move. Only divorce is more difficult, but people get divorced less often than they move home. Moving home affects far more people.
Whether they want to or not, almost all home movers use at least one estate or lettings agency when moving home, and usually come into contact with many more agents during the search process.
As anyone who has tried to sell a property privately will know, it’s an incredibly difficult and complicated process. What agents do is an essential service at a critical time.
Choose the right agent to sell or let your home and you will get a quick result at the best possible price. Choose the wrong agent and you’ll be wondering why 6 months later your property is sitting in the stale, out-of-date “I wonder what’s wrong with that one” corner of every home mover’s mind.
In delivering this essential service to movers, agents employ a range of industry suppliers. Ranging from ‘For Sale’ board suppliers, photographers, EPC and printing companies, web site suppliers, advertising providers, through to lead generation businesses, telephone answering and host of other niche service suppliers that help agents throughout the 32 step home moving process.
Agents typically use an average of around 12 external suppliers in the course of helping to move their customers. The problem is, very few of these suppliers systems are integrated into the agents day to day business processes.
This translates into multiple data-entry inefficiencies for the agents, or ‘dashboard overload’, and a generally poor experience for movers who struggle to understand why agents often appear to be bad at returning calls and emails.
Home moving is a difficult process for everyone involved, including agents.
There is no easy solution which is why the process of moving home has not changed in any meaningful way since before the advent of the internet. This is despite countless attempts to disrupt, disintermediate and interfere with the process.
BestAgent is a tech platform built to address the entire problem.
BestAgent BackOffice, BestAgent Marketplace and BestAgent Property
BestAgent BackOffice (BABO)
First we built BestAgent BackOffice (BABO) for agents. Accessed from any device, BackOffice is a no-charge, simple set of tools being used by agents since 2017 that perform the most basic tasks all agents need. These include:
- Instant publishing of new instructions at a clients property, from a mobile device
- Real-time uploads of properties to all the main property search sites
- Additional uploads to an unlimited number of other property sites
- A mobile-responsive estate agency website for sales and lettings
- Secure customer database which automatically imports leads from all portals
- Automatic GDPR functions, allowing customers to view or delete their personal information in one-click at any time
- Automatic matching property alert emails to registered buyers and tenants
- Fully functioning online viewing booking without a dashboard needed
- Instant live updating of properties on BestAgent Property
- Lead management of pay-as-you-go leads from BestAgent Property
- Access to supplier products on BestAgent Marketplace
- ‘Rest API’ to allow syncing of data with any approved 3rd party supplier
Then we built BestAgent Marketplace (BAM). It is a supplier-connection platform that allows any approved supplier to connect their product to an agent’s BackOffice account so that their service can be integrated with the agents own platform.
In June 2019 we gave a live demo to 70 industry suppliers at a supplier workshop event.
A real time connection of four separate supplier applications talking to each other was demonstrated, showing how agents can now choose any supplier and have them integrated into their BackOffice system.
We give priority to supplier products that provide a tangible benefit to both agents and movers simultaneously, because our ultimate objective is to improve the movers experience, via their agent.
Finally we built a consumer-facing property search site intended to speed up the connection of movers with the right agents. The simple proposition to movers is this: In exchange for confidentially providing evidence that you are someone who needs and is ready to move, BestAgent provides the facility to book viewings on any available property with any agent in the country. No personal information is shared with any agent unless the agent accepts your viewing request, so your details remain private if an agent doesn’t grant your viewing request.
When your viewing request is submitted, all the information you provide about your circumstances is supplied to the agent, but without your contact information, allowing them to decide if your application is suitable.
This information includes:
- the date you need to move by
- your financial position
- your current living arrangements
- the county and first part of the postcode where you currently live
- confirmation that you have supplied a valid mobile phone number and email address
- Confirmation that you have supplied a full current address.
But your contact information is only delivered if the agent chooses to buy your details and grant your viewing request. So all your information remains private up to that point.