Why we’ve built another startup (and why it’s PropTech)

Written by
Al Mackin
Published on
March 1, 2024

Let’s start with the Why. theEword is an agency driven by technology. From the way that we work together as a team to the channels that we use for our clients and the insight that we generate and analyse, technology powers our thinking and doing.

We’re not alone in this approach. All agencies are driven by the technology that they use, and almost all clients are using technology to empower and improve their businesses.

The starting point for a new piece of technology is a problem that has not yet been solved. New tech is incubated in a place where a challenge becomes visible, and it is created to solve that problem. Agencies are fertile ground for new tech as they’re exposed to multiple clients, industries and the challenges that those clients face.

We’re not unfamiliar with building technology to solve problems. Seven years ago we built, then spun out, the analytics platform Formisimo (now called Zuko) that helps companies improve their online forms. That platform is now used by brands like Capital One, DFS, Experian and Hiscox to improve their UX and increase conversion rates.

Around a third of our clients at theEword are in the Property sector. We’ve worked in residential, commercial and PBSA for the last ten years, so we’ve built up experience and gained knowledge on the problems in that sector. It’s an amazing space to work in, and we love that sector, but it’s not without its challenges.

What problem do we want to solve?

We think about the human experience a lot. Our approach to marketing is to consider how people think and feel throughout our client’s buying journey, and how we cater to that and optimise it.

Property is a fascinating buyer journey. It’s a deeply emotional purchase, a complex purchase and one of the most considered purchases a human can make. It can be both exciting (at the start of the process) and frustrating (usually towards the end).

The really exciting part for a customer is the research stage: where will I live or work? What will my life be like if I live here? At this stage the customer is exposed to the marketing, then the website, then the supporting documents like brochures and floorplans.  It’s a visual, engaging and interesting part of the process.

When a customer decides to move to the contact stage (by getting in touch with the provider or developer) everything changes. The process is no longer under their control; they make a phone call, send an email or send a Facebook message and they get a response within hours, days or in some cases weeks.

“More than a quarter of potential homebuyers say that in the wake of Covid-19 they would rather use video and online chat than visit marketing suites and showhomes.”

Source: theEword survey, June 2020

Some customers don’t feel comfortable speaking to someone, others have a seemingly innocuous (but actually critical) question at 7pm on a Friday. Waiting for a response means the experience changes for them and their focus is no longer on your brand. You lose their interest, their passion for you and they start to look elsewhere.

Prior to getting in touch your customers had an experience that was built to deliver at a high level, for every customer. Your website, marketing and social footprint were optimised to give every single person a great impression of your business.

When the customer moves to talking to your internal or external sales team, they don’t always get a great experience. They may get a sales-person who’s having an off-day, the sales team may incorrectly consider the customer to be low-intent, or the customer may get overlooked by a busy team.

The problems that we want to solve are:

1.       Customers don’t want to send an email or pick-up the phone, they want instant answers

2.       Sales teams are busy and field a lot of early stage calls and emails

3.       Marketing teams lack deep user-experience data and their time is taken up on manual tasks.

4.       Property c-suite’s want their business to become closer to their customers, but they’re not sure how.

What is rebrix

rebrix is built around two principles:

1. That customers in the property sector are comfortable with having more of the buying process delivered through technology.

2. That technology will allow property owners and customers to connect in a more meaningful way.

rebrix is a sales and marketing automation platform built for the property sector. It automates outbound communication (through email and SMS) and it engages customers automatically with messaging based on their position in the buying funnel. It exists on a company’s website, Facebook and Instagram pages and it uses machine learning to understand and engage each customer.

The platform has been built to empower sales and marketing teams and release them from mundane tasks, whilst using data and insight to ensure that the actions the platform takes contain the right messaging and are sent at the right time.

Read more about our property marketing and automation platform rebrix