by Bob Scarff


I’m back from my summer break and you’ll be hearing from me more regularly over the next few weeks.

While I’ve been away I’ve been reflecting on how so much has changed in our industry over the past few years, but also on how so many things are absolutely the same as they’ve always been. This will be my theme over the coming weeks.

It’s often said that tech is to blame for all of this change. So, I read with great interest in mid August a piece on PIE from Robert Sargent of Acorn Group bemoaning the plethora of PropTech “ideas” in our industry.

So Much Prop Tech …

It reminded me of two years ago when I first found myself out of work. I literally lost count of the number of people who wanted to show me their Prop Tech “idea”. In all but one case, it seemed to me that the one thing that these ideas had in common was that they were solutions to problems that didn’t really exist. The most common scenario was that the ‘founder” had experienced something as a consumer of estate agency services that they perceived as a problem, they knew a way in which this “problem” could be solved and quickly went about the business of becoming a prop tech start up without once stopping to check if the problem really existed, and if it did, whether or not Estate Agents would be prepared to pay for the solution.

These “PropTech” (now there’s a word I’d never used up until two years ago) businesses were solutions in search of problems.

The exception - a neat simple, cost effective solution to a very real problem - was Callwell. Some may not have identified the problem yet, but there is a clear expectation from customers that a real time response is to be received, and too many estate agents think they are doing well if they make contact with some of the enquirers several hours later. That’s why I chose to acquire it and support its founder Rob Wellstead in developing and growing it. We turn emails into phone calls like no one else.

A good first impression is as important today as ever it was in the past, more of that next week.

PS - good luck for tomorrow to all Callwell customers. The ability you have to turn emails into phone calls should see you sailing through the Mystery Shop.

Bob Scarff

Written by
Bob Scarff

Bob Scarff ran the UK’s largest and most successful firm of estate agents, having worked his way up from a trainee negotiator in 1978. Now bringing his passion for customer service and organisational discipline to other companies and sectors, he saw quickly the benefits that Callwell can provide and co-founded PropTech Solutions in 2016 to relaunch it into the market.


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Andrew Wall

21 Sep 2017 12:29:52

Having know Darren as my old boss and friend iv’e heard so much about this product. It sounds like such a fantastic and simple idea, good luck with everything moving forward. Regards, Andrew

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