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Clearly, we are in very testing times. Humanity always finds a way through whatever is thrown at us, but no doubt life will have changed by the time we come through the Covid-19 pandemic.
We must adapt and I am sure we will. Working from home more, introduction of the latest and greatest technology, better basic hygiene habits. I for one have never washed my hands so much as I do now!
Companies need to handle this outbreak with great care, and it is unlikely that most businesses will “go back to normal”. There will be a “new normal”.
Take the offering from Rightmove for example, it clearly has not gone down well with agents. My view is this is largely because of the pre-existing lack of connect from Rightmove and of course the high prices and large price hikes each year. Their offer is perceived by some as too little and too late.
There is talk of a mass move-over to other portals. As some of you may know, we are finishing our live trial at the end of the month and then we are going fully live. OpenBrix is a decentralised, democratised, community-controlled portal that offers major benefits to the end users. The community are the agents who join. One brand, one vote. Basically, we have built a super transparent portal for agents to control themselves. OpenBrix are merely the caretakers, we work for the agents. The transparency means there will be more interaction on the platform to save administration and calls, much a like a big WhatsApp group works. If you see the relevant information on the group, then you don’t need a call or an email.
Equally, tenants will get a sovereign owned ID, together with an immutable record of validated rent payments and the option to have these payments uploaded to influence their credit score with Experian and Equifax via our partner Creditladder.
Finally, imagine if agent joining OpenBrix could reap a few hundred pounds for each tenancy without have to do the upselling themselves? Food for thought! Joining is free now and although we are going to be a global first of its kind and fresh to the market, we have already implemented plans to not charge for a few months due to the Covid-19 wake of destruction. This is hard for us to do, we but we will hold firm on bringing in the charges until the dust has settled.
These troubles times will leave a bad taste in all our mouths. None of us will forget and that’s perhaps why some of the existing portals need to take stock and think very hard about biting the hand that feeds you.
If, there is a mass migration from any of the existing portals, why go to another shareholder-led or a “version 2.0” that will end up doing the same thing? Kicking the can down the road?
Instead, why not go to a portal that you as a community member have an equal say in its control, pricing and direction. A portal with the latest innovation that offers end users something unique and of value. A portal that could earn you introduction fees without you needing to upsell yourself. A portal that allows you to interact with your customers with ease and transparency.
We saw our biggest day of registrations yesterday. Register now and start planning the migration over and include all your managed and rent collection tenancies. Speak to your CRMs about this. If you are an agent, it’s been built for you. Register now and start taking control. If there is a mass migration…if…... then think how quickly you could save on your portal costs. Sure, get your marketing teams onto it and spread the word. Your marketing is your expense, true – but it’s your portal too!