INDUSTRY INTERVIEW, Kiran Dhaliwal, CEO WeeFees LTD.
Why does the UK Property Industry need WeeFees?
WeeFees helps both traditional and online agents secure more instructions by providing exclusive qualified leads.
Traditional methods of winning new instructions can be costly. Every valuation that fails to convert, wastes time and effort, and this ultimately translates to a monetary value. With WeeFees, agents have the opportunity to reduce and even eliminate that waste with exclusive leads.
Vendors list their property details for free with WeeFees. Agents, who have signed up and agreed to deliver a standard set of services, are then invited to compete for the lead. This is achieved by offering a lower fee to sell the property than that offered by a rival agent. To keep the system fair, online agents will only compete against other online agents, and traditional agents will only compete against other traditional agents. All offers made by agents are listed anonymously, and no one, other than WeeFees, knows which agents are involved. The agent offering the lowest fee at the end of the process is declared the winning agent and notified privately. The agent can then contact the vendor to arrange a single visit to verify the property details, undertake market valuation and have the vendor sign the agents’ paperwork.
Since the vendor is aware of the fees and the standard services to be offered, the process is transparent. The vendor is aware of what to expect. They are also aware that no rival agent was willing to offer a lower fee and, therefore, further negotiation is unlikely to yield any results.
What is your background in Property?
The family business has always involved property. We’ve covered everything from commercial to residential, with both short-term renovation projects and long-term buy-to-lets. The business worked really well for us but it was always secondary to my own career in technology. Having worked at senior levels in technology over a 20 year period, I wanted to branch out and look at an alternative business venture. Marrying the two industries of property and technology plays to my strengths, interests and passion.
There are many new ideas being formed in the sphere of #Proptech – Is the industry changing for the better?
I certainly feel the property sector as a whole had lacked technology innovation. However, the past few years has seen a strong trend in creative ideas. The launch of technology accelerator Pi Labs in 2014 is a good indicator of the level of quality being seen. And the recent #PropTechMeetup hosted by Lend Invest (4th Feb) shows the sector is very much in focus – I was unfortunately busy preparing the launch of WeeFees and was unable to attend, but I’m looking forward to the next one.
With all the new ideas, the industry stands to benefit hugely, particularly where it helps to improve profits, service offerings and public relations.
Does Social Media make it easier for new ideas to be formed and launched?
Most certainly. Social media is awash with problems or issues being discussed regularly. Budding entrepreneurs would need only to engage in such social media discussions to see if a solution would represent a suitable return on investment. Fortunately, social media also allows you to engage directly with your target audience when launching a product or service.
This platform enables us to redistribute funds away from traditional marketing budgets and into product development. It’s a medium we are comfortable with and use on a daily basis, therefore, it feels natural to communicate with our customers in this way. Subsequently, WeeFees’ focus is initially on building awareness among Estate Agents and Vendors through social media.
What are your thoughts towards Estate Agent Networking?
I have been reading content on Estate Agent Networking regularly to keep abreast of property news that is relevant to our family business. I have found the material to be well researched and balanced, with active participation from individuals involved in property. The Sam Ashdown series is particularly noteworthy and is always packed with useful tips.
I look forward to hearing from the Estate Agent Networking community on their thoughts about WeeFees service.