Ed Mead (Viewber) is the author of B2C PROPTECH: The role of PR in building a proptech business in estate agency

The Chapter

Proptech opens up many opportunities for estate agents to improve upon their services to customers – but promoting innovation in a B2C context requires significant marketing budgets which are in short supply. Written by the founder of Viewber and based on personal experiences and successes, this chapter demonstrates how online communications is now more prevalent in estate agency and describes the steps taken to promote Viewber to key audiences.

The Author

Ed has been hands-on the in property sector since 1979. He has been director of various companies, most recently Douglas and Gordon. Ed has written weekly columns as Agent Provocateur in The Daily Telegraph and as The Sunday Times Property Expert. He has fronted two BBC TV property series, sat on the board of The Property Ombudsman and is a Fellow of the RICS. In 2016 Ed launched Viewber, which has given him a deep insight into the rapidly expanding world of proptech.

An interview with the author

What is you background and your experience of estate agency?

40 years as an estate agent in central London, and since 1996 being a well quoted and respected agency commentator with weekly national columns in Sunday Times and Telegraph as well as fronting two BBC TV series.

Why did you choose this career?

Like every other estate agent – because I failed at something else, in my case to get an engineering degree (left Bristol after one year).

What / who motivates you?

I love the job – it’s about people. Two in particular, Andrew Langton at Aylesford and Rebecca Read (who ran her own company) inspired me to be a better agent.

What led to you to getting involved in Promoting Property?

The idea of having sensible objective info from people who know what they’re on about is a first in this area.

How does the property industry benefit from PR?

Value for money. More bang for the buck. Compete with much larger companies in your space.

What would you say are the key principles of good property PR?

Honesty and availability.

What are the key issues that property PR faces?

Volume of useless press releases, wooden representatives, lack of knowledge.

How is PR for your specific sector changing?

It is becoming more social media driven.

What changes do you expect to see in the next decade?

The need to be expert at social media, and quicker. It’s not about getting pissed with your clients, it’s about reacting to Twitter.

What does the PR industry need to do to move with the times?

Be more social media aware and personalised.

What does the property industry need to do to move with the times?

Appeal to the specific target market.

How important is creativity in what you do?

Somewhat, but being able to differentiate and clearly communicate your offering is just as important.

What are the key learning points that are communicated in your chapter?

Not everyone can do PR: find the right person and give them their head.

Which communications tactics / methodologies do you feature?

Social Media savvy, long term relationships with journos and veracity.

How can readers of your chapter continue to learn about the subject?

Follow hashtags on Twitter.

Get in touch with Ed on LinkedIn or Twitter.