With the UK firmly in fifth place of the largest economies in the world, it’s an attractive market for any ambitious company to enter. But when you try to take your place in the UK’s real estate market, you need some guts, too. Because, as Ziggu’s UK sales executive Luke Powderly explains: “Property developers here are very set in their ways. It’s a challenge to get them to change things up.” A challenge Ziggu is ready for, as the team is putting down roots across the Channel.
Luke is Ziggu’s leading man in the UK’s office. His job is to understand the goals of property developers up and down the UK and support them achieve their ambitions. “As you can imagine, the UK real estate market is huge. Property developers face fierce competition but at the same time, there’s a shortage in housing, so they’re still selling quite easily. The problem is though, that developers in the UK often get bad reviews about their customer service. You’d think that would make my job easier, as there are so many prospects for Ziggu, but no”, Luke jokes.
Many developers here have been around for a long time, and they like the way they’re doing things, Luke adds. “So only a few are searching actively for state-of-the-art technologies and digital tools to help in this regard. They think, ‘this is how I’ve been doing it for years, it works, why change it?’.”
The sales executive understands very well that it’s not easy for a company to change their traditional way of working, but he hopes he can change their minds. “I see it as part of my job to create a different mindset in the property sector here in the UK. It’s not just about selling the Ziggu platform; it’s also about showing property developers that taking care of their customer advisors, sales advisors and homebuyers is valuable.”
Property developers being able to communicate more easily with homebuyers, showrooms and contractors will lead to increased efficiency and an improved customer experience and homebuyer journey. “Who doesn’t want that?”, Luke wonders out loud. “Just like in the rest of the world, consumers in the UK expect more and more when it comes to customer experience. Property developers can’t stay behind and do nothing.”
"You can’t just sell the house and then forget about the buyer anymore — it needs to be more than that"
Technology has become essential in all industries across the world and now the real estate sector is slowly going through this transition. So property developers can’t stay behind and do nothing anymore. “If you look at companies such as Uber, Deliveroo and online banking: technology has changed these industries for the better. I’m sure property developers will really see the value for themselves and their homebuyers in investing more into technology for the customer journey. You can’t just sell the house and then forget about the buyer anymore — it needs to be more than that.”
"When you see your ideas are being put in place, it makes you feel part of a team, which is a great feeling"
Luke is adamant that property developers and homebuyers will be pleased with a platform like Ziggu. “It’s a welcome tool”, Luke smiles. “Ziggu can change the landscape of customer experience here in the UK. We’re entering a market that is pretty much untouched. So over the next few years, Ziggu will definitely make waves in the UK real estate sector.”
He’s already looking forward to it, Luke adds. “I’m a very ambitious person, so the fact that this market is challenging yet full of possibilities is exciting for me”, he says. However, his excitement for the job-to-be-done is not purely because of his ambition; it’s also because Luke just really enjoys working for Ziggu. “No one’s opinions are brushed under the carpet. The founders really take into consideration your ideas or doubts, if there are any. And when you see your ideas are being put in place, it makes you feel part of a team, which is a great feeling.”
Up to the reservation of the home, there's a lot of focus on experience, for obvious reasons. But it shouldn't stop there! The customer journey you offer impacts your brand and top line.
Walking the talk... At Ziggu we help property developers to become more customer centric, so obviously we need to be top of class ourselves. CEO Yannick Bontinckx explains how "human" elements play a crucial role in that approach.
It’s quite a mouthful, but it’s a sentence that Ziggu’s team is very proud to say. In just three years — the platform was launched in late 2018 — Ziggu has attracted some of the biggest players in Belgium’s real estate world.