The latest episode of The Home Stretch podcast, hosted by Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, and Holly Hibbett, features an insightful interview with Malcolm Prescott, Managing Director, and Karlie Baker Kidwell, Digital and Marketing Manager of Webbers, a renowned property agency celebrating its remarkable 100 years in business.
In this engaging celebratory episode, Prescott takes listeners on a journey through his four-decade-long career with Webbers, starting from joining as a teenager in 1987 to becoming the Managing Director based in Barnstaple. Baker Kidwell shares her experience, having been with Webbers for nearly nine years, initially setting up the customer care department and transitioning into marketing.
The podcast explores the evolution of estate agency over the years, touching on technological advancements, particularly the impact of proptech and the role of social media in modern marketing strategies. Prescott emphasises the importance of people in the property business, highlighting that technology should enhance efficiency but not replace the human touch. He comments, “when you peel it back, I’ve still got to start off by saying this is still a people’s business. Over the years of all the proptech that is presented to us, the ideas, the innovations, the ones that impressed me the most are those that say, look, this is going to improve your business, but it won’t make your agents brilliant overnight. You still have to be great estate agents and good at what you do, but this tech is just going to make your job more efficient and it’s just going to give you more time to be a better estate agent.”
The discussion covers the significance of local marketing, with Baker Kidwell sharing Webbers’ success in leveraging social media as a powerful tool for reaching and engaging with local audiences. “I remember doing social media, four or five years ago, deciding that it would be good for Webbers to put our listings on social media – it’s paid dividends. People now come to our social media pages, and they expect to see our listings. I think with a bit more pushing and more advertising, it could be even more successful, and I do see a day where we don’t need to rely on portals because we’re reaching people locally through boosting and advertising,” she notes.
Reflecting on Webbers’ 100 years of success, the interview reveals the agency’s commitment to customer care and innovation. Prescott credits their enduring success to consistently prioritising the needs of customers, making decisions in their best interest. He also highlights the organisation’s membership to The Guild as central to the business’ success over the years.
As part of their centenary celebrations, Webbers has initiated a year-long promotion, the ‘1924 draw,’ where vendors and fully managed landlords are entered monthly to win £1924. The agency has also chosen Young Lives versus Cancer as their national charity and encouraged each office to support a local charity, reinforcing their commitment to community involvement. The brand has a new website built by Starberry to help with Centenary promotions.
The interview concludes with insights into Webbers’ culture and commitment to innovation, with Prescott sharing stories that illustrate their customer-centric approach and their history of being pioneers in the industry. “The customer is at the core of what we do. It is part of our culture and I think that’s why we’re still strong, and I think that’s why we’re still here, because we still indoctrinate that as our standard,” he adds.
The Home Stretch podcast provides a unique glimpse into the property sector, featuring industry leaders and experts discussing key topics, trends, and innovations shaping the property market.
To listen to the full episode and gain valuable insights from Webbers’ century-long journey, visit The Home Stretch podcast.