Who are you?
My name is Sham, I am based in the UK and my core experience is in running cross border property websites where buyers and sellers are in different countries and want to connect. I have had the privilege of working in, with, or alongside some well-known portals around the world and more importantly, I have had the chance to develop products that help agents and developers who work in some tough markets.
What does it say on your business card?
My business card says Managing Director but at this precise moment, I feel it would be more apt to say, MD, Sales, Customer Service, Operations, Marketing, SEO, Web Development, Finance and Cleaner! Whilst I am very well supported by our international offices in Switzerland, Paris, Russia and Monaco, I have been undertaking a lot of the work here in the UK myself, certainly in the run-up to launching. Now that the product is ready, we have taken on our first UK hires and we are very excited about bringing Properstar to market.
How long have Properstar been trading?
Properstar is a new brand having just launched here in the UK, though our Swiss parent company has been operating since 2010 providing solutions to the Global Real Estate market.
What is your elevator pitch?
Properstar is connected to 80 portals in 50 countries. When you publish your listings on Properstar, they are shown around the world, and translated in a property specific way. The UK is a key market for international buyers and Properstar gives agents a simple way to publish listings on multiple portals in a quick and simple way. On our network, around 1 million buyers are searching for international property every month. That would be the elevator pitch, although this being 2016, I would probably wait for the elevator to stop, find a decent Wi-Fi signal and demonstrate the 1 minute video which explains the concept in much more elegant way!
What is your greatest achievement and what made it so special?
In business it would probably be when an agent in Portugal told me that using my product (in a previous company) kept them in business. They had been advertising on many portals and when the last recession hit them they made a decision to cut all, except ours. We helped them to weather the storm and to grow stronger. They were a small family run business and it meant a lot to think we had helped in a small way to keep them going through what was a really tough time.
My greatest achievement personally, outside of being a father to my three great girls, would be completing the London Marathon in 2013. Not being a natural runner, the experience taught me a lot about the importance of keeping going no matter what, and resilience.
What is your property prediction for 2016?
I think this year looks like it could be a good year with steady growth in transaction levels and average prices. This hopefully continues till any concrete information from the Bank of England comes out regarding interest rate rises.
What is the most satisfying part of your job?
I have spent the last few months talking to agents about the Properstar concept. A lot have told us they sell to international buyers and often achieve a higher price for the seller when they do; but they have no concrete or cost effective way of targeting the international buyer, often just waiting for buyers to come to them. It was satisfying to know that our product fills a real gap in this niche area of finding international buyers and that led to the creation of our strap line ‘Find international buyers by choice, not by chance’.
Are you currently offering any special promotions?
During our launch phase we are offering agents the chance to try us for free for the first 4 months. After that the normal pricing is £100 per branch, per month and you can cancel at any time if you decide the product is not right for you.
Any agents wanting to get in touch for a demo or a free trial can do so at:
+44 (0)1603 957 970