Who are you and what does it say on your business card?
My name is Mark Hinkins and I’m a Sales Consultant at Rexlabs
What is Rex and what does it do?
Rex is a Customer Relationship Management system (‘CRM’ for short). The story of how it came about is a good one.
About 15 years ago, Lana (who’s now our Sales Director) was an estate agent. She was looking for ways to be more efficient so she asked one of her sons, Alex (who’s now our CTO), to build her a database. That database was the seed of Rex as thousands of agents across Australia, NZ and the UK know it today.
As for what it does, where do I start? In Australia, many agents using Rex sell 90% of the properties they list and regularly command up to 35 to 40% market share in their region. Much of that capacity comes down to delivering outstanding customer service – which involves a lot of regular, quality client contact. Rex enables estate agents to do exactly that.
What makes Rex product different and how does it benefit agents?
Rex is built on an API layer - it was the first Real Estate CRM in the Australian and New Zealand market to be 100% API based and here in the UK, we’re one of the very few providers that legitimately offer a 100% open API. It is something that we did a number of years ago because we could see this is the way technology is always moving forward. So, we rebuilt our product from the ground up to be completely API based.
This means agencies can plug in any external systems they use and benefit from a seamless information flow. They can put property details into Rex, then have Rex push the listing to their website and send it to a social advertising platform too. Agents can even build integrations with chatbots, automatic responders and the like.
What is your greatest achievement in your current role and what made it so special?
We launched Rex in the UK market in October this year, at EA Masters. It had been a long time coming. During the eighteen months before the launch, lots of the Rex team flew from Australia to London to meet with UK estate agents and learn about how we operate over here. Then, there was the localisation process.
It was a privilege to be a part of the launch and receive such great feedback from the EA Masters attendees.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing estate and letting agents at the moment?
I think the biggest challenge estate and letting agencies are facing stems from a misalignment of focus and energy. Many agencies focus too much on their competition - what they’re doing, the fees they’re offering, etc. - rather than focusing on the quality of their own services and justifying their fee to clients based on that service they’re providing.
What is your property prediction for the remainder of 2019?
I think it will be business as usual for the rest of the year and into 2020. The main political parties have all made pledges to build thousands of new homes, and help first time buyers - but have neglected to offer any policy changes that may stimulate the rest of the market.
Country house or city apartment?
A city apartment, though I expect my answer will change if you ask me again in 5 to 10 years.
Trendy roof terrace or a traditional English garden?
There aren’t many things better than having a few drinks on a roof terrace on a summer’s evening.
Would you rather be a free-moving tenant or settled owner-occupier?
There are benefits to both. I am a settled owner-occupier, and buying a home was always a goal for me. Being a free-moving tenant offers more flexibility, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable living as one unless I was in a position to buy a property if the right opportunity arose.
What is your favourite room in your home?
The living room. We have the top floor of a period conversion, so it’s very bright and airy during the day and leads onto a terrace.
Homes under the Hammer or Location, Location, Location?
Location, Location, Location. My Mum always calls me and tells me to watch it whenever they feature South Devon!