Archive for the ‘Start ups’ Category

estatecreate wins Innovation Award

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

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12th November, 2009 – estatecreate won The innovation Award last night at an awards ceremony organised by Theestatecreate Negotiator Award Negotiator magazine in association with The Digital Property Group.

Henry Yates, estatecreate Chief Executive, said: “I am very pleased that the team’s hard work has been recognised by winning another award. The judges were unanimous in voting for estatecreate, which is a great vote of confidence in our product.”

Mark Milner, The Digital Property Group’s (,, and Chief Executive said: “The success of the Negotiator Awards is a testament to on-going excellence within the market, with firms such as estatecreate gaining much deserved recognition. It’s a pleasure to celebrate their achievements as well as toast the impressive performance of the estate agency industry in challenging times.”

estatecreate winning award

estatecreate is a new tool for estate agents to showcase a vendor’s home with a standalone website for their property with its own domain name – the 21st century glossy property brochure for the web. You can see an example website here:


The service is very easy to use – estatecreate takes a feed of data from each branch and the agent can then easily add content and publish to a domain name of their choice. You can see a product demo here:


The judges of the 2009 Awards read like a Who’s Who of Estate Agency. They included:

Peter Bolton King, CEO, National Association of Estate Agents

Paul Broadhead, Head of Policy, Building Societies Association

Nicholas Leeming, Corporate Client Director, Property Finder

Mr Bill McClintock, Chief Operating Officer, The Property Ombudsman Service

Julian O’Dell, Founder, TM Training & Development

Ian Floyed, Chief Executive, My Home Move

Peter Rollings, Managing Director, Marsh & Parsons

Mr Ken Waller, Former Chief Executive of Connells Residential

Lucy Morton, Managing Partner, WA Ellis

John McGrath, Chief Executive Officer, McGrath Estate Agents

James Howard, Associate Director – Development, Urban Splash


estatecreate was founded by Henry Yates and is the first company to offer this service to estate agents in the UK. Yates is an experienced entrepreneur who has previously co-founded and sold two businesses, Face, the research and planning agency (, sold to Cello PLC) and, the social network for students (sold to

estatecreate partners with The Live Organisation

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

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estatecreate has announced a new partnership with The Live Organisation, the UK’s leading provider of residential conveyancing, with the launch of Live Sitemaker software which allows agents to create individual websites for their properties.

Tim Price, group sales & marketing director at The Live Organisation said:  “We are constantly looking for ways to give clients the tools to sell properties to customers in the most efficient and user friendly way. Sitemaker provides a contemporary and comprehensive marketing tool which goes well beyond a simple listing.”

“Winning instructions is the life blood of any agent and Sitemaker allows Live agents the opportunity to enhance their portfolio of marketing services, especially for middle and up market properties. And it is exactly this type of sophisticated improvement which can help agents win more business.”

Henry Yates, CEO estatecreate, said “We are excited to be working with The Live Organisation, they have a fantastic client base that will really benefit from using the Live SiteMaker service.”

The Live Sitemaker software allows clients to create an individual website for each property and a personal domain name. The format is easy to read and understand, allowing customers to view the property information with no confusion. Clients have more online space to include information about the local area, schools and contact details, as well as substantial room for photographs.

The easy to use software only takes minutes to create and publish websites. Clients can share the personal property websites through social networks and get more leads from other agents. The personal domain name is more memorable, making it more effective for advertising purposes. The websites can be branded for users, making them more visually appealing. There is no duplicated entries as the software auto-populates the sites for you.

Tim Price added: “Individual property websites are innovative and functional.

We offer estate agents the easiest and most cost effective way to create standalone websites for individual properties. The sites have their own web address and unlimited pages to showcase photos, floorplans, 360 tours and walk throughs.”

More details of Live’s new service can be found at

estatecreate launches new service to drive web traffic

Monday, March 21st, 2011

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4th FEBRUARY, 2010 estatecreate has launched a new service for estate agents that will drive more web traffic to their properties from search engines.

Search Engines such as Google are putting more and more emphasis on website content and domain names. By using estatecreate websites to showcase properties on key street names in an agency’s neighbourhood, agents will increase their search traffic and drive more leads to their properties.

Henry Yates, estatecreate Chief Executive, said “Search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools available to estate agents. By investing in SEO you should see increased traffic and increased business for years to come. Our SEO solution is part of the overall package estate agents buy into when they sign up to estatecreate.”

The service is very easy to set up. First an agent needs to identify key roads where they sell houses in their neighbourhood.

estatecreate estate agent SEO solution

The agent then sets up estatecreate sites for the key addresses around the agent’s branch. These sites will all point back to the estate agent’s website. Whenever the agent has a property for sale on a key road, they showcase it on the appropriate website. You can see an example website here:

estatecreate seo solution for estate agents

estatecreate is a new tool for estate agents to showcase a vendor’s home with a standalone website for their property with its own domain name. The service is very easy to use – estatecreate takes a feed of data from each branch and the agent can then easily add content and publish to a domain name of their choice.

The service is the holder of The Negotiator’s Innovation Award and the Web Marketing Association’s WebAward.

estatecreate was founded by Henry Yates and is the first company to offer this service to estate agents in the UK. Yates is an experienced entrepreneur who has previously co-founded and sold two businesses, Face, the research and planning agency (, sold to Cello PLC) and, the social network for students (sold to

Interview with The Estate Agent

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

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The Estate Agent

Originally uploaded by henry_yates

The Estate Agent interviewed estatecreate in their April issue. Unfortunately it is print only, so here is a screenshot.

Post your business plan to the comments of a blog

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009
Image representing Mark Cuban as depicted in C...Image via CrunchBase

Why would you do that?

Well, Mark Cuban has just asked people to do just that here. It is his “Open Source Funding” plan to help kick start the US economy by creating jobs.  He says “Rather than trying to be a Venture Capitalist, I was looking for an idea that hopefully could inspire people to create businesses that could quickly become self funding. Businesses that just needed a jump start to get the ball rolling and create jobs. I’m a big believer that entrepreneurs will lead us out of this mess. I just needed a way to help.”

To qualify, businesses need to be cash flow break even within 60 days and be profitable within 90 days. So what sort of business could that be? How about a UK start up with a product ready to be shipped and a business model that could work in the US? Why wouldn’t you want Mark Cuban to help you launch in the US? Did I post our business plan on his blog? Of course I did.

UPDATE (15th Feb): 1,300 comments and counting!

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The Courvoisier Future 500

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Future 500

The Courvoisier Future 500 was published in yesterday’s Observer magazine. made it into the 500 and has got me an invite to the launch party this Thursday. I can’t say I have ever tried Courvoisier, but I am looking forward to trying it…

Be a Roman

Monday, December 1st, 2008
Gladiator: More Music From the Motion Picture ...

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I have just read a guest post on Techcruch by the CEO of Redfin on how to deal with a downturn. You can read the whole post here. I loved his 9th point, however, I am a little worried it may have resonated maybe a little bit too much…

9. Be a Roman

What disgusted the ancient Romans about barbarians was their lack of discipline. Oxford Professor Peter Heather writes, “As far as a Roman was concerned, you could easily tell a barbarian by how he reacted to fortune. Give him one little stroke of luck, and he would think he had conquered the world. But, equally, the slightest setback would find him in deepest despair…” This is why, 2,000 miles from home, several hundred Romans could slaughter several thousand barbarians.

Startups are founded by barbarians. But to survive the ups and downs, you have to make yourself into a Roman. The most talented entrepreneur I know nearly self-destructs on the 18-month birthday of each of his ventures. By that point a startup isn’t brand-new anymore, and it isn’t Google either. The closer you get to becoming a real company, the less glamorous reality seems: you’re grimy from clawing for money and breathing hard now from exertion, which would be fine if you could convince yourself you’re not the only one struggling. Everyone struggles. Keep fighting.

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The Midas Touch

Friday, November 28th, 2008

Against my better judgement, last week I signed up to The Midas Touch Dragon’s Den Style pitching event at the Business Startup conference at Olympia today.

The five strong panel had some heavy weight business people on it including Jonathan Jay, Chelsea Baker, Brad Rosser, Rachel Elnaugh and Howard Graham. As it was set up in the middle of the conference, it drew quite a crowd, with 50-60 seated and a crowd of onlookers 3 to 4 back around the side.

To add to my nerves, the first two presenters were torn to shreds with the usual Dragon like comments such as “I didn’t understand any of that; I’ve no idea what you were talking about”.

I was up third. I gingerly took the stand, and, thank goodness, my nerves evaporated. All that G2i eleavator pitch training obviously paid off! I fielded a few tough questions, but generally received a good response. Even so, I can not say it has persuaded me to apply for the real thing.

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Words to Live By

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
Col. Theodore Roosevelt. Crop of :Image:Theodo...

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I just read Nic Brisbourne’s blog – he has posted some great advice from Rob Majteles. You can see it here.

Having read the advice I had a look at Rob’s website. He has a great Roosevelt quote under “Words to Live By”:

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena;
whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again;
who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course;
who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst,
if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly;
so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

Powerful stuff. Just what is needed in these tough times!

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Freemium and the credit crunch

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

There has been a lot of debate in the blogosphere over the past week about the crunch and its potential effect on startups. A Sequoia presentation has been circulating which is a must read for anyone involved in a startup – you can read it here. The presentation paints a pretty bleak and, in my opinion, realistic picture of the next couple of years and tells startups to focus on preserving capital and getting to profitability.

We have been debating our business model and the merits of having both a free and premium product (dubbed by Fred Wilson as a freemium strategy). The thinking behind a freemium strategy is that the best way for a startup to build a decent size paying customer base is to launch a free version and get viral growth and then convert your top customers to pay for the service by offering premium features.

The counter argument to the freemium strategy that has emerged with the credit crunch and looming recesssion is that start ups need to focus on getting to profitability, so they should not be giving away free product, but focusing on getting paid customers.

I have been personally wrestling with this debate and even left a comment on Fred Wilson’s blog questioning whether Freemium was a suitable strategy for these lean times, particularly the points made on slide 46 of the Sequoia presentation (importance of established revenue model, understanding of market uptake, customers’ ability to pay, profitablity, cash) . He came back to me saying he thought that Freemium is a great way, maybe the best way, to achieve all the suggestions on slide 46.

I guess what he means by this is that you will not get better marketing for your product than initially giving it away (or a version of it). You will get lots and lots of customers using your product that would not have otherwise done so. If your product is any good, they will tell their friends, some of whom will also try your product. The key is then implementing the Freemium strategy so that you can optimise the number of paying customers. If you have a great product and lots of people take it up, even a small percentage of that base would make up a large paying customer base which would have cost a lot of marketing money to acquire.

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