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An interview with Sarah Beeny inspired by Seth Godin’s recent blog “16 questions for free agents”

11/06/2010

This interview with Sarah Beeny was inspired by a recent blog posting by the acclaimed Seth Godin, Seth’s bog can be read here

Sarah is an accomplished property developer and television presenter, best known for presenting the Channel 4 property shows Property Ladder, Streets Ahead and Britain’s Best Homes. In June 2009, she launched property site, Tepilo. Completely free to use, Sarah Beeny’s Tepilo.com simply walks you through the process of buying, selling or letting a home, giving you practical advice on how to make the most of your property through design, negotiation and marketing, whilst ultimately saving you money by removing the need for an estate agent.

The site, which is set out in a easy to use format, helps you present your home in a glossy magazine format, and gives you the opportunity to describe your home how you want to, allowing you to focus on the key unique selling points of your home.

Walker Fox (WF): Hi Sarah, I know that you’re a really busy lady but would you please take five minutes out of your time to answer a few questions? If you’re starting out as an entrepreneur or a freelancer or a project manager, the most important choice you’ll make is: what to do? As in the answer to the question, “what do you do?”

Sarah Beeny (SB):Hi Rob.

WF: Who are you trying to please?

SB: Please is a funny word for it, but the consumer – our end users are king.

WF: Are you trying to make a living, make a difference, or leave a legacy?

SB: A difference.

WF: How will the world be different when you’ve succeeded?

SB: Selling or letting a property will be free of charges and efficient.

WF: Is it more important to add new customers or to increase your interactions with existing ones?

SB: Both, the more users the more efficient the site gets and always here to help those already on there.

WF: Do you want a team? How big? (I know, that’s two questions)

SB: Already have a team that may well grow over time.

WF: Would you rather have an open-ended project that’s never done, or one where you hit natural end points? (How high is high enough?)

SB: When is a website ever done? Successful businesses are all constantly evolving.

WF: Are you prepared to actively sell your stuff, or are you expecting that buyers will walk in the door and ask for it?

SB: We’re actively promoting the site, and more and more users are walking through the door as a result we hope.

WF: Which: to invent a category or to be just like Bob/Sue, but better?

SB: Both models can work, it’s rare these days to find a completely new idea, but mixtures of innovation and improvements generally work well.

WF: If you take someone else’s investment, are you prepared to sell out to pay it back?

SB: Hopefully one wouldn’t need to sell out, but if that’s what it takes.

WF: Are you done personally growing, or is this project going to force you to change and develop yourself?

SB: Learning all the time, every day there’s something you didn’t know happening.

WF: Choose: teach and lead and challenge your customers, or do what they ask…

SB: Do what they want to some extent, fulfil a genuine need – but educate them to make good decisions too.

WF: long can you wait before it feels as though you’re succeeding?

SB: Depends on the business really, define “success”?

WF: Is perfect important? (Do you feel the need to fail privately, not in public?)

SB: In life nothing is generally perfect, but it’s how you handle the problems and improve.

WF: Do you want your customers to know each other (a tribe) or is it better they be anonymous and separate?.

SB: Know each other generally – Tepilo is already very viral and we are delighted with the amount of personal referrals we see around the place. We designed the site to be a very personal place so it fits that people interact.

WF: Sarah, thanks, I really appreciate your time and input and look forward to speaking to you soon.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. woodayShona permalink
    07/09/2010 07:36

    Very Interesting!
    Thank You!

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