Interview – Dave Hilary – Lessons From Starting An Online Estate Agents

Dave Hilary was one of the founders of Upping Sticks, a website which made it easier for people to sell their property online.  In this interview Dave talks about his experiences:

– in becoming an “accidental” entrepreneur

– how he ran the company and got traffic

– why they ultimately stopped the company

– Lessons learned from entrepreneurship

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW:

WebpreneurAcademy – Dave Hilary

[68 Minutes | 63 MB]

Books Recommended:

Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It) by William Poundstone

Key Lessons from Dave:

Have a Mentor – My business partner is a bit of a genius, ex-London banker, MBA and has a successful business behind him already. It’s great to be able to learn so much from him. If you’re on your own, find someone you trust who you can ‘report’ to regularly. It gives you perspective and helps you assess your progress when you have to report status to someone regularly – even if you’re your own boss.

Keep It Simple – In terms of your business model, if you can’t explain it and work out where your profit is going to come from on 1 sheet of A4 then you probably need to think again.

Most Stuff Is Almost Free – Because of growing numbers of internet service companies embracing the open source, ‘freemium’ and cloud service models (all different approaches), you can typically get basic versions of most software to support your business for free or for a few dollars a month.

Dave’s Recommended Websites:

Seth Godin’s Blog – http://sethgodin.typepad.com – for general inspiration and fresh ways of viewing things (and I occasionally read The Art of Non-Conformity – http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/ when I feel like I should get a normal job again)
Conversion Rate Experts – http://www.conversion-rate-experts.com/ – Usually your website homepage or signup page is the last point before your prospects become paying customers (after they’ve found you through organic search or PPC, read your content and decided to buy) so the most vital stage of your conversion funnel. Improving this pays big dividends, and these guys are essential reading – 100+ free suggestions for improving conversions, free white papers on why people abandon websites, etc. etc. Required reading for ebusinesses.

Perry Marshall – http://www.perrymarshall.com/ – Subscribe to his free newsletters (he’s got a 100+ email autoresponder sequence!). He gives away more free and excellent content about Adwords & PPC than any other source. (And read Avinash Kaushik if you’re drowning in web analytics data – http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/)
Dave Hilary’s Bio:

Dave Hilary finished a Chemical Engineering degree a few months after deciding he didn’t like Chemical Engineering any more. He then went into IT for 10 years, working for Accenture, a large multinational consulting company, for such clients as The Gap, Frito-Lay and Sainsburys. He took a change of pace by joining a friend to help start an UK online estate agents and spent his time focusing on improving the website, conversion rates, SEO, email marketing, SEM/PPC and anything to do with technology. Another opportunity then arose and he is now developing some niche estate agency software using Force.com for release in the UK in 2010. You can reach him at david.m.hilaryat gmail.com

About the Author

Amir Anzur

1 Comment

  1. Keep posting stuff like this i really like it

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