Who are you and what does it say on your business card?
Marco Ferrara, Director of Tili
What is Tili and what does it do?
Tili is a free to use, digital assistant that improves the home move experience for the customer and creates new revenue streams for property professionals by letting users set up the essential utilities in their new home in ten taps and three minutes.
What services do you offer and in what ways do you work with estate and letting agents?
Tili is part of the wider Spark Group. We started out as a tenant focused energy company in 2007 with the belief that energy could, and should, be simpler and more rewarding for tenants, landlords and letting agents. Since then we’ve added Home Telecom, our telecoms business that sets up home movers with short-term broadband and Sky TV packages, and we’ve recently launched Spark Business Utilities, a commercial energy service that’s saving money for our partners in the property industry. Today we’re serving over 450k customer accounts and we’re going to continue to deliver solutions that add value for our partners and simplify the experience of managing energy, broadband and other essential services for home movers.
What makes your product different and how does it benefit agents?
The concept of a digital home move assistant is just beginning to make its way into the public’s consciousness. Moving home remains a huge pain point for today’s consumer, who expects services to be delivered digitally, at the relevant time, and with a seamless UX. As the first product of its kind to address this need, Tili provides our partners in the property industry with a new revenue stream while improving the home move experience for their customers – all as an easy to set up, free add-on.
What is your greatest achievement in your current role and what made it so special?
For sure the greatest achievement was Tili going live on April 23rd, 2018. When I joined Spark in October 2017 Tili was just an idea, little more than a few slides and a working title. To take that vision and turn it into a product that we brought to market in a little over six months, with the support of many of our largest partners from day one, was a tremendous achievement.
What is the most satisfying part of your job?
From a customer perspective, I love getting feedback from people who have gotten real value from Tili. My main motivation for joining Spark was to play a part in delivering an innovative product that would solve an unmet need for consumers and it’s really exciting to see that play out in reality. From a business perspective we’ve set ourselves some very lofty targets that we’ve so far been fortunate enough to exceed. The only sustainable route to success for Tili is to deliver value for both our partners and customers and that’s what we’ll continue to strive for.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing estate and letting agents at the moment?
Rising customer expectations are both a challenge and a genuine opportunity. Customers have an ever-increasing amount of choice in almost every facet of life and the property industry is no different. All of us in the property industry have to up our game in terms of the customer experience we offer. Those of us that do will thrive and see the benefits of customers choosing our services over a competitor’s.
What lesson should the property industry takeaway from 2018?
The customer is king, more than ever. The public is becoming savvier and more demanding by the day, and technology is the key enabler of this trend. The property industry is catching up, yet customers still view moving homes as one of the most stressful events in their lives. I think in years to come we’ll look back and wonder how people used to move home before services like Tili were around.
Country house or city apartment?
Country house…as long as it’s in a forest
Trendy roof terrace or traditional English garden?
Would you rather be a free-moving tenant or settled owner-occupier?
What is your favourite room in your home?