Technology podcast’s inaugural episode explores Canva success - Blog

Technology podcast’s inaugural episode explores Canva success

Technology podcast’s inaugural episode explores Canva success

CEO Comments Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals 5th February 2024

In a new direction for The Home Stretch podcast hosted by Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, this week sees a new ‘bionic arm’ of the series launch to the airwaves. Hosted by Ben Sellers, Co-Founder of Starberry and Brand Director at, on the first Friday of each month there will be a special episode with a focus on technology and AI products which will enhance, improve and support estate agents.

Sellers comments, “As brand director at I work with a core team to drive innovation and have a massive focus on digital transformation, which we're going to do a lot of talking about over the coming months together on this podcast.”

The episode kicks off the series of tech specials by looking at social media and how tools such as Canva should be used to agents’ advantage to ensure their pages are consistent and relevant. Sellers opens the conversation by stating, “Social media is your chance to publish your stories, your brand messaging. Sell your products, your properties, your services, from the palm of your hand and reach hundreds of millions of people… if you get it right! However, just posting organically isn't sufficient, you need to top it up a bit with paid by boosting of posts. You might create some great quality posts, and you've got an audience that's seeing it, but there's a whole other audience that would love to see it, but just doesn't know it's there. Social media is opening the door to the passive applicant again. You can spend £5 on boosting a post and suddenly it gets traction and once you get a little bit of volume it can create a tsunami.”

McKenzie retorts, “We are into the realms of influencers these days, aren't we? There are influencers on social media for all other products in retail, and effectively, that's the space that we're getting into with properties, isn't it? It's influencing consumers and implementing decisions. For me, it feels like in the early days of portals in the 2000s. I didn't go on to the major portal because I spoke to them and said, ‘I don't need you’, and they said, you'll be back. And I did go back after six months or a year, but only when it became a consumer-led revolution. Do you foresee a time when we're going to see a consumer led revolution where customers will only sell or let their home with estate agents who have a strong social media presence?” 

Sellers responds enthusiastically with, “I really do. I think it's been a slow burn and we've got some nice little fires going right now. I think that social media is going to keep evolving at the rate of knots because AI is going to make it do that.”

Turning his attention to Canva, the free-to-use online graphic design tool, Sellers says, “This is something I have been passionate about for a number of years.  Canva templates are so flexible, every single level of any design from logos to brochures, to invites, to social posts, to sales presenters, full decks for presenting, whether it's text, imagery, colours, they're all editable.  It is the ideal tool for people with no design background to be able to build a brand kit and corporate identity. Taking elements such as your logo and two different fonts, maybe your headline font and your paragraph font, you pick your primary colours and your secondary colours, and you've now got your brand kit, built into Canva. This will help you save a vast amount of time and ensure that there is consistency across all your marketing materials, reaffirming your brand image.”

Celebrating their 10th anniversary last year, Canva has become the world’s most popular visual communication platform, now empowering over 170 million people in the world to design, creating a total of more than 15 billion designs.

McKenzie expresses his concern about AI tools stripping businesses and individuals of their personal touch, to which Sellers responds, “I do think that personalities must not be lost, but if people are lazy, they can just lift and shift. I try to keep saying to everyone to remember to use it as a tool to help you with your masterpiece but add your personality. You have got to be able to still sew back in all your little nuances that you use in your day-to-day language. Even abbreviations or I would hate to lose all those cockney rhyming slangs that get thrown into our language occasionally, you know all the different manipulations of this amazing language that we have we mustn't lose.”

To hear this conversation in full and find out how and why agents should consider broadening their knowledge of the benefits of tools such as Canva and embracing the possibilities of social media, visit The Home Stretch podcast.

Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals

Iain McKenzie is the CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals and is responsible for the direction and management of the brand plus offering support to the network of over 800 Guild Members. Iain is a highly established estate agent and business leader, with over 30 years of industry experience and a strong entrepreneurial background. He has led and managed teams to success, as a business owner, Franchise Director and MD for a large corporation. Iain has 30 years’ agency experience starting within the industry at 17 on a youth training scheme in Devon. He quickly progressed through the ranks, and at 26 he became a Regional Manager. Three years later, he set up an independent estate agency, called Complete Property Services, and became a Member of The Guild of Property Professionals. This was his first encounter with The Guild and was extremely impressed with the services that were offered. In 2011, he joined a large corporate as Managing Director, which grew year-on-year

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