Tepilo is the platform created by the wonderful Sarah Beeny, so naturally it’s been heavily promoted with her mug all over the branding. The website allows you to take independent control of buying, selling or letting your property – with no hidden-charges or commission, just a shiny fixed-fee.
Well, that was royally disappointing.
I have no idea how Tepilo perform for vendors trying to sell their property, but based on my quick and painful experience, I can confirm that lead generation for landlords trying to find tenants was a total flop. I didn’t receive a single enquiry in 3 weeks (which is an excruciatingly long time for a rental advert). I didn’t even receive a spam email from the Ambassador of Nigeria or an invitation to get my penis enlarged!
I’ve left my advert active on Tepilo, despite the fact I have successfully found new tenants, because strangely enough, receiving no enquiries is exactly the same as ‘receiving no enquiries’. I’m probably doing them a favour by keeping the campaign alive because I’m effectively inflating their stock.
The property I marketed is located in a popular part of town in a popular part of Essex, so I was expecting at least one enquiry (to say the very least). It’s not like it’s located on a hill top somewhere in the middle of nowhere, where shagging sheep is accustomed. However, I still managed to receive nada! Slitch! Not a god damn thing!
I listed the same property on Gumtree, and received several solid enquiries pretty sharpish and hundreds of page views. Unlike Gumtree, Tepilo doesn’t display how many people viewed each advert – it’s a shame they don’t show that data because I’d be interested to see if anyone actually looked at my advert.
Why did Tepilo fail me?
Obviously I can only speculate, but I suspect the following reasons have something to do with their failure…
Still a young site
Tepilo is still in it’s nappy stages; it’s only been around since mid 2009, so like a baby it’s still squeezing green diarrhoea through the pipes.
I submitted a few searches and discovered they don’t have many properties available for rent on there. With such little choice, I can’t imagine many users would stick around.
Secondly, I don’t think the website generates much traffic. Actually, based on a few test results from traffic monitoring websites, I suspect my pitiful blog gets more traffic than the highly marketed Tepilo website. Almost seems twisted and wrong, doesn’t it?
What’s the name “Teplio” about?
I’ve never understood why the name “Tepilo” was chosen. I remember reading somewhere that Sarah Beeny named the site Tepilo because her dad used to tell her about a place called Tepilo as a child. That’s a cute story, it really is, but it’s a complete dogshit name for a property website that’s trying to gain mass traffic.
The name makes no branding sense because it’s ridiculously difficult to remember/spell. If someone said, “yeah, check out the website Tepilo if you want to sell your house”, the average person would probably look bewildered and say, “What? torpedo? tortilla? tornado? What the hell are you saying?”
Even after spelling it out, T-E-P-I-L-O, I can’t imagine it would be remembered for longer than a few seconds (if that). I still find myself Google’ing, “Sarah Beeny Tep” to find the site because I find that easier. Fortunately, trusty Google does the hard work for me and pulls up the correct site.
Websites like “Rightmove” and “Gumtree” are easy to remember because they’re a combination of two every day words that EVERYONE uses – “RIGHT” and “MOVE”. Anyways, the branding decision for Teplilo always urked me. In my opinion, the name Tepilo is their Achilles heal. If not, it’s at least a sweaty boil on the forehead repelling the crap out of people.
Terrible marketing decision.
Poor usability and design
I wasn’t really a fan of the design; it seems over-complicated and too “quirky” – there are too many buttons and sliding windows everywhere.
Adding a property was tedious, there were just way too many boxes and options to fill in. As a landlord, I just want to get my property listed quickly and easily. No fuss, no drama.
Lastly, prospective tenants have to register before they can send an enquiry. Urgh. That’s disgusting! Talk about killing enquiries with a sledge hammer.
I’m guessing they want to build a ‘tenant database’. But that’s a terrible trade-off; I’d put usability way before building a database.
Anyways, I won’t dwell on it too much, so I’m going to promptly wrap this shizzle up and get on with my day.
I wont be using Tortilla again
Unless Torpedo do something dramatic to beef up lead generation I probably won’t bother using their platform again. At least, not for trying to fill a vacant rental property. I’ll be sticking to websites that can get my property across platforms like Rightmove & Zoopla, like OpenRent. That’s for God damn sure.
Has anyone tried Teplio?
If you’ve tried Teplio, did you have any success? Let me know your experience, people!
Tears on my pillow
Writing this disappointing review actually hurt because I’m a huge Sarah Beeny fan. I currently have mascara running down my cheeks, and I think a part of me just died. However, I hope Beeny can forgive me. I hope she understands (I’m confident she does) that vacant properties costs landlords stacks of money, so relying on Torpedo to find tenants is currently financial suicide.
I’d just like to clarify, just because Tortilla didn’t work for me, it’s not to say it won’t work for anyone else.
Good or bad, what’s your experience been like?
Update: Tepilo’s website seems to have gone through major renovation since I wrote this review, and it definitely appears to be more functional. However, I still won’t be using their service again, because it doesn’t appear like their service has improved with the redesign – they’ve managed to rack-up quite an impressive collection of horrendous ratings and feedback on TrustPilot.
Disclaimer: I'm just a simple landlord blogger; I'm not qualified to give legal or financial advice. Any information I share is my opinion based on my personal experiences as an active landlord, and should never be construed as legal or professional advice. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.