A portal for upmarket buyers of newbuild property founded by a former estate agent has won official backing via Ordnance Survey’s Geovation Accelerator Programme, it has been announced.
HomeFinder was launched last year by James Nightingall (main picture), who until recently ran his own luxury property agency James and James in London before closing it down in October last year to concentrate on his new venture.
It counts over 100 house builders and developers including Barratt, Ballymore, Battersea Power Station and Berkeley as clients, and is essentially a newbuild property portal backed up by a personalised property search service.
HomeFinder will now receive the programme’s bespoke package of financial support, worth over £100k per start-up, and which includes equity-free grant funding, a 12-month residency in the data hub (six months of which includes intensive support from industry experts), workshops, coaching and access to cutting edge data from OS and HM Land Registry, which is part-funding the initiative.
“HomeFinder is the easiest way to find new homes and developments for sale,” explains Nightingall.
“We’re different from Rightmove and other property portals like that because we offer a concierge service. Every client is assigned their own private HomeFinder who finds their dream home – we want to end the scrolling.
“Our HomeFinders can find buyers the best prices and even access properties before they go onto the internet.”
The website is using OS data to help find properties that fit its clients’ specific property requirements – such as proximity to green space or specific views of the capital.
“From my 10 years’ experience, luxury consumers have very specific needs. The technology is not there yet, but we are working on this,” says Nightingall
“I believe in a combination of technology and human customer service to empower people with technology, rather than replace them. HomeFinder offers a concierge service at the moment, but in time AI solutions will be built around the data.”