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BREAKING: Reapit CEO quits to join Michael Bruce proptech start-up

Gary Barker steps down after 13 years at property software giant promising to reveal details of new business 'in due course'.

Nigel Lewis


The world of property software CRMs has been shaken this morning following the resignation of Reapit CEO Gary Barker who is to join Purplebricks founder Michael Bruce’s new proptech business.

The 43-year-old’s departure follows 13 years leading Reapit and before that senior roles within Countrywide’s finance and IT teams.

“The time has come for me to take on the exciting challenge of a disruptive new venture, working alongside a formidable team with a genuinely compelling offer,” says Barker.

“I am looking forward to sharing our vision, and more details of the new brand, in due course.”

Barker is the first public hire by Michael Bruce for his new business, which is currently called ‘Launch B’ and due to reveal itself fully later this year. It has already signed up to Reapit’s Foundations platform.

Barker will be the company’s CEO but remain a shareholder in Reapit. He will also retain his involvement with Propertymark, Guild parent group epropservices and Agents Giving.

“I am delighted that I will be joining a very exciting new business, which will bring huge benefits and rewards to agents, and a much more engaging experience for them and consumers than anything that has ever been available before,” says Barker.

“We will be opening up the market more widely and giving everyone access to technology that makes interesting things happen and should bring the market alive.

“Launch B have attracted world class talent and done a fantastic job of creating and building a unique business, a compelling model and an impressive brand building marketing strategy.”

michael bruceMichael Bruce (left), Executive Chairman of Launch B, says: “I am delighted to welcome Gary to the business and thrilled that he will be overseeing its launch.

“Our mission will help agents to determine and shape the future and put them at the forefront of innovation whilst materially advancing the experience for everyone looking to buy, sell or let property. I welcome a great leader and an enormous talent.”

Reapit reaction

“Throughout Gary’s tenure as CEO of Reapit, we have always appreciated his deep commitment to the PropTech space, to Reapit’s customers and our employees,” said Park Durrett, Managing Director of Accel-KKR and a member of Reapit’s board of directors.

“Since our investment in Reapit, the team has more than doubled the size of the business, expanded internationally and launched major industry innovations. Reapit’s strong management team is now poised to enter the next phase of growth through organic and strategic M&A opportunities.

Adrian Gill imageReapit is now on the hunt for a new CEO during a ‘managed transition’ phase and non-exec Reapit board member Adrian Gill (left) is filling Barker’s boots until a suitable candidate can be found.

Gill has spent the last twenty years in property services including 10 years at Connells Estate Agents before becoming CEO of LSL plc’s estate agencies.

After leaving LSL, he became Group CEO at Leaders Romans, a private equity-owned 150-branch estate agency. Gill has served on Reapit’s board of directors since 2019.




July 14, 2020

One comment

  1. The pandemic when seen through the rear view mirror will be seen as the force that forced change, change in all sectors, including the legacy driven, paper driven, world of real estate.

    In one stroke the debate about can residential agency be conducted from ‘home’ has been answered, at last agents realise that clients wanting to transact property related business in all sectors, start and finish this journey on their mobile phone.

    Digital has come of age, and the efficiency it can drive are wondereous, and with 5G on the horizon and the new faster technologies it will spawn will further hasten a modernisation of how we transact property business.

    Gary Barker is at the epicentre of all things digital, and Messrs Michael and Kenny Bruce are a formidable and forward thinking unit. I have been a harsh critic of Puplebricks seeing it as ‘agency lite’ but their legacy model did list over 60,000 properties in the UK last year, more than Countrywide, Connells and Sequence did by nearly 20,000.

    Is this significant – Yes. The consumer, vendor class of the UK is breaking free from the old order of agency and saying – let us do business in a seamless quick manner, it used to take 5 calls and a day to arrange a viewing, with software from say Homehere, a buyer can message an agency, and digitally their needs and wants will be dealt with, prior to human intervention, viewing booked, applicant loaded to CRM, applicant pre-qualified, the blocks to efficient agency are being removed.

    My biggest hope that Launch B, given the industrial amount of Full stack developers and tech team being hired is that it will galvanise all of the real estate space to realise that they are all in the ‘space race’ and to sit and ‘do business as usual’ means doing no business because Gen-Z is coming of age and will not tolerate slow, inefficient ways of doing business, they want to engage, transact and then go rollerskating, they will not stay in line like mum and dad and wait 18 weeks to move into their new home.

    Just you wait and see – Launch B is just the start of what is really coming.

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