Proptech

News focusing on new technological solutions which create efficiencies and cost-savings for estate and letting agents and the wider residential property industry.

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    Proptech chat: Kristjan Byfield

    Kristjan Byfield is a busy man, despite the Christmas slowdown. As well as running his London estate agency base property, he’s also in the process of launching his self-funded deposits processing platform and has just joined the board of industry body the UK Proptech Association. Nigel Lewis caught up with him. Has The Depositary launched yet? “We made difficult decision in July to undertake a massive overhaul of what we had built after a year of Beta testing with 70 tenancies including the mobile interface and major functionalities, which didn’t work well enough. “There’s no point releasing a product you’re not happy with and although we were originally hoping to launch at the EA Masters, I expect the official launch to happen in late January. Why have you joined the UK Proptech Association board? “I’ve been a member and supporter since it began three years ago, and I’ve seen how hard it is to persuade companies to put their money where their mouth is and pay to join, but there’s been a lot of change since Sammy Pahal came on board 18 months ago as its MD. “It’s also been too commercial property orientated; the boards needs more residential proptech…

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    Unusual lettings platform claims first landlords sign-ups

      The UK’s first local authority trading company (LATC) rental proptech platform has claimed initial success with 34 families housed and 51 landlords signed up, it has told The Negotiator. Called Renttl.co.uk, the four-month old lettings platform is unique because it offers landlords an attractive package including a rent deposit guarantee scheme of up to three months’ rent and financial incentives up to £4,600 to take on households threatened with homelessness. It also puts prospective tenants through a course on how to live in the private sector and gives them financial help with their deposit. Both landlords and renters are supported by a liaison officer. “Landlords get someone who is tenancy-ready and an online property and tenant on-boarding system that it is easy to complete and manage, takes just three days and offers landlords a lot more information about prospective tenants than traditional letting agents can,” says Lorraine Thomas, MD of Encompass LATC (left). Operated by Encompass LATC, Renttl.co.uk was set up with grant funding from the Department of Housing, Communities and Local Government and is seeking landlords who directly manage their properties. Thomas expects the platform to become a major supplier of private rented properties to households living in and…

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    Who’s next to win in proptech?

    Do you have a winning proptech product? RElab is now accepting applications for the next edition of its Proptech focused startup programme. Curated by Goldacre Ventures and innovation specialist L Marks, the three-month RElab programme, is designed to help tech businesses refine product-market-fit and to develop ideas that can reshape and re-imagine the relationships between space, people, services and sustainability. The RElab team is looking for exceptional entrepreneurs exploring innovative solutions from building, to curating, managing and delivering service into the spaces where we live, work and socialise (smart buildings, smart cities, smart grid, predictive maintenance, etc.). In collaboration with corporates, experts and mentors, selected startups will test their product in live environments, gain valuable market insights, take part in expertise sessions, events, roundtables and panels on matters related to building and scaling a business, and reach up to £100,000 in financing. RElab Sign Up

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    Platform to launch in New Year that will drastically cut conveyancing times

    After a six-month pilot Yourkeys says it has already been working with several developers and will soon begin offering agents its £200 conveyancing service.

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    Property data firm ‘shocked’ about level of online trolling it receives

    Start-up Homesearch says it was not prepared for the level of abuse it would receive after launching its online data service.

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    Brexit planning + recession planning + proportunity

    New data from fintech company Proportunity shows London’s best spots to buy property if we slide into a recession. After crunching the data, they found that London hipster hotspots such as Hackney and Haringey and Newham will be resilient to any potential Brexit-induced house price dip. Proportunity offers Help to Buy-style loans for first-time buyers – available to all properties, not just new builds and their data platform can assess whether a property is overvalued or undervalued, helping customers find hidden gems. Outer London boroughs such as Bexley, Havering and Richmond were most vulnerable. Instead, first-time buyers in London should look to Camden, Hackney, Haringey, Newham, and Tower Hamlets for properties likely to withstand any Brexit-induced price dip. The top five factors behind poor price performance are: Below average percentage of new builds sold Large millennial population Lower retired and baby boomer population Proximity to popular train stations Higher than average flat prices Using these five metrics, along with other indicators such as transactions, crime rates, average number of rooms and the amount of residential floor space within a borough, Proportunity created a price resiliency index to help first-time buyers find recession-proof pads in the capital. The findings reveal that…

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    App launches that will tell agents when people are planning to move

    Consumer-facing smartphone app offers homeowners new tool to plan and executive their home finances and moving plans.

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    Unissu targets growth of procurement platform

    Unissu.com, a proptech marketplace, has raised US$800,000 of investment led by M7 Real Estate with high profile experts in digital transformation in real estate. These include Harry Hill, Founder of Rightmove, the Central Europe-based Property Forum, Asia PropTech and Robert Gilchrist, the former CEO of Rockspring. Richard Croft, Executive Chairman of M7, has also joined Unissu’s board. We believe in the potential offered by innovative solutions offer the real estate industry, this is no exception. Founded by James Dearsley and Eddie Holmes, Unissu provides an easily navigable and free online platform that allows people to understand the technologies they require and matches them with suitable and trusted vendors. This latest round of funds will help to further scale the platform’s global procurement tool. Unissu CEO, Eddie Holmes said, “For many real estate companies considering the adoption of technology to grow their businesses, the key deterrents are often working out exactly what they need and subsequently finding a vendor that they can trust to meet those requirements. This is the primary reason that our procurement tool has quickly become firmly established as our key feature. “At no cost to the user it takes the pain out of this process and enables…

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    Building trust in room renting platforms

    As more tenants choose ‘lifestyle renting’, what’s needed to make the online room rental experience both seamless and secure?

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    Proptech lands in Warwickshire and the West Midlands

    Allsopp & Allsopp has created a new proptech product with the feature ‘Find My Agent’, to allow clients to see where their dedicated estate agent is, on their way to a viewing. It also allows the client to feedback to the owner and make offers 24/7 at the click of a button. Lewis Allsopp, CEO, says, “The Platform is built around the lifestyles of this modern world. Food delivery is easy, now, estate agency is easy.” Carl Allsopp, COO added, “We are excited to bring the first phase of what we believe will change estate agency. It is exciting to see our idea come to fruition after years of planning, investing and work.” Find My Agent aims to remove the uncertainty of agents arriving on time so clients to keep to tight schedules. Lewis says, “Clients are sent the property location and the live location of their estate agent on the way to the property, with a notification when the agent is around the corner and outside the property. The client may make an offer or give feedback directly to the owner when they leave the home via WhatsApp”. The platform also gives tenants and buyers a hub for properties…

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