Settled, the online estate agency which recently closed up shop, has relaunched as a conveyancing service that promises to help home buyers complete their purchase in weeks rather than months.
The company’s co-founder Gemma Young (pictured with co-founder Paul Young) says the business has pivoted away from selling homes and been re-cast as a ‘Tap to Buy Property’ service that has digitised every step in the post-offer process so that “now when a buyer is looking for a home, they’ll have a dedicated expert supporting them from the moment they start viewing to when they get the keys,” she says.
Settled started up in the mid-noughties and initially raise £1 million via crowdfunding from 500 investors and then a further £1.2 million from two venture capitalists.
But despite the founders’ backgrounds working in tech and, in Young’s case, Google, the business announced in May that, due to Covid, it had decided to ‘hibernate’ its estate agency service and refund its existing customers or, if they were too far down the line, help them complete.
But Settled’s hibernation has now morphed into a full ‘pivot’ and, using the same website address, it is now offering a post-offer assisted conveyancing service.
Charging £500 upfront and £1,500 on completion, Settled is offering to hand-hold home buyers through the conveyancing process via a dedicated online expert and a mobile app and website.
“We have a long way to go to get it to the one-tap utopia we dream of, but we’re well on our way,” says Gemma.
“A typical process is way over a hundred disconnected offline steps involving countless hours, emails, phone calls, and a lot of coordination.
“With Tap-to-Buy, we’ve centralised the whole experience taking it from those offline, paper-based steps to under one hundred taps.
“We’ve digitised every single step, so now when a buyer is looking for a home, they’ll have a dedicated Tap-to-Buy expert supporting them from the moment they start viewing to when they get the keys.”