At the EA Masters 2021 award ceremony, Inventory Hive scooped not one, but two huge accolades, bringing home the Best Medium Supplier award and the Overall Winner of the Best Estate Agency Supplier award.
The glittering event, held at Evolution London and presented by Great British Olympic gold medallists Dame Sarah Storey and Tom Dean, was a whos who of the property industry, boasting some big names.
Richard Abbots, CEO and founder of Inventory Hive, said: “The EA Masters is unique, as the awards are based upon the quality of service that you provide to the customer, who rates you. You can’t ‘buy’ or ‘game’ the system. So people in the property industry know that if you are a big winner, then you must be the very best.”
Peter Knight, the founder of event organisers The Property Academy, said the event had an amazing turnout and went fantastically well. “It was great to see Inventory Hive scoop two EA Masters awards, including Best Overall Supplier! Congratulations to Richard and Inventory Hive team! An achievement to be proud of. We can’t wait for the next event already.”
On winning the two awards, Richard said: “We’re so thrilled to win this award. It’s been a monumental team effort since we started this journey five years ago. The roadmap is so exciting and it’s a joy working with such a talented group of people – our team and our customers. The competition in the room at EA Masters was immense, which makes this even more humbling.”
Secrets to Success
When asked what was the catalyst for their success was, Abbots noted that when Covid-19 arrived, it was a wake-up call for the industry. There was a real sense that letting agents could manage their work in a slightly better way, so Inventory Hive developed and continued to build the tools and software to this end.
“Agency is a people business, and as a premier supplier to the industry we see it as a partnership, rather than selling a product,” said Richard Abbots. “We are in it for the long term, we listen to our clients, many are advocates for us.”
When pressed on the reasons behind its rapid growth, Richard Abbots said that aligning the company with trusted organisations like the Tenancy Deposit Scheme shows clients they are a trusted supplier, too. They can be relied upon. Abbots also touched on Innovation, and how understanding the real pain points of agents is key, all while not overcomplicating the path to adoption for the end-user.
“We see ourselves as an enabler, not a disruptor, I spend much of my time looking at the future, developing ideas and services that really help agents,” he said. “Then when I and the team roll them out, we do it in easy baby steps way, so our clients can onboard new ways of doing old things, better and quicker which saves them time and money.”
Mitch Handley, the marketing manager at Inventory Hive, admitted that winning two awards was a complete surprise. “To get to be the overall tech supplier to the UK estate agency industry shows that all those long hours and the sacrifices of the team, and the service we provide and ongoing training and bringing out new services to help our clients really works.”
Inventory Hive is built upon the concept of working out how to give more time back to the letting industry professional. Its strapline, “Beautifully simple property software”, speaks to this vision.
Richard Abbots expanded on the company’s ethos, saying: “We built our business of solving real and pressing problems, we wanted to remove the paperwork, automate compliance, enable practitioners to work offline and utilise new technologies like 360 tour software, but at a cost point that was fair.”
Busy letting agents, inventory clerks, build-to-rent providers, student accommodation providers, landlords, and other property professionals have little time to research what will make their business move forward, Abbots explained. It is his, and his team’s role to stay ahead of the curve.
He admits, however, that simply building great software solutions is not enough, the emphasis is on the customer above all.
“Adoption is key to getting new systems working inside lettings businesses, which is where customer care is key. Providing clarity of how to use Inventory Hive’s services is core to all we do, so we hold the consumer’s hand all the way.”
Andrew Stanton is the founder and CEO of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder and editor of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.