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PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’: Leasecake hires proptech executive | British Property Federation urges government to lower business rates

Leasecake Hires Software and Technology Executive Scott Williamson as Chief Operating Officer

The veteran PropTech and technology services executive will lead the continued growth and evolution of Leasecake’s location management platform and capabilities

ORLANDO, Fla. – July 25, 2022 – Leasecake, the cloud-based operating system for lease and location management, announced today that it has named former JLL Technologies executive Scott Williamson to serve as its Chief Operating Officer. The appointment highlights Leasecake’s continued strategic expansion and growth as a market leader in the PropTech and location management industry, and follows the announcement of the company’s oversubscribed Series A funding round in April.

Williamson has more than 30 years of experience in software and technology services markets. He has held executive management roles with large, mid-sized, and startup companies including Quorum Business Solutions and ValuD Consulting, which real-estate firm JLL acquired in 2018 to advance its digital and PropTech transformation. As a serial entrepreneur, Williamson has led companies to successful growth and exits via public markets and private-equity and strategic acquisitions.

“I am beyond excited that Scott will be joining the Leasecake leadership team,” said Taj Adhav, CEO and co-founder of Leasecake. “His background, technology pedigree, and vision for Leasecake’s future will add exponential value for our customers.”

“Scott’s ability to navigate change and anticipate the continually shifting dynamics of the real estate industry will provide an indispensable asset for the next chapter in Leasecake’s story,” Adhav said. “The big shifts during the pandemic drove home to our customers the importance of location and location-management services. We expect more change ahead, and Scott will be the tip of spear to make sure Leasecake’s customers are best equipped to fully leverage those services in the years to come.”

Prior to joining Leasecake, Williamson spent a decade at ValuD Consulting, where he served as Chief Commercial Officer of the integrated workforce management system solution provider. During his tenure Williamson and founder Gopi Latpate grew the company from a startup to a market leader as the largest and most successful provider of IBM Commercial Real Estate software solutions. After ValuD’s sale to JLL, Williamson served as Global Head of Enterprise and Mid-Market Sales for JLL Technologies, which solidified its footprint in the Americas and expanded into the global market, including in EMEA and APAC. Williamson played a key role in growing JLL’s SaaS and solutions offerings globally, leading research and advisory firm Verdantix to name JLL as one of its 2021 market leaders in workplace systems integrators.

Leasecake is a market-leading location management platform that allows tenants, brokers and landlords to operate location-related services, from lease management and lease accounting to insurance agreements and franchise operations. Leasecake’s platform supplies centralized access to lease and location information, integrating data from multiple sources to serve as a single source of truth for organizations on both sides of the market. Leasecake’s technology helps businesses streamline operations, follow new lease accounting standards, track mission-critical and time-sensitive contracts, and collaborate more efficiently with service providers.

“The CRE and PropTech markets have grown and changed rapidly in the last few years,” said Williamson. “Customers no longer want monolithic software packages that take too long to implement and return value. In Leasecake, Taj has created an innovative, fast-to-activate, and easy-to-use software solution that provides value quickly, allowing customers to reduce the complexity of lease processes so they can focus on running their core business. I look forward to helping the team industrialize our internal and external processes so we can focus more on new customer acquisition while maintaining our already high customer satisfaction.”

British Property Federation urges Government to support UK businesses with change to business rates for 2023 revaluation

  • BPF argues that ratepayers whose rents have fallen significantly should immediately pay lower business rates, as downward phasing is unfair and economically damaging
  • Given sharp rises in logistics values since the last revaluation, an increase in business rates should be phased in for these occupiers
  • Once three-yearly revaluations are in place transitional relief should be abolished entirely to enable market forces to operate effectively

In its response to a consultation on transitional arrangements for 2023 business rates revaluation, the British Property Federation (“BPF”) urges the Government to end downward phasing and for businesses whose rateable values have fallen to see these immediately reflected in full through lower rates bills. This would particularly help high street property in many of the areas that the Government wishes to “level up”.

Transitional relief is the mechanism by which changes to business rates are phased in gradually. Currently this applies to ratepayers who see their bill increase or decrease. The BPF argues that the effect of downward phasing can make occupying property, particularly in retail, uneconomical due to business rates not reflecting current rental values.

In its submission to the Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities the BPF calls for a new transitional relief format that has been developed in collaboration with the Shopkeepers’ Campaign:

  • Properties that see an increase in their rateable value would have this phased in over two years, with increases capped for year one.
  • Downward phasing should be scrapped entirely, with any ratepayer whose rateable value decreases paying the new liability immediately.
  • Upward phasing to be centrally funded by Government.

Ion Fletcher, Director of Policy, British Property Federation, comments, “Downwards phasing has left retail properties overpaying business rates for years, with businesses in regions the Government is seeking to ‘level-up’ among the most impacted. Abolishing it is a short-term but essential fix that would immediately help high street businesses.”

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Andrew Stanton Founder & Editor of 'PROPTECH-X' where his insights, connections, analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are based on writing 1.3M words annually. Plus meeting 1,000 Proptech founders, critiquing 400 decks and having had 130 clients as CEO of 'PROPTECH-PR', a consultancy for Proptech founders seeking growth and exit strategies. He also acts as an advisory for major global real estate companies on sales, acquisitions, market positioning & operations. With 100K followers & readers, he is the 'Proptech Realestate Influencer.'