Proptech & Property News Weekly Roundup: nurtur.group, Brief Your Market, UPSTIX, Phil Spencer & Sprift, MyIdentity

A roundup of the week’s top proptech and property news in association with Estate Agent Networking.

nurtur.group continues growth with Brief Your Market acquisition

Technology provider, nurtur.group has announced today its acquisition of Brief Your Market, a multi-award-winning business and provider of effective multi-channel marketing and data services to the property sector. 

Jon Cooke, CEO of nurtur.group, says: “This latest acquisition continues the group’s focus on technology services to the property industry, as well as accelerating our focus on helping our customers generate and nurture leads. 

nurtur.group logo

With the addition of Brief Your Market, the combined group will supply technology services to over 6,000 estate agency offices. The home moving process is evolving and digital platforms are becoming ever more important in today’s market, particularly when it comes to lead generation. 

Agents experience the best lead-generating results over extended periods of time by building relationships and nurturing the leads they receive. The Brief Your Market platform will assist our customers to further enhance their lead-nurturing process, improve communication with their clients and ultimately improving the home moving journey.” 

Cooke adds that nurtur.group will be launching some joint initiatives with Brief Your Market in the near future. “Again, these initiatives will be focused on lead generation, lead nurturing and a relentless focus on ROI. Statistically 55% of leads received don’t make it into a CRM, a staggering figure that highlights the importance of having a process and platform in place such as Brief Your Market to ensure leads are nurtured and directed along the correct path,” he comments.

Brief Your Market logo

According to Cooke, nurtur.group supply a vast array of products and services for agents to use, however, an essential component that was missing was the mechanism of delivering these elements to the customer, which Brief Your Market are by far the market leader. 

“Other elements that attracted us to Brief Your Market was their ability to track an agent’s Return on Investment (ROI), through their focus on helping agents with their data.  Brief Your Market has also transformed their business over the last 18 months through their acquisition of Yomdel, an industry-leading live chat provider, as well as providing a dedicated content management service to agents. This helps agents to reduce the time spent on creating marketing content so they can focus on looking after their customers,” he adds.

Speaking about the acquisition, Damon Bullimore, CEO of Brief Your Market, says: 

“We have worked in partnership with nurtur.group for over 10 years, focusing on nurturing data held with agent’s databases to deliver demonstrable ROI.  The organisation’s new focus on ensuring it nurtures leads from portals and agent’s websites, through to database mining is an exciting path, ensuring we as a group maximise all opportunities agents receive, automating journeys and bringing these into laser focus for agents so they can prosper and thrive.”

He adds, “nurtur.group is driven by passionate people who share this common view, ensuring our customers achieve powerful results by using our combined technologies. This coupled with the Accelerator Programme will ensure we are always driving the very best technology which deliveries a greater ROI.” 

Toscafund Partner and nurtur.group Director, Matthew Siebert adds: “This latest acquisition will further enhance the group’s offering and will help to position nurtur.group as the market leader in providing the sector with PropTech products and services.”


UPSTIX: Will the new iBuyer concept catch on in the UK housing market?

Proportunity

Giles Mackay is the founder of UPSTIX a service for vendors who want to sell their property asset in as little as seven days. The company was created in 2021 and is based in London. It has raised £250 million and is moving forward to roll the service out to the general public.

It replicates in part the iBuying model that was prevalent from 2016 across the pond in America, pioneered with differing success by Zillow, Opendoor and Offerpad. 

For those who are unaware, the iBuyer concept is based upon a property being bought in by a company at a known price, allowing the vendor a quick exit with cash. The iBuyer then sells the property at a later point hopefully for more money, covering all costs and generating profit for the stakeholders of the company.   

There have been many variations and models of iBuying, but at its core is the fact that the property has to be bought by the iBuyer at the correct level. And having seen property markets vacillate I am unsure how an iBuyer model can ever insulate itself from a falling market. 

All I think is that maybe some of the investors in UPSTIX have not heard what happened to the behemoth American iBuyer Zillow in November 2021, when it stopped being an iBuyer overnight Due to having $569 million worth of debt as it had bought properties in at the wrong value, and they had to make 25% of their workforce redundant.

In a buoyant market buying property assets is an easy gamble, the second the market fluctuates, and all housing markets fluctuate, the iBuyer gets stuck with a huge amount of housing stock at prices they cannot afford to sell on.

Algorithms are great, but they are just a set of rules and outcomes, as Zillow found, and it is the variables that are not factored in that kill off a business venture. All of my property technology and fintech client founders of course use them, but the iBuyer model is a casino model which pays out for a while, then makes all stakeholders a lot poorer.

For some vendors, it is a great way to sell quickly, but when markets turn sitting on thousands of properties that drop in value by 5%, can mean huge losses for the operator, however good the original coding is.


Phil Spencer allies with Sprift for top tier property data

Treasured property icon Phil Spencer has just announced that his new upgraded reporting on Move iQ, a service launched five years ago, will be powered by data supplied by Sprift, a company that is fast becoming known as the authority for property data in the UK. 

Many property practitioners are already using Sprift in one form or another, to win instructions or increase market share, for example, but what is now becoming apparent is that the vast amount of property data that they hold can power real estate facing operations in other ways.   

Speaking about the tie-up with Sprift, Phil spencer said: “What I’m really excited about with our new reports is that the data and improved design provides consumers with property facts digitally, in a concise and understandable way. This is thanks to Sprift’s innovative approach to delivering accurate data, quickly.”

Matt Gilpin, founder of Sprift, commented that he has worked tirelessly for over half a decade to develop the platform, in order to offer the most comprehensive source of data on UK properties.

“With the government driving for material information to be provided at the outset, and the consumer wanting it, it makes sense to arm the consumer with this upfront information, which is exactly what the Move iQ reports will do,” Gilpin said.

Matt Gilpin Sprift
Matt Gilpin

As both an editor and journalist who has written over 2,500 pieces on property technology and real estate, and also as a person who runs a consultancy for property technology founders, it is fair to say I have a pretty good grip as to what is happening in the space. I also need to make it clear that Matt Gilpin is one of my clients.

But this is not the reason that I have run this piece, reported by several other publications, rather I more than most have an authoritative view with regard to what good or excellent looks like in the provision of property data. And more importantly, the interface through which it is delivered. 

Take it from me, Sprift property data is grade A. The software that has been built to underpin the whole operation would, in and of itself, make it the perfect business partner not just for property agents, but anyone who needs the best datasets to power their businesses. Property technology companies or fintech companies who need top grade data to run their operations would benefit greatly, for example. 

If that sounds like you and you are in need of a solution, I am sure Matt Gilpin will be happy to tell you more. And if you do decide to do something with Matt and his team, be aware that I financially stand to gain nothing as the nature of my business is a consultancy rather than a reseller. Because of this, I can remain neutral when it comes to endorsing companies.


MyIdentity scheme moves forward with Financial Conduct Authority sandbox trial

The MyIdentity scheme that will ensure the home buying and selling process is a safer digital process, has moved a huge step forward through a collaboration with the Financial Conduct Authority.

Etive Technologies Limited, founded by Stuart Young, will be participating in the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) regulatory sandbox. The regulatory sandbox allows firms to test innovative offerings in a live environment. More information on the FCA’s regulatory sandbox can be found here.

etive logo

Since its Beta was first announced, MyIdentity has enjoyed solid progress with estate agents, conveyancers, brokers and lenders, who all welcome the scheme. 

The scheme for home buyers and sellers already has five leading identity providers participating and is set to become the central hub for consumers, to help them prove who they are only once throughout the whole process, and in a secure digital way too. 

Under the MyIdentity scheme, home buyers and sellers will no longer be repeatedly asked to give their details to all the parties involved in the chain of transactions. This move means quicker completions and more control over how consumers share their identity details and who they share their identity details with. 

Stuart Young

Stuart Young, Managing Director at Etive said: “For it to succeed, it is crucial that home buyers and sellers have full confidence in the MyIdentity scheme. We are making good progress within the sector, and we now want to go further by testing in the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) regulatory sandbox.  This will help brokers and lenders to adopt the MyIdentity standards in a more secure and controlled environment. 

“The Beta involves leading identity providers and our choice of using proven technology from Mvine underlines the priority we are placing on delivering a workable solution for the home buying and selling sector.”

The impetus behind the scheme is that the residential property industry, made up of estate agents, lawyers, conveyancers, financial brokers and mortgage lenders, will recognise MyIdentity as the acceptable method of identity verification because everyone will work to one set of Government-backed standards. 

For the residential property industry, the combined effect of reducing the number of identity verifications that a consumer must go through means happier customers and lighter administration processes, together with a better way of mitigating the risk of property and mortgage fraud.

myidentity scheme logo

Work on MyIdentity started in 2019, and this year looks set to be a defining year for the outfit as they work diligently to improve the home buying process for consumers and the industry. The current Beta is focused on improving standards around identity, which is key to this improvement, as a recent report by one identity service provider.

Onfido, highlighted that the average ID fraud rate was 5.9% over 2021, compared to an average rate of 4.1% in 2019. This has serious implications for the financial services sector as it looks to extinguish fraudulent activity once and for all.  

As the Prime Minister announced, foreign owners of UK property will be forced to declare their identities rather than hiding true ownership, and the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement Bill) will create a register upon which all foreign owners of UK property must declare their true beneficial ownership and verify their identity.  

Etive is a digital identity and property data technology company that has been working in identity verification since 2014, leading on the Digital Identity Trust Scheme for the Home Buying and Selling Sector project from November 2020 to April 2021, all while setting the parameters of what is required for a trust scheme.


Proptech & Property News Weekly Roundup in partnership with Estate Agent Networking

Andrew Stanton is the founder 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 of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.

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