PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’: Will Purplebricks go private | TDS & teclet tie-up

Andrew Stanton’s daily proptech & property news in association with Estate Agent Networking

Will Purplebricks delist from AIM and go private again?

Though Purplebricks is awash with cash at the bank, and in no way has any financial difficulties due to its cash upfront sell or do not sell model, its low share price on the AIM, a section of the LSE for smaller companies, means that its value as a company is low.

The so-called market capitalisation figure, the value of the company determined by its share price, is presently hovering around 20p. This means Purplebricks is vulnerable to someone wanting to take control of the business. 

The natural contender to take control might be Axel Springer, the huge German communications company that already has a 26% share of the company, and made an ill-fated purchase of shares when the share price was sky high some years ago. But it may sit on its hands. 

The big problem with Purplebricks is that although it has been a cash cow in terms of capital flooding through it, it has only once given a marginal profit, and most of that was a one-time sale of its Canadian operations for north of £2 million.  

So, who wants to be in control of a real estate company that does not make a profit, is likely to be fined for lettings irregularities and may have to defend against a class action regarding its employment model?

Poorly performing businesses in the estate agency space can be turned around. Look at the Connells group, who acquired Countrywide Plc, which delisted and converted to Limited rather than Plc status. 

The difference here with Countrywide is that after the assets of CW Plc were acquired, the new owners had a C-suite who actually knew how to run an agency business, and they started to do just that. Amazingly the business transformed in its first year. 

The problem with Purplebricks is that they need someone in the C-suite who actually can run an agency business. Remind me, what is Vic Darvey’s background? Maybe a CEO with agency credentials would be a start to close the disconnect from a user experience standpoint, and the realities of all the moving parts that agencies encompass.

The agency model is not rocket science, but somehow Purplebricks has turned into a science project that has gone wrong. Anyone becoming a controlling force of this business needs to have probably four key people who have the knowledge, vision and skills to push this company to its next stage. It is them who are the key, not who owns the business. 

Zara Stanton is up for a new role, maybe as an advisory?

TDS announces API integration with teclet to streamline tenancy deposits for agents

Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is delighted to announce that teclet, a wholly owned subsidiary of OnTheMarket plc, has integrated with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme’s (TDS) API.

The TDS API is designed to simplify the transfer of tenancy deposit data from a CRM database onto the deposit scheme platform. Historically, this process has been a manual and time-consuming task for letting agents, creating a duplication of work and an opportunity for human error. By automating this process, the API reduces unnecessary administration for agents, allowing them to focus on their core business.

The teclet automated portal supports letting agents in streamlining their operations and is both a pre-tenancy and property management solution which also encompasses end of tenancy deposit management, distribution of funds to the various parties involved, and debiting from the tenancy deposit. This platform works seamlessly with the TDS API software.

TDS Chief Executive Steve Harriott commented: “We understand how tiresome it can be for letting agents to duplicate administration data at the start of a tenancy. Through the development of TDS API, our tech team has ensured that the registration process is as streamlined as possible, to give agents and landlords an optimum start to their tenancies. Our goal is to continue to make tenancy deposit protection as fast, secure and compliant as possible.”

teclet Chief Executive Alan Blockley added: “This is another example of how productivity and compliance can be improved to everyone’s benefit with huge reductions in time by not duplicating data entry.” 

The TDS API is a feature that is available to all TDS agent members in both the Custodial and Insured schemes, as well as clients of teclet.

Steve Harriott concludes: “We pride ourselves on our service delivery and our commitment to make life easier for everyone in the lettings process. teclet’s integration with our API will enable that service delivery to improve further and benefit all stakeholders.”

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.

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