PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’ Weekly Roundup: epropservices | Boomin | Lendlord

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

Digital lead generator LeadPro acquired by epropservices

Jon Cooke, CEO of epropservices

The brand and technology provider to the property sector epropservices has announced its acquisition of Property Technology Ltd, better known as LeadPro, a lead generation platform used by the UK’s largest estate agencies. This latest acquisition, backed by Toscafund, will enable more estate agents to access the latest digital marketing and lead generation technology.

Jon Cooke, CEO of epropservices, says: “In the last three years over 400 of our customers have integrated the LeadPro marketing tech into their businesses and it’s provided them with a significant commercial advantage. Bringing LeadPro into the group will make integrating the latest digital customer journey technology more accessible for estate agents and place epropservices as a leader in the Proptech space.”

LeadPro provides marketing and lead generation software that helps them book more valuations, grow market share, digitalise customer journeys, impress applicants and modernise branch management. Including an online valuation tool, portal lead responder, on-demand telephony prospector, social media marketing service and a lead management dashboard with a team performance league table.

Sam Zawadzki, CEO of LeadPro, “The merger will allow us to have access to a larger development team and more resources for investing in new tech and faster product development, which means greater product selection for both existing and future clients.” he comments.

Sam will also become Chief Product Officer within epropservices, to enable better integration between agents’ websites and LeadPro, and the scale of the deal will also make it much easier for the platform to integrate with CRMs.

Toscafund and epropservices director, Matthew Siebert adds: “As epropservices’ majority shareholder, Toscafund is very pleased to support the group’s endeavour to build Britain’s leading proptech services provider to the estate agency community. This acquisition further ensures that epropservices can deliver a full suite of digital tools to its clients.”

Boomin and 10,000 valuation leads generated by SmartVal

As the relentless media campaign around Boomin trundles on, including its multi-million pound spend on television and across other communication channels, so too does the potency of its newly launched offering for estate agents – SmartVal, a digital lead generation behemoth.

In a very short period, Boomin’s SmartVal has generated over 10,000 unique leads for its user agents, which it says translates (in some cases) into a market appraisal request from a potential vendor in just seven minutes. In a marketplace with scant new inventory coming to the market, this could be a very useful piece of kit. 

Michael Bruce, the founder of Purplebricks and founder of Boomin has gone on record to say that SmartVal will have further iterations and that Boomin is “the true home of innovation and the smart choice for agents, who are looking to reset the balance of power in the industry, something which in my mind is absolutely crucial for the future success of independent agents who are currently seeing uncontrollable and unsustainable demands from other portals on fees.”

Simplify acquires Pirie Palmann, grows team by 33% 

In what is now a common post-pandemic strategy, corporate giants are buying their way forward in the arms race. Simplify, already believed to be the biggest conveyancer, has just bought out Pirie Palmann, adding over 80 new members to the Simplify team.

The reason that the Simplify brand has managed to scale is that it really believes in software efficiency and replacing analogue with digital. Conveyancing is a paper-heavy industry, so their reasoning is if you’re investing in better tech, you’re going to get ahead of the game.

It’s not just the extra skilled workforce that Simplify has gained, it’s the clientele that Pirie Palmann has built up over the years, too.

CEO of Simplify Robert Grimshaw said: “The acquisition of Pirie Palmann is a great match for Simply Conveyancing as its experienced team and commitment to quality reflect our own values. Together, we are a formidable force in the sector and a highly capable partner for referring agents. Our innovative approach to flexible ways of working and investment in technology mean we’re well positioned for rapid growth – Simply and Pirie Palmann are facing the future with confidence, and we are excited for the next steps.”

Lendlord solves a huge problem for landlords

Targeting the semi-professional and unprofessional landlord space, Lendlord is getting a huge amount of traction. As Aviram Shahar, Landlord’s co-founder puts it: “We’re very good for newcomer landlords because we have the ability to analyse new opportunities to make better decisions when you start to build and grow your portfolio. Also, Lendlord works well with portfolio landlords with more than five properties because they have many things to do and to manage in terms of the data and the cash flow.”

For context, Lendlord is a free app and online platform that gives landlords oversight, allowing for smarter management and greater optimisation of their portfolio, managing their tenants, tenancies, tracking expenses and income all in one place. Landlords can determine their best financing options, ideal when analysing new property acquisitions.

Out of all the pain points for landlords, they started the deck around the opaque problem of getting finance for investment properties; mortgages and re-mortgages for landlords. 

“This was the first problem that we found, like the property investor or landlord, it’s problematic for them to get financed, because there’s so many rules, so many lenders, and each lender has its own approval criteria. And there are thousands of products out there. So how can they know which product is the best product?”

The Lendlord founders reasoned that if you wanted to automate the process of searching for the best finance for the landlord, there were a number of issues to overcome. Issue one, they would need to build the tech to profile each landlord in a bespoke manner.

Shahar said: “The most difficult problem was this, there was a need to collect all the data about the landlord so the personal information about the income and expenses, employment startups, all the things that debt lenders look at. And then on the other side we can collect all the property information. So if he owns a portfolio and he has some properties under a current limited company and some in private ownership.”

Issue two, just having data in a structured manner was not enough, so the founders had a brilliant idea to supercharge the service.

“We can take this data and do all the tests that the lenders do using the software we designed. So basically, we can stress this, the portfolio, we can take a look on the loan to value, the aggregated balance per lender, all the things we can do automatically with an algorithm that analyses the portfolio. And then we can match to the products that are now available; because lenders release new products on new rates every week.”

Shahar continued: “Because we have collected the data on his portfolio, we also know any penalties that he’s supposed to pay. So we can also calculate if it’s worth swapping finance around, you know, breaking the current deal. I think that the mortgage piece, was the original vision of the company. But then we realised okay, but we have a product that answers, all the other needs of the landlord. So, when the initial users started to onboard to the platform.

“They liked the idea that they can store all of the property details in a secure way in the cloud, which they can access it from anywhere. It became the dashboard of their portfolio in real time. And of course it was free.”

As I spoke with Aviram Shahar, I put on my proptech analyst hat and looked at the app and it is a great piece of kit. By my judgement, good fintech and proptech creates efficiencies, saves time and should be a source of truth. Lendlord does all of this. 

It knits together transactions to each unique property in a portfolio and its dashboard helps manage cash flow as banking transactions update in real time. 

Importantly, it gives landlords an ongoing profit and loss spectrum across the whole business. And, of course, it will digitally and gently prompt users on all things finance wise, like alerts as to when mortgages are ending, the best options on the market, who is the lender of choice, the rates, and even how much you can borrow.

Weekly proptech news in partnership with Estate Agent Networking

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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