In a new episode of The Home Stretch podcast, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, Iain McKenzie, speaks to Jamie Cooke, co-founder of iamproperty, about the latest news of their new private equity partner, Perwyn, and the importance of offering consumers the luxury of choice when selling their homes.
McKenzie opens the conversation by commenting, “last week there was a big announcement about some investment into your organisation, do you want to tell us all about that?” To which Cooke responds, “we have been going through the project for six or seven months. My business partner and fellow co-founder of iamproperty, Ben Ridgway and I took an initial round of investment in the business in 2019 from LDC, which is a private equity division of Lloyds Bank, that invested in a minority stake in the business. This really helped us on our growth trajectory. We went on a great journey with them for four years, and probably trebled the size of the business on most levels in that timeframe. But last week we shook hands with LDC and welcomed a new partner in the form of Perwyn, another really exciting private equity business. They have bought in on a minority stake to support the next phase of the growth of iamproperty, which is hugely exciting. They are a very ambitious firm and are very focussed on technology businesses, and technology forms a huge part of the iamproperty service offering. They really buy into what we are trying to do in terms of the transactional process for the UK.”
Cooke goes on to say, “we are looking at lots of different ways we can help agents. Iain you know better than I do, agents pains at the moment include transaction times, the transactional process, and the route to cash. There are not many businesses out there where you sell something or deliver your service, and then you don’t get paid for 150 or 160 days. It is a challenging environment that agents are operating in and our objective through iamproperty is to try and improve that process through technology and through service.”
McKenzie and Cooke go on to discuss how iamproperty’s Modern Method of Auction solution, iamsold, can go some way into supporting agents in the UK by offering their vendors an additional option on instruction. McKenzie asks, “how does the Modern Method of Auction differ from traditional auctions?” To which Cooke responds, “traditional is the more well-trodden path and historically was a chap banging a gavel, but fundamentally the process would have meant that upon the fall of the hammer, or the close of an online auction, contracts were deemed to exchange, and the seller and the buyer would be granted a fixed time frame for completion. That could be as little as seven days but more commonly you would see 14 to 28 days for completion. That’s great. But what we found is that it didn’t lend itself very well to the residential marketplace. It is very rigid, if you are required to exchange contracts immediately and complete within a month, typically you are talking about a cash buyer. Ultimately, we wanted to find a solution that took a hybrid between traditional auction and private treaty, which as we know can fall out of bed very easily, can take a long time and doesn’t give a level of security to anyone involved in the transaction. Rather than immediately exchanging contracts, we grant the buyer 56 days to exchange and complete, the key thing for us is that this allows a buyer to access traditional residential finance, such as a high street mortgage.”
To hear this conversation in full and find out how and why agents should consider online auction as part of their service offering, visit The Home Stretch podcast.