BREAKING PROPERTY NEWS – 19/01/2022
Daily bite-sized proptech and property news in partnership with Proptech-X.
Agent & Homes opens second London hub to support its agents
Just three months after opening its first high street hub in Ladbroke Grove, Agent & Homes has opened a second hub in Islington.
Rollo Miles, the founder of the ground-breaking platform for agents, says the idea is simple: “Where we already have strong self-employed Agents on the ground working and gaining market share, we then parachute a local hub into their patch to support them. This gives them extra presence, and helps them gain more market share by tapping into potential clients who do not know them personally. They also get increased marketing and brand presence by having a local branded hub in which to welcome clients.”
However, the company is clear that these local hubs are not traditional high street offices, the design of them is all about the home and the welcome, creating links with local vendors and landlords.
The new hubs are an addition to the company’s growing online presence, intended to add a new dimension to the platform and take advantage of the changes in local habits.
“It’s about attracting localized people seeking to do property,” says Nathan Kinder, the principal of the new Islington Hub.
“Not only do we have boards up, or our branded classic cars zooming about, but we also have a local presence to welcome residents in, so they get a better and clearer idea of what we are about. This local bespoke service, with all the added benefits of the best tech tools and modern thinking, which is our twist – we are traditional agents but also very tech savvy and above all consumer-service focused.”
Miles adds: “As we come out of Covid and the economy starts to open-up, what we all want to do is work in the new world in which we find ourselves. Increasingly many of us are working from home, so our local high streets have been re-discovered by their inhabitants.
“Who now get to spend more time in the local coffee shops or delis, and therefore having that extra local presence and being able to invite a client for a coffee and a property catch up is more important than ever.
“What is crucial is cementing ourselves as true local agents – our agents live and work in their patch and are therefore the best people to introduce the area to new tenants or buyers.’
“The company is also looking to expand, Agent and Homes is also currently looking for new sites all over London to support their agents, to add brand visibility and credibility and build on all the challenging work to date.
“This new initiative will also give the company’s self-employed agents a clear career path of growth, for those who want to take their business to the next level.”
PRESS RELEASE: Mortgage Lenders get behind digital identity scheme to make home buying and selling a safe digital process
MyIdentity announces Bluestone Mortgages has joined its trust scheme
LONDON AND EDINBURGH – 19 JANUARY 2022: Etive Limited, coordinators of the MyIdentity scheme for home buying and selling, announce today that Bluestone Mortgages has confirmed its participation in the digital identity scheme. Bluestone Mortgages, a fast-growing non-bank lender specialising in complex credit, specialist lending, self-employed, credit-impaired and contractors, is working as part of the scheme’s pilot test project. The pilot runs from November 2021 to December 2022 and places the new scheme in pole position of private sector digital identity schemes in the UK.
The trust scheme for home buyers and sellers, called MyIdentity, is set to become the central hub for consumers, to help them prove who they are once only in a secure digital way. Under the 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. The move means quicker completions and more control over how they share their identity details and who they share their identity details with.
Andrew Davies, Chief Compliance Officer at Bluestone Mortgages, said: “We’re delighted to join the digital identity trust scheme and work with the team at MyIdentity on this crucial pilot. We recognise the importance of digital identity and the need to provide home buyers and sellers with more control over their details. By being part of this scheme, at a time when more people are turning to specialist lenders, we will continue our mission to further streamline the mortgage process in a safe and secure way.”
Stuart Young, Managing Director at Etive said: “The MyIdentity trust scheme has attracted a leading non-bank lender to work with us during the pilot. Bluestone Mortgages is a key name in mortgage lending, specialising in complex credit, specialist lending. I expect we will be able to welcome more lenders, including building societies and banks, into the pilot in the new year.”
The Residential Property industry, made up of estate agents, solicitors and conveyancers, financial intermediaries and mortgage lenders will recognise MyIdentity as the acceptable source 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.
Work on MyIdentity started in 2019 and 2022 is set to be a defining year in which to help improve the home buying and process for consumers. The current beta work 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 to increase the barriers to fraud. As more people continue to transact online, fraudsters are following suit, which requires the industry to continue working together in order to bring about improvements to the mortgage lending process and to increase the barriers to fraud.