A service which allows tenants, landlords and agents to sign tenancy agreements online has raised a further £2m of investment in a bid to capture 10% market share of UK lettings agents by the end of this year.
Goodlord was founded two years ago by ex-Foxtons estate agent Richard White, and brothers Tom and Philip Mundy.
This Proptech facilitates taking deposits, completing referencing and signing agreements, all online.
Eye spoke to White who said that currently being it is used by 200 UK lettings agents, and the service is designed to eliminate admin and change lettings from a ‘come back to the office’ arrangement to one that could allow people to pay deposits and begin the referencing process immediately.
He added: “We take a lot of care in that process to make sure that it’s as simple as possible.
“The service is white labelled to the agency’s branding so it is a nice journey for the tenant with the agent brand that they know.”
According to White the idea came from conversations with co-founder Philip Mundy “before Proptech was a thing” and the decided to “focus on the pain of the rental deal being done”.
The ‘pain’ White describes comes from his own experience as an agent: “I’ve done five rentals, but now I’ve got five bits of paperwork to do. That means I have to be behind a computer doing the paperwork rather than out selling which I enjoy.”
He states Goodlord is about “letting people do what they’re good at and get more instructions, with more time to build relationships with their landlords”.
When asked about his two and a half years at Foxtons he described the experience as “learning about the property industry and lots that was good and bad”.
On estate agents he had this to say: “A lot of Proptech has that tinge of taking over as the new guard, with estate agents being portrayed as a dying breed. That’s not what we believe. We like estate agents, I used to be one. We see the value and that’s why we built a business around estate agents.”
Goodlord has previously raised undisclosed amounts from Charlotte Street Capital, who as a collection of angels followed on in this round.
The latest fundraising brings on board legendary investors Robin and Saul Klein, who while entrepreneurs in their own right have backed everything worth mentioning in London, including Zoopla.
The capital raised will be “spent on staff and developing the platform; hiring aggressively, bringing out a mobile app for agents to use on their phone”.
We asked White about the press release from Goodlord mentioning £97bn private rent flows in the UK, which seemed high – our back of a fag packet: £764pcm average UK rent x 12 months x 4m private rented households = £36.7bn in annual rent paid to private landlords.
While he couldn’t put his finger on the source of the number, overestimating the size of the market isn’t the only bold statement White makes about Goodlord’s prospects when he says, “If we had launched two years ago, we would have found it hard to change the way estate agencies are doing their day-to-day business.
“Now they have to change to survive.”
Cost: £50 per month per office
Benefits: At this price, it’s incredibly good value – essentially replaces a lettings administrator (£12k-£18k a year) with a £600 a year subscription.
Possible downside: There’ll be a lot of lettings administrators out of work if this catches on.
The verdict: Getting rid of admin and offering a better service to landlords and tenants by signing documents online should be a win.