Housing minister announces first ‘dragon’ to sit on property innovation council

‘Dragons’ will sit on a new property innovation council announced yesterday by current housing minister Esther McVey.

McVey unveiled the advisory council – largely aimed at new homes – during a visit to the Geovation offices which host a number of tech start-ups.

McVey met entrepreneurs to discuss how to “turbo-charge” the way in which technology is used to speed up the building and selling of homes.

Property entrepreneur Faisal Butt, founder and CEO of Pi Labs, a venture capital firm supporting others to innovate in the sector, will be the first expert to sit on the minister’s new council.

McVey also met Babek Ismayil, founder of OneDome, which links home buyers with estate agents, mortgage brokers and conveyancers.


Email the story to a friend


  1. Hillofwad71

    Is this the same Faisal Butt who was involved in the rise and fall of Emoov?
    “Less than five years later, on 30 May 2018 (a date I think will go down in history as the tipping point for the rise of the digital estate agents), Emoov surprised everyone, leading an industry-defining merger, pulling together rival online agents Tepilo and Urban into a £105m deal, positioning it as the industry’s consolidator and potentially the biggest threat to the market incumbents.
    The journey from £1m to £100m has been one hell of a ride, packed full of surprise, suspense, fear, and nerve-wrecking danger. It has not been a ride for the faint-hearted, but the founder and his team have done a stellar job at maintaining the resolve to get us through to the other side.
    As I now step off the board and pass on the baton to new investors and board members, I have reflected back to the early days of Emoov and have attempted to share below the highlights of some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way”
    One gets to see the early excitement surrounding the founder and his idea, but also many of the trip-ups that come with corporate childhood. As an early stage investor, I’ve had the honour to work alongside Russell Quirk as his first investor and board director and see him grow from a novice to a seasoned and savvy CEO. I’ve seen incessant churn and sickening volatility.”



    “But all that was necessary to get the company to where it is today – an undisputed number two and a credible IPO candidate, gearing up to take on the infamous Purple Bricks. ”



  2. GPL


    “All aboard The Magic Bus” shouted Esther McVey.


    We clearly must now be living in a twilight zone where these types of “roles” are created then filled with the absolute minimum of due diligence.

    ……..Politicians? It’s hard to take them seriously as they stumble along, seemingly incapable of making normal decisions.


  3. mattfaizey

    Is anybody truly surprised when advisory roles are filled with people who only seem good at shallow glance?


  4. GPL

    I give you “Exhibit No 1”…..  
    ”Ladies & Gentleman….. Boris Johnson”    

  5. AgencyInsider

    Another political gimmick that will have lots of lovely meetings and do b*gger all good.

    Note to Ms McVey – Leave the secondhand homes market alone and get on with giving local authorities, not private companies, the money and means to build large quantities of the social housing to replace the ‘family silver’ sold off by Thatcher in the 1980s in her cynical bid to win votes.

  6. PeeBee

    Somebody please escort Ms McVey to the door…

    She seems to have lost her way.

  7. Trevor Kent

    I’m at a dinner with Esther as the speaker shortly and, as a former NAEA President (for what that’s worth these days!!!), I’ve been offered a question – anyone want to suggest what it should be? Cheers all, Trevor (formally known as a little estate agent) Kent.

    1. PeeBee

      Mr Kent
      If I may suggest
      “Why are the industry ‘authorities’, appointed or endorsed by the Government to regulate, allowing certain unethical/unprofessional/illegal practices to carry on unchecked by certain companies?”

      1. PeeBee

        On second thought, maybe not.
        I’d hate to be responsible for spoiling her dinner.

    2. Estate Agent W1

      I have one question, why not appoint someone who really knows about property rather than someone who has access to other peoples monies and is just a gambler!!

      1. PeeBee

        I have asked Ms McVey pretty much exactly that this morning via Twitter: @EstherMcVey1 why employ so-called “dragons” with best part of bu99er all knowledge or commitment to the cause when you have the perfect person in your cabinet already – .@kevinhollinrake – who knows exactly which buttons to press to make the housing market work better?


You must be logged in to report this comment!

Comments are closed.

Thank you for signing up to our newsletter, we have sent you an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Additionally if you would like to create a free EYE account which allows you to comment on news stories and manage your email subscriptions please enter a password below.