Tributes paid to pioneering founder of estate agency software provider

Tributes have been paid to Stewart Anderson, founder and previous owner of Aspasia Software (now MRI Sales and Lettings).

Stewart Anderson

The senior sales director of MRI Real Estate Software, Trevor Youens, shared the following with EYE:

“Stewart was a trailblazer in the need for a fully cloud-based solution for our sector. Stewart first met Larry Ellison of Oracle fame in the mid 90’s when the Internet was just something that Tim Berners Lee had been espousing the benefits of. Stewart attended a conference in Reading Berkshire and immediately returned to his office and advised the entire staff base, including his own wife Lesley that the company business strategy for SPA Microsystems Limited was pivoting almost immediately away from its current model to become a provider of cloud-based Software. Arguably cloud-based was a term that didn’t even exist at that time.

“Over the course of the following few months Stewart and Lesley began to establish connections in various sectors and it rapidly became clear that a major opportunity existed in the estate agency market. Many incumbent suppliers were issuing both software and updates to their software via floppy discs which were plugged into a computer in the corner of the office and the concept of networked offices running through a central server was still rare.

“Over the course of the next five years, Stewart and Lesley worked tirelessly to promote the message of web-based software often relying on dial-up lines as these were the days before ADSL.

“A bastion of the early Property Computer Show days, originating in Earls Court and then in future years migrating to the Business Design Centre, SPA Microsystems limited quickly changed its name to the more recognisable Aspasia brand.  The company continued to grow successfully over the following years, with Stewart and Lesley handing over the day-to-day running to Trevor Youens, who to this day remains in the business.  They sold to Qube Global Software (Now MRI) in 2012, which started a new chapter for the product

“The original Aspasia product now known as MRI Sales and Lettings still forms the foundation of the Sales and Lettings offering from MRI and Stewart has to be credited with being responsible for establishing a robust and scalable solution utilised by many of the country’s leading Sales and Lettings agents.

“In retirement Stewart travelled extensively and indulged his love of both fast cars and fast boats whilst delighting in watching his family grow. Survived by his wife Lesley, four daughters and 8 grandchildren Stewart will be remembered as one of the very earliest protagonists of cloud-based software and it would not be inaccurate to say that he should be recognised as a true visionary in the PropTech space, he will be missed.”



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  1. Robert King

    Lovely tribute Trevor. Stewart was passionate about technology and definitively was a visionary. He put everything on the line at the beginning to create Aspasia in the late 90s knowing that was the future and how right he was!

  2. Robert_May

    This is a huge shock and sadness. I have  very fond memories of my meetings and competition with Stewart and Lesley. I was envious of their technology and what they’d built.

    In October 2001 I came back from PCS and was rather insistent  we  either bought  Spa or emulated the tech. It’s a measure of how advanced Aspasia was that 3 years later my tech team gave up and started again, then 5 years later they were getting  close and all these years later it still isn’t as it should be.


    BIG RESPECT for a true innovator and thoroughly nice bloke

  3. Whaley

    Very sad to hear this news, when Trevor told me.

    Ostensibly we were competitors for long periods of our respective careers but it never felt that way with Stewart. He was never other than the perfect gentleman and win or lose (I tended to lose most of the time) he’d always have a word with you.

    Clearly did something very revolutionary in the early days with Aspasia and saw the increasing importance of lettings way before most did. In the early days we couldn’t get anywhere near them given how advanced they worked the software in double quick time.

    I think Robert and Trev have nailed this far better than I could ever do but what he did survivces as so many agents are still using the software evolved as it now has around the country.

    You may have left us Stewart but your legacy lives on.


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