Huge swaths of UK industry could have come to a complete standstill from the pandemic. However, the real estate market has defied all expectations.
Thanks to a stamp duty vacation, a rush in the countryside, and a chronic housing shortage in many areas, prices continue to rise.
Speaking of Zoom from his home office in Battersea, South West London, Charlie Bryant, CEO of Zoopla, tells me that his company is already working hard to find new ways to simulate the real estate market and promote the UK’s passion for real estate.
Fast Lane: Charlie Bryant has seen a surge in demand at Zoopla
Zooplas Good Idea is a new database for each home, a kind of resume for your home, which Bryant says will encourage more homeowners to join the plum cottage race in the Cotswolds and Chiltern Hills.
The website, called My Home, allows homeowners to view and edit a page dedicated to their property and keep track of other homes they might want to buy – even when they are not in the market.
“A little more than a million people move home every year, but that is meaningless compared to the ten million people who are active on real estate portals every month,” says the head of the online real estate giant.
“If we can help them provide the information they need to turn that goal into a transaction, it will be an important part of driving this industry forward.”
Each page lists all the details about this property, as well as photos and reviews. It also shows a timeline of important events for the property, such as: B. Sales information, historical floor plans, and home improvement.
Ten million Britons are active on real estate portals
Bryant says, ‘This site provides encyclopedic knowledge of everything a homeowner or potential homeowner needs to know about the home they own or want to buy. We also let people track properties they are interested in so they can keep coming back to them and see what’s going on in the neighborhood. ‘
Homeowners can sign up for their own home on the page and add details of renovations and any important documents they may need for the sale. You can then reach out to a broker for a review and quickly pass it on to the broker with the documents ready to expedite a sale when the time is right.
“It currently takes an average of 14 weeks to sell a home in the UK,” says Bryant. “We need to speed up this process, and in the years to come My Home will play a role with other Zoopla products, such as those that make mortgage drawing faster.”
Zoopla has around 19,400 brokerage branches at its location, Rightmove 19,197
Zoopla already stores a lot of data on its main website. But My Home offers a far more complete and colorful view of the property market, and encourages homeowners to update their listing even if they are not considering moving.
The company generates its income from real estate agents listing properties on the website and selling software to them. If My Home generates more sales for agents, it will attract more to be listed on Zoopla.
The portal has around 19,400 broker branches on its website, while Rightmove has 19,197. Bryant believes his team’s data literacy will continue to add to their numbers. And he believes the property market will continue to be buoyant as people continue to compete for space in the UK’s most attractive rural areas.
“We see an 80 percent higher demand than in the same period in previous years,” he says.
Great swing to commuter and country properties
‘As long as that demand exceeds supply, the real estate market will remain strong. And we’ve seen a big boom towards commuter properties and the rural hinterland.
“There have been over 50 expressions of interest for every home for sale in the Cotswolds. People rethink their lifestyle, they don’t have to be in the office every day of the week. ‘
The tech industry is still surging from Deliveroo’s disastrous IPO when the take-away company’s shares rose 30 percent on its IPO. However, 51-year-old Bryant, who served as an investment banker for 14 years, believes other tech companies will continue to want to break into the London market.
“Every company has its own specifics and I don’t think this shows any bad technical relationships between UK investors and UK companies,” he says.
‘There has always been a popular belief that European tech investors don’t understand the industry the way US investors do. But you can see that people are benefiting from the success of big tech icons like Ocado.
“The city recognizes that the UK is a service economy and that it can make a real difference in technology. I think the city can see the returns for investors, but valuation of tech companies is never easy because they are so fast growing. ‘
Charlie Bryant, 51
family: Wife and three children.
book: The hard thing about hard things, by Ben Horowitz.
restaurant: Daphne’s, Italian restaurant in South Kensington, London.
Movie: The 1999 remake of Thomas Crown Affair (above).
Hobbies: DIY and renovation properties.
Ideal vacation: Zanzibar, after the lockdown.
Bryant was the managing director of the real estate data firm Hometrack before it was acquired by Zoopla in 2017, and soon after became head of the larger group.
Since Bryant took over Zoopla, the company has been on a hiring frenzy, recruiting 258 new employees since the initial lockdown – a third of its current workforce.
He is excited to see so many new people joining the company, but he has not yet met any of them in person. Some started returning to the London offices last week, but they won’t be full until September.
Bryant still works primarily from his Battersea home office, and he says employees will be able to work from home in the future.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know all of the new colleagues, and I hope they really want to get to know us,” he says.
‘But every job will now be flexible by default. We know that a lot of the best innovation happens face-to-face, but there are times when employees don’t have to be in the office, such as when they are in the office. B. When software developers want to write upside down to write code. It will be a little experimental though. We don’t have all the answers yet. ‘
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