A second “Purplebricks style” lettings and property management portal that will offer its services through a network of local experts with their own dedicated postcode across the UK has announced that it is set to launch this year.
The portal, called apropos, will go live in the second quarter of this year and will provide a system through which agents provide tenancy agreements, referencing and inventory checks, and where tenants can report maintenance issues and landlords can track rent collection and property information.
Lettings agent D.J. Alexander is setting up the portal. While the firm is based in Scotland, the new offering will roll out across the whole of the UK.
As EYE has already reported (link below), a lettings and management business called Accommodation is also planning a launch in the first part of this year, with local property experts key to its strategy. The offering has not been announced in detail but sounds very similar to what apropos is planning.
David Alexander, managing director of apropos, said the firm is looking for licensed business partners who will get their own postal territory, with the back office provided by the portal.
Users will become apropos agents but will be able to use their own branding if they wish.
Alexander said agents will share some of the commission earned once they reach a certain level.
He told EYE: “The agent becomes a licensed business partner.
“Like Purplebricks, they will manage their own territory and keep a percentage of the commission.
“We will only start taking a share of the commission once they get to a reasonable level.”
He said he is hoping to have 15 to 20 agents on board by launch, with the aim of recruiting 100 this year and between 500 and 600 eventually to cover the whole of the UK.
Alexander, who currently runs a lettings and property consultancy business with his brother John in Edinburgh and Glasgow, said the aim is to roll out the technology initially in those cities as well as Manchester, Liverpool and London.
He said property management currently can be too “adversarial,” adding: “Our new platform uses a standardised system to ensure that no matter where in the UK the service is delivered, the experience and ease of use remains the same.
“Apropos will provide 24-hour access for tenants and landlords to input and access data. Both tenant and landlord can view all relevant information and monitor responses and actions directly. This ensures that all participants know exactly what is going on at any time.
“Our mission is to set a new standard in property management and to ensure that the rental experience is beneficial to all involved.
“Key to this is not simply the software – our service will be supported by our experienced head office staff and our growing network of apropos business partners.”