Innovation is critical for any business, in any sector. The facts are compelling. Rewind to the 1950s and no top 10 Fortune 500 company from that time still exists today. They’ve either been gobbled up, folded or sold on as a new incarnation.
Property is no different; adapt or die is the underlying ethos. This is why we’ve just launched a new online-only platform that appeals to both buyers and sellers, branded 574. writes Ezra Nahome, CEO at Lambert Smith Hampton.
It’s clear technology continues to change the way in which we all interact and buy services. It must be embraced to achieve better outcomes. No industry can afford to stand still, so we’re taking the ‘bull by the horns’ to focus exclusively online.
The benefits of this approach are multi-faceted. Why sell in a room of 500 people when you can open up property lots to the world. Clients crave and demand complete transparency – 574 delivers this in spades. The benefits don’t stop there. It also delivers the best price, is better value than the ballroom and once the ‘place bid’ button is clicked, the auction closes and contracts are exchanged. This certainty is highly appealing to both sellers and buyers. No more delays and no more deals collapsing. The absolute cherry on the top is speed to market – we can list and transact in days, not hang about for the next ballroom fixed date and time.
Our 574 platform takes the form of eBay-style selling. Bidders are vetted thoroughly online and, once approved, are free to bid on any property on the day of sale. It’s a very simple, instant and clear way to transact.
We’ve been piloting our online auctions and one thing is certain – it delivers. On average we’ve sold properties at 18% above expectation, on behalf of our clients. These clients span private and public companies, large and small, and the public sector of which we are the largest player in the UK. To date we’ve sold more than 60 properties, varying in lot size from £20,000 to £11 million. Our network of national offices is key too. It means, unlike a start-up, we continue to provide in-depth advice with the benefit of the localised property knowledge that clients seek.
Our early success means a host of our clients are already moving exclusively with this strategy including the Ministry of Defence (now known as the Defence Infrastructure Organisation). The transparency of our online platform is a key feature for the public sector.
To drive our 574 proposition further forward, we are placing an even bigger emphasis on all of our marketing platforms including social media. We continue to build our database of global investors, which already totals more than 100,000, and we are utilising new and diverse channels of advertising including a go-to-market strategy for our clients that enables everyone who might be interested in a particular property to be reached. After all, we want everyone, everywhere to be able to access the market. No barriers to entry should exist anymore.
The dynamic of giving quality professional advice won’t change – it will still be given by people. So, if you want to sell your property in a way that has the fewest barriers to entry, the greatest transparency and the best outcome possible, online is the way. It is a new-age way for both seller and buyer to be assured that they are fundamentally getting the best value. The commercial property sector has been one of the slowest sectors to embrace technology, but change is finally here with 574.