Cheltenham, 26th November 2015 – Some 16 years after selling his first Internet startup, serial entrepreneur Tim Hammond is backing the UK’s first Online Home-Buying Service, HomeDashboard, which seeks to be far more “disruptive” to the property market than any on-line agency model.
In 1996 Hammond struggled to persuade venture capitalists that online shopping was going to take off and that consumers would be happy to use their credit cards online. His Silicon Valley-based venture, Taxi, subsequently raised £2m and powered the shopping portals of several internet service providers before Hammond sold it to a public company for £12m.
“Our vision was to make online shopping safer and easier for consumers by providing easy access to over 1400 online stores in one place, with a single checkout process to prevent credit card fraud, not dissimilar to today’s PayPal. In the same way, HomeDashboard’s vision is to provide homebuyers with a much needed consumer-led end-to-end homebuying service”, said Hammond.
“It’s all about putting the buyer first by revisiting traditional homebuying processes, which have until now been seller-centric. That’s why I’m extremely excited about backing Founder Jonathan Harris and his young and energetic team at HomeDashboard, and their mission to become the consumer champion brand for the homebuyer.”
Harris says; “We believe the UK property market needs to evolve to properly meet the needs of the digitally connected consumer. So we set about making it easy, efficient and enjoyable – from search to completion, all in one place”.
“The home-buying process is ripe for a shake-up”, says Hammond. HomeDashboard aims to redefine the way people buy homes just as other market sectors have been disrupted by new brands, such as Uber, Airbnb and Just Eat. “What these companies all have in common is that they utilise existing infrastructures to create a consumer-focused service that makes the buying experience better, whilst providing new opportunities for suppliers (in this case estate agents)”, says Hammond.
“Online estate agents aren’t the answer. In fact, they just offer a cheaper, often sub-standard, version of what already exists, or they help people try to sell privately, which has never really worked”, says Hammond. “They won’t succeed in taking a large share of the market as they haven’t considered the ultimate end user – the consumer. That’s not market disruption! True customer-centric ‘disruptors’ like Amazon Prime have focused on the most efficient and enjoyable service rather than the cheapest.” Says Hammond
He continued “the traditional homebuying process is far too clunky for the digital-age consumer who is used to getting immediate access to a comprehensive range of relevant products. We’ve now brought this concept to the property market.
“With HomeDashboard every home is a prospective purchase, in the same way that every spare room is a prospective room to rent with AirBNB, and everyone with a car a prospective Uber taxi driver.”
Founder Jonathan Harris says; “We’re not building another portal or online estate agency but instead something far more useful for the consumer. Traditional property portals only provide the homebuyer with tools to browse properties online and are little more than an online magazine that allows the homebuyer to window-shop before embarking on the homebuying process. HomeDashboard goes much further than this, so the whole transaction, from viewings to completion, can now be managed through a web-based application, supported by a team of experienced property professionals”.
What makes HomeDashboard truly unique is that the entire home-buying process can be managed online. Users drag’n’drop properties to their shortlist from any source, including multiple portals, estate agency websites, social media etc. They can then automatically book viewings centrally with multiple agents via an interactive calendar, arrange surveys, and place offers online in conjunction with the advice, assistance and expert negotiation skills of HomeDashboard’s dedicated team. These are specialist negotiators who empower the buyer with a “Ready-to-Buy” certificate, detailed market analysis and unique anti-gazumping offer documentation. They work on a “no saving-no-fee” basis and will also liaise with mortgage brokers, surveyors and conveyancers to ensure a more efficient and enjoyable home purchase. Owners of off-market properties can also be approached through the app.
HomeDashboard is all about empowering buyers, guiding them through the process, helping them save a considerable amount of money and ensuring they are as well represented as the seller, all from a single dashboard – MyHomeDashboard.com.