• Transform magazine
  • November 19, 2017

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'Proptech' platform Settled rebrands real estate transactions

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Irritating and obtrusive, estate agent fees are nonetheless considered by those in the rental and purchasing sectors as an unavoidable aspect of the house move process. However, the recent emergence of a property sector driven by technology, dubbed ‘proptech,’ is disrupting the traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ notion of estate agents along the high street. With it, the arduous monetary and bureaucratic process behind buying or renting is slowly being replaced with a customer-first approach.

One such challenger, Settled, works by charging a fixed fee per transaction, and arranging its viewings and offers solely via an online portal. Established in 2016 by sister and brother team Gemma Young and Paul Young, the company refutes the red tape- and fee-heavy property market in favour of a future-facing, customer friendly approach to buying and selling real estate. To extend its positive property message the company has today announced a rebrand of its existing platforms, including a new logo and website, based on its digital-first vision.

By articulating a calmer and more streamlined buying process through its rebrand, Settled hopes to instil the joy and excitement it felt the house buying process often lacks. “We profoundly understand the problems that lead to breakages in the real estate journey and care deeply about home buyers and sellers,” says Gemma Young, CEO and co-founder of Settled. "It’s for that reason that Settled has focused on fixing the problems in real estate. Ultimately this means thinking outside of the box and building a different model.”

Paul Young, CMO and co-founder of Settled agrees. For Paul, it was integral for Settled to reintroduce the emotional part of house buying into the process – and dispelling the myths which bad estate agent experiences have helped create. “As a business our vision is to make this hugely emotional journey for home buyers and sellers, seamless and stress-free,” says Paul. “Our new visual identity captures the human and emotional side of the home moving process – it’s an expression of what it means to feel Settled.”

And, says Paul, the rebrand's focus should resonate further than Settled's new and existing customers. Hopefully, such innovation will lead to an acknowledgement of the need to rebrand the entire real estate sector. “Looking ahead, we’ll continue developing and improving our software to enable and nurture the interaction between buyers and sellers, and to give our customers assurance that their home sale or purchase will happen the way they want it to. In the future, people should be able to buy and sell homes in moments, not months.”

Settled has introduced new features including ‘Strengthen & Secure,’ a function designed to bring buyers and sellers closer together once an offer has been made. A completion pledge protects the offer agreement and both parties’ commitments to completion, leading to stronger positions for all involved.

Gemma continues, “It’s no surprise that the government is looking at ways to bolster the economy in the wake of Brexit. A more fluid property market will ultimately result in higher levels of property transactions and increased economic contributions. Property, legal and financial companies all have a responsibility to allow transactions to flow more easily. There’s never been a better time to innovate.”

Online-based estate agent platforms dominate the market; it’s time for innovative, digital-first platforms to disrupt traditional models of property purchasing, selling and renting. With Settled recently securing £1.2 million funding from venture capital firms Connect Ventures and Piton Capital, and listing around £500 million since its launch, improving the customer experience through creating harmonious processes is resonating. Hopefully transparency, and with it trust, continue to be a priority for new and existing property platforms.

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