Online auctions saw a remarkable 35% surge in property sales last year. Check out more of our Auction Success stories in our yearly round-up.
Tech of a Life Edition One: Meet our Founders
Let’s discuss: Balancing tech and collaboration in the property industry
This special launch edition leads with a ‘Meet our Founders’ piece interviewing Ben Ridgway and Jamie Cooke, as well as a fantastic roundtable discussion featuring industry heavyweights Joe Pepper of tmgroup, Beth Rudolph of The Conveyancing Association, Gareth Samples of TPFG and David Beaumont of Compliance Matters, discussing topical industry trends, focusing on how collaboration and technology can help Estate Agents face their key challenges
An interview with Ben Ridgway and Jamie Cooke
From day one it’s been about
modernising the property market
and improving the home buying and
selling process for everyone.
Why did you start iamproperty?
We started the business in 2009 because we spotted a gap in the market for a property auction service that benefited both Estate Agents and consumers. Our auction services business, iamsold was the first part of the story – we pioneered the Modern Method of Auction because we wanted to bring speed and security to the market. Over the years we have developed industry-specific compliance solutions and Private Treaty services, which support our overall offering to agents and deliver our vision to modernise the property market. We’re now the UK’s largest residential auctioneer and last year we launched the UK’s first onboarding and sales progression platform to the market. From day one it’s been about improving the home buying and selling process for everyone, and we’ve got ambitious innovation plans over the next five years.
What problems do you solve for the industry?
The industry is tired of continuously having to ask the same questions over and over. The process is slow and fragmented with lots of duplication and many antiquated procedures. We have a team of almost 300 people across the UK, so it’s not just about technology – our people are what makes us special. We take the time to really understand what’s driving agents and their pain points so that we can support them in the right way, partnering our digital solutions with our expertise and commitment to service excellence. We solve problems by joining more parts of the process together, by making more information available up front and creating quicker and more secure journeys for buyers and sellers. For us, it’s about looking at the process as a whole and working out how we can help agents to offer more services, save time, make money, stay compliant and delight their clients.
What have been the big standout moments over the past 13 years?
There have been so many standout moments and lots of achievements that we’re really proud of, but our industryfirst integration with Rightmove was definitely a major milestone. To see the UK’s largest property search platform integrate auction functionality and educational content onto their site, and make us their auction partner of choice was a big step change for the business and consumers. To be the first in the industry to make this happen is a testament to our teams. We’ve won a lot of awards over the years and we always feel so proud when we’re recognised in our sector, but winning The Sunday Times award back in the early days was a huge standout for us too, as well as being recognised more recently in The Times as a fast growth one-to-watch company in the North East for our contribution to tech. It feels pretty special to see our name alongside some incredible success stories.
What do you love most about running a fast-paced business?
In 2021 we hit a major milestone, announcing we had grown to 250 employees, and we’re moving quickly towards 300 as we kick off 2022. But what we love most about running a fast-paced business is absolutely our people. We’ve always been really focused on building a great culture, and no matter how big the business gets that will always be front and centre. We love the personalities across the business and how they help to drive that culture and our innovation, and we work hard to make sure everyone feels welcome and part of the team. Everyone is working towards the same goal and that makes it a fun place to be – we work hard but we play hard too. It’s exciting to see new people joining us every week, people with very different skills and backgrounds who add so much to the businesses and everything we’re trying to achieve. We have grown a lot in the last year, brought in a lot of new people, developed and launched new products. It’s our team that make that all happen and we’re incredibly proud.
What things have you learned about each other?
From day one we knew that two heads were better than one. We work well together because we’re complete opposites, we balance each other out and it helps us to make the right decisions. If either of us had done this without the other, the business would be very different today. It helps that we’re great friends in and out of work too. We’re a friendship and partnership, so it means we can always be honest with each other and never leave things unsettled or unsaid. We’ve learned over the years where we are needed, where we add value and to trust people to do a great job, give everyone the right tools and let them get on with doing great things
What motivates you to keep innovating?
It’s part of the business’ DNA and it’s fun! We’ve built a really good product team who drive that innovation and who are always thinking of the next thing. We always say anything that was fit for purpose 6 months ago isn’t fit for purpose today. Innovation should be constant and in line with our vision to modernise the property market and improve the process for everyone. It’s not about innovation for innovation’s sake, it’s about doing something that will create change in process and add real value for Estate Agents, buyers and sellers
What does the future look like for iamproperty?
We want to keep making big changes in our industry. We’ve celebrated some amazing successes over the years and not just for our business, but for our Partner Agents who share in our success. We’ve paid record fees to our agents this year and it’s a testament to the relationships the teams build and their passion to do a great job. We have big plans so watch this space!