Periodic Reporting for period 2 - P2Property (Peer to Peer Property)
Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2018-12-31
Throughout history, people spent their lives in the same homes. These buildings served as a place for shelter, services and storage. Immobility signalled not so much a lack of wanderlust as simple pragmatism: moving house was disruptive, complicated and time-consuming.
All this is changing. The world we live in has been transformed in ways that have revolutionised the very meaning of ‘home’. With more and more of our possessions portable (laptops, phones), rentable (Zipcar, Vélib bikes) or stored on the cloud (music, books, photos), the need for a fixed abode is diminishing. It’s getting easier to move, and more are doing so. That’s a trend that is set to continue.
For European citizens especially, where free borders make travel routine, more people are moving between and within countries to work, study or pursue new opportunities. And because more people—especially the 50% of adults who are single—are taking shorter tenancies and moving more often, there has been a surge in the rental market. ‘Home’ is now less about long-term possession and storage, and more about short-term access to comfortable shelter and essential services.
Why is it important for society?
The need for a flexible and consistent property rental platform is especially strong in Europe. Freedom of movement between countries is a cornerstone of the Union. But in practice, finding accommodation outside of hotels and holiday lettings is bureaucratic, time-consuming and requires considerable advance notice. Inconsistent real estate procedures make it confusing for citizens of one country looking for accommodation in another. Accommodation, not immigration, is the biggest hurdle for Europeans moving country for study, work or new opportunities.
Take London, a popular city for EU citizens to live in. Talk to most expatriates and you’ll hear the same thing: finding accommodation—not work—was the hardest part of relocating. Many are reduced to asking their Facebook friends for leads, or joining a local expat chat group in the hope of finding one that has a vacancy. Similar experiences can be heard in other EU cities.
What are the overall objectives?
Qoob will do to estate agents what Opodo did to travel agents, eBay did to secondhand shops, and Airbnb is doing to hotels. By getting rid of the middleman in favour of a peer-to-peer model, Qoob is bringing the property market in line with the changing needs of society and rapid pace of technology.
Qoob is a technology platform that lets you rent property directly from your phone, making estate agents a thing of the past. Described by the Daily Mail as ‘the Tinder of property’ our platform makes property transactions cheaper, faster and globally consistent. It lets owners list their properties and tenants list their needs. Both can browse, make a match and exchange rent, even at short notice or for an open-ended length of time.
Within the next two months we focused on improving the property search functionality in the app and added additional search functionality to enable landlords to find tenants requiring properties.
For the final four months of the twelve month period we marketed the property app in two controllable territories. Our aim with this was to understand the real market's responses and to use that data to scale up our marketing plan into similar territories across the UK and Europe. We successfully implemented and monitored a number of marketing approaches in our target territories of Brighton and Canterbury.
All the work carried out over the twelve month period was completed by internal members of the Qoob team (sole participant) and the software development sub contractor Synergy.
The project team at Qoob have had to get over a few hurdles during this period but have successfully executed all of their tasks and achieved all goals.
Overall we believe the final twelve months of the project have been successful. Unfortunately we don’t have the tens of thousands of users we hoped for at this stage of the business but we have a super stable focused app that provides a service that we are genuinely proud of.
We believe we may have underestimated the financial resources required to launch a new app in a crowded app marketplace. We probably would have needed at least five fines the marketing budget to get the app to ‘catch fire’ in the public imagination with most of this being spent on PR and mainstream advertising like our direct rivals like move bubble.
The start of the year was mainly spent focusing the the app from test results to match the market, finishing the desired functionality of our users and ensuring we had a viable route to making a return on the financial investment in the project. The most efficient way to do this was to charge a simple monthly fee of £9.99.
The next stage of the year was to market the app both in the UK and our chosen market replication territory of the Czech Republic. The team worked hard in this areas squeezing out every download from our tight budget. Overall we believe we did the best we could but just did not have the financial muscle in either market to get us to the next stage. Thus we have now started to focus heavily on the next stage of our journey and take the business into a new wave of fundraising to ensure that our next marketing campaigns are well funded for the targets we want to achieve.
As before the project team at Qoob have had to get over a few hurdles during this period but as a whole have successfully executed all of their tasks and achieved most of our goals.