Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

P2Property Report Summary

Project ID: 739349

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - P2Property (Peer to Peer Property)

Reporting period: 2017-01-01 to 2017-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

What is the problem/issue being addressed?

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.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The first six months of this project we spent planning and developing our mobile applications with the core work including designing and developing the new Android app as well upgrading our iOS application to ‘matching versions’ from a functional and user interface point of view. Our goal was to make our platform more widely available by launching Android and tablet versions.

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.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

As the first twelve months of the project has been involved in delivering foundation milestones and testing hypothesises the project has not really moved beyond the state of the art apart from providing a peer to peer platform for landlords and tenants to interact upon.

We do expect to move beyond the state of the art in offering a range of value added services in the next twelve months such as financial and property management functionalities which will change the way that consumers find, rent and manage their accommodation. In turn this will impact society and how we understand renting accommodation helping to remove unnecessary ties that some people have to their accommodation, and increasing practical freedom of movement.

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