Ten Questions with Graham Paterson, Co-Founder at Jitty

September 15, 2023
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Graham Paterson has set his sights on real estate.

After a career of successful product launches at businesses including Wise, Klarna and Deliveroo, Paterson and co-founders James Storer and Daniel Cooper are ready to launch what they believe is a much-needed alternative to the likes of Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket.

"Finding the right home online is a horrible experience," he says. "But wherever there is complexity, there is an opportunity for technology to simplify it."

Thus, Jitty was born.

From the incredible power of Artificial Intelligence to pre-seeding funding and monetisation, here are ten questions with Graham Paterson. Enjoy!

Jitty Team Bath 2

(l-r) Rita Sijelmass, Graham Paterson, James Storer, Daniel Cooper

 

What problem does Jitty solve?

Finding the right home online is a horrible experience. People want a single place to see every home and understand more about those homes. We’re giving homebuyers, and anyone interested in properties, a fun and comprehensive way to see what’s out there.

 

What USP will you bring to the real estate industry?

We’ve built great user experiences for brands including Deliveroo, Wise, and Klarna.

In our past roles, we’ve built AI systems, complex technologies, as well as pixel-perfect apps. We’re bringing all that experience and focus to delight users in the housing market.

 

What was the clincher about your model that convinced investors to take a $2M punt on Jitty?

I think it’s pretty straightforward—we’re using AI to disrupt residential real estate, which is the world’s largest asset class by a very long way. It’s a huge market that hasn’t seen meaningful change from a user perspective for a long time.

As a team we’ve built this stuff before, so we probably bring some credibility there.

It’s now a case of building a great product as fast as we can. We’re solving that by hiring a great team, and we’ll invest in bringing in the best people to do that.

 

How will you harness AI to improve property transactions for the public?

Home buying is incredibly complex in many different ways. From budgeting to choosing an area, choosing a home, making the right offer, and navigating the transaction process. Wherever there is complexity, there’s an opportunity for technology to simplify it. AI is just another technology that people can use to make things smoother. 

For Jitty, that means collating every home on the market and gathering more information about those homes. There’s no limit to where it can go, with generative AI.

 

You told me Jitty will act purely as a search platform. How will you monetise the business?

Generally, the market has shown that people still want an estate agent to sell their home. Estate agents have specialist knowledge and skills, and we can help homebuyers best by working with estate agents.

We’ll make money in pretty standard ways for marketplaces: advertising and premium features. What we are certain about is that we won’t charge estate agents to list their homes, ever.

 

What incentives beyond “list for free” will you offer to agents?

From talking to lots of estate agents, we know that paying so much for listing with multiple portals is one of their main concerns. And we’ve had lots of agents sign up already, so it looks like it’s a strong selling point on its own.

 

What will the product look like for agents and users?

For estate agents, it’s mainly just hooking up to their data feeds to start with. They can already do this on the agents tab of our website (jitty.com).

For users, it’ll be a mixture of classic marketplace experiences, and some new features that we’re cooking up.

Homebuyers can expect to be able to search for anything they want, learn more about homes, and share with their friends.

 

What is the general profile of the agencies that have signed up to your waiting list?

There’s a real mix! Some smaller agencies, and a few major chains. Some are really experienced, and some are newer to the game.

It’s really cool to see that we’ve struck a chord with many different types of agents.

 

What are your short-, medium- and long-term visions for Jitty?

Short-term we want to help people find the best home for them.

Medium-term, we want to help them manage the whole transaction.

Long-term we want to help the whole world move into their perfect home. Just like Spotify did for music, or YouTube for videos, we want to be the app for interacting with the property market.

 

How do you see the portal scene evolving, and how will you stay ahead of the curve?

It’s pretty hard to predict. Some obvious innovations like in-app bookings haven’t happened yet, and new technologies like generative AI are creating weird and wonderful things that we never dreamed of. 

We’re staying ahead of the pack by focusing relentlessly on users and creating the best team and environment to help our users. A big trap I’ve seen others fall into is focussing on competitors, and ignoring the people they serve.

 

September 15, 2023
Harvey is an experienced property journalist and copywriter. He has written about the property industry since 2015, starting at The Property Franchise Group in the UK, before moving to Spain to work for Spotahome. He has blogged for the private rented sector, ghostwritten for UK property experts and written case studies for franchise owners around the UK. Harvey joined Online Marketplaces as a News Editor in 2022.

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