Ten Questions With Lewis Scott, Co-Founder and CEO at Homely

September 29, 2023
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The real money for real estate marketplaces is in sales but there is a growing awareness that purchasing a home in markets like the UK is becoming more and more difficult. Potential homebuyers start as renters and often they could use some guidance on the next steps.

Lewis Photo

Founded in 2021, Homely (not to be confused with the Australian portal of the same name) is a British consumer-facing home buying and renting platform. The company harnesses technology and partnerships to support people’s homeownership journey by improving their financial position and connecting them to tailored guidance, support, and products.

The platform, which will include a rental marketplace and a consumer reward system, is set to go live at the end of the year. We caught up with CEO and co-founder Lewis Scott (pictured) to talk about Homely's model and what he'll be using the investment recently raised from UST for...

 

 

What is the problem that Homely solves?

Homely is solving the problem facing consumers, especially younger people, around what they can do to become homeowners and achieve their goals of stability but also long-term wealth protection.

In addition, we all know how painful it can be to purchase a home. Hence, we bring everything into one place to make the transaction easier, more convenient and actually enjoyable!

 

What was the inspiration for the Homely idea?

Previous struggles of renting and paying more rent than what a mortgage would be but the build-up of a deposit being difficult as well as navigating the housing options available.

And that’s just the ready stage! When buying, the process is tedious, painful, long and extremely stressful!

Other technologies have helped consumer actions become a lot more convenient yet no one has truly solved the issue for homebuying.

 

How will Homely generate revenue?

Homely has a reward system called HomelyBricks which will generate monthly recurring revenue alongside other referral income then we are involved across all touch points at the transaction so we make income at the point of transaction but that also means we are aligned with the consumer as well as business stakeholders.

 

You recently raised a pre-seed investment round at a ‘double-digit million’ valuation. What will you be using the funds for?

The funds are being used to build our back-end tech infrastructure, which is coming along brilliantly with UST. This allows us to have a flexible and scalable platform to easily plug in with banks/lenders, estate agents and other key stakeholders.

Additionally, it’s supporting our partnership development with some key industry partners (to be revealed very soon!) and to get our house in order so that we can grow very quickly!

 

Most people looking to rent don’t usually sign up for a platform service like Homely’s. How do you think about changing renter behaviour?

Historically it’s been a lack of hope or inspiration for people, they feel shut out from the market and are living day by day in many cases.

Homely’s platform and our marketing output will be educating and simplifying information for people to understand little things they can do every day that can support them and before they know it they are in a much better place than they’d expect! This includes building up for the property transaction through our HomelyBricks reward scheme.

 

How important is the marketplace element to your plan and where will you source listings from?

Without giving away too much at this stage, it’s about time the journey from the estate agent through to the transaction is in one place. The beauty of Homely is our business model isn’t based around listing fees or subscription fees for CRM services so it gives us some competitive flexibility!

 

What is Homely currently working on and what’s the biggest challenge on the horizon?

We are preparing for our launch, which is exciting and we have a fantastic team working hard behind the scenes! We will likely raise capital again very soon as our biggest challenge will be serving the partnership and the users that come through them to the highest levels of customer service.

 

What is the most common request from partners?

Utilising data to help them achieve their business goals, and getting ahead of the market. It’s better to know than not to know.

 

Which PropTech companies out there do you look out for in the news? Have any helped inspire the idea behind Homely?

I think there are some fantastic companies in different areas doing things very well, I wouldn’t say any inspired us per se. The main inspiration was more the fact that there are a number of niche companies but actually, the value for consumers and the industry is to bring a number of these together into one place.

 

How do you see the market evolving and what will you be doing to be ahead of the curve?

The biggest direction will be banks/lenders and other home-buying schemes coming to the market with new home-buying products, which is great but can become overwhelming for consumers.

So our job is to make it as easy as possible for consumers to understand the options available to them and making sure they can do it all in one place. We will stay ahead of the curve as we have the flexibility and speed to plug in these products for consumers a lot quicker than others in the industry.

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September 29, 2023
Since March 2020 Edmund's job has been to read about, write about, collect data on, analyse and generally know about real estate marketplaces and the companies that run them. Before that he worked at the aggregator Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect) for five years.

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