Pictured L-R: Niall Dawson, Co-Founder & CTO, Robert Hoban, Founder & CEO, Philip Farrell, Co-Founder & CCO, Offr.
In our Ones to Watch section, we highlight some of the top up and coming businesses in Ireland. This week we feature PropTech start-up Offr.
What is it?
Offr is the new way to buy and sell property, quickly and transparently. The Offr button sits on an estate agent’s website and allows buyers to see other offers and place their own offer, with trust and transparency. It also enables sellers to track the progress of a sale on their mobile device or laptop, in real time. They will be instantly alerted when an offer is received, if there is an upcoming viewing or if legal documents have been updated. Similarly, buyers can book a viewing online, upload proof of funds and ID, make an offer, pay a deposit, connect to their solicitor, and sign contracts – all with a few taps of their smart phone. Behind the scenes, Offr connects the estate agent to solicitors and banks to digitise the entire end-to-end sale process. Offr seamlessly connects all parties to the transaction. Offr aims to reduce the amount of time it takes to sell a property from an average of five and a half months in Dublin, and seven months regionally, to just three months nationwide.
Offr removes any issue with fake bidding entirely as all registered offers appear online for both sellers and buyers to see. Additionally, all bidders’ identities and funds are verified before their offers are accepted, and subsequently published, thus delivering a new level of transparency throughout the sale process. Bidders are instantly notified of any new offers on the property.
Who’s behind it?
Offr was founded by Robert Hoban (CEO), with co-founders Philip Farrell (CCO) and Niall Dawson (CTO), and all three have extensive experience in the property and technology industries.
Robert has worked in the Irish property sector for the past two decades and is a proactive advocate for the advancement of technology and transparency in the market. He has overseen the exchange of over 6,000 Irish properties, 30% via online-only auctions.
Philip is highly regarded in the property sector with over 30 years’ experience. He was appointed as CEO of the Real Estate Alliance (REA) Group in 2013 and led the organisation in its rise to prominence as a key player in the Irish property sector.
Prior to working on Offr, Niall worked as Head of Development at both XSellco.com and UltimateRugby.com and was involved with both businesses from their inception. One of Niall’s primary motivations is taking business from concept to completion.
Having previously worked as Director in Bidx1 online auctions, and taken a law degree at night, Robert started to think about how technology could transform the vast, and archaic, mainstream property sales process. In his previous role, he knew that the property market was on the verge of major change when he spoke to an investor who had just bought 2 properties in an online auction while sitting in his aeroplane seat.
To help him design and realise his vision, he invited Philip and Niall to join him, to bring to the table their respective talents and expertise. Philip’s deep knowledge of the business of traditional estate agency and Niall’s wealth of experience building scalable technologies combined very effectively with Robert’s experience of auctions, online auctions and complex legal processes. After 18 months of round-the-clock design and development, Offr was born; a powerful and refreshingly innovative solution to one of the most maligned processes in modern life.
How is it funded?
Offr secured €1 million in seed funding, with backing from AIB, Bank of Ireland (managed by Delta Partners), Enterprise Ireland and Frontline Ventures, among others.
In the short to medium term, Robert, Philip and Niall, with the help of progressive early adopters, plan to scale the technology across the Irish and UK markets. Offr intends to help all agencies, large and small, to raise their game, to stay relevant in a rapidly evolving digital world and, ultimately, to provide their customers with the perfect blend of human expertise and online convenience.