Start-up Focus: Shared Property Data SPD // January 26, 2017

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What is SPD?

Website: https://myspd.co.uk/ 

Shared Property Data [SPD] is the UK’s only real-time, agent focused platform for marketing property and sharing high level comparable data. The company was founded by Michael Marciano, a commercial surveyor, who whilst completing his graduate training at Allsop, identified an opportunity to improve the way the sector operated in three distinct, but connected areas: inter-agent property marketing, production of marketing materials and the sharing of high level transactional data. Each of the processes are core to the role of the property professional, yet all remained manual, repetitive and arduous. SPD was built on the premise of using industry knowledge to build software that would genuinely propel the commercial property sector forward, whilst factoring in the needs and concerns of those who operated within it.

In the past year SPD has continued to innovate, by honing in deeper into the services that it provides its members, whilst at the same time managing to deliver a product that is intuitive and simple to use. SPD is a dynamic platform as it adapts to the person using it, whether it is an acquisition agent, a disposal agent, a rent reviewer or a valuer, SPD responds to the needs of that person at that point in time. By working closely with various players in the sector, SPD has continued to iterate and become a market leader in the way in which information is processed, standardised, presented and shared by the property professionals. At its core SPD is all about data, and by giving constant incentives for members to share, as well as the unparalleled ease with which to share, SPD is able to gather comprehensive data in an extremely efficient manner. The outcome of this process is that agents are matched together in real time, beautiful marketing materials are instantly generated and transactional data can be instantly shared. SPD’s innovation is in being able to deliver disproportionately large outputs based on very small inputs.

Bringing about change in the real estate sector requires determination as building trust, whilst also educating the key stakeholders on the benefits of technology, takes time. Accordingly, the challenge was finding the balance between giving the market breathing space to consider SPD’s proposition, whilst also not being forgotten. In order to overcome this challenge SPD Insights was introduced; a monthly panel discussion which brings together a wide variety of industry professionals to engage in conversation about that changing nature of the sector. Today, SPD Insights is one of the largest providers of informal property CPD training in London and has brought together hundreds of attendees to engage with dozens of speakers, who range from PropTech businesses such as Wired Score, Silverstream Finance, Property Partner and Matterport to traditional surveying firms such as Cushman & Wakefield, CBRE and JLL. By being at the heart of this conversation, SPD has maintained its position as a thought leader in the PropTech community.

How does SPD generate revenue?

SPD is a SaaS business and charges its members a monthly fee to use its service. Given that SPD aggregates its data through crowd sourcing, it is able to offer a comprehensive service at a highly discounted level compared to market incumbents. With an in-depth understanding of the market, SPD has built Add-on features which members can purchase to fit their own company needs. The model aligns itself with the generation of strong financial returns, as marketplaces are inherently ‘sticky’ products which promote deep and lasting member engagement. Working with almost 70 firms, and with the introduction of new features (and some soon to be announced partnerships), the forecasts for SPD look promising.

The impact of SPD on the industry is fundamentally a positive one. The reason why the sector has remained so resolute to change is because the systems in place, albeit somewhat inefficient, still work. Therefore, any products which look to alter the status quo need to provide compelling reasons for why something new should be adopted. By working as an assistant to commercial property professionals, rather than a replacement, SPD has won the trust of the market. This is important as although the sector requires some of its processes to be updated, anyone who expects to see a wholescale restructuring fails to understand the nuances that make this market so resilient. By working with property professionals, for their benefit, SPD is positioning itself to help positively steer the industry in a more technologically progressive direction whilst giving them the tools and the time to adapt their own systems to meet this change.