London-based proptech company Home Made has landed in Dublin. Largely focused on the build-to-rent (BTR) sector, it will target properties aimed at tech workers in the city’s Silicon Docks. The companies operating here include Google, Facebook and Airbnb, whose employees are among the best paid in the country. Indeed, critics argue that soaring rents in the capital mean that tech workers are now the only people who can afford to live there.
According to Home Made, its combination of technology and data analytics reduces the time it takes for a BTR development to reach stable occupancy by 25% versus traditional letting agencies. It is currently working with around 250,000 tenants and more than 5,000 professional landlords in the UK, marketing more than 60,000 properties. Its clients include Greystar, Grainger, Get Living, Quintain, M&G and Moda Living.
According to Home Made founder and CEO Asaf Navot (LinkedIn profile), “It’s an obvious next market for us. First, there is the distance and the language. Second, the tech community is more open-minded to what we bring, which is a digital customer or renter journey. We also have very large clients that operate in the market, and they are the ones who have asked us to go and serve them in other markets.”
He added, “Our goal is to provide people with a better way to rent, and our expansion to Ireland represents an important milestone in our path to further international expansion, impacting a larger number of renters with our digital-first customer journey … We will demonstrate that, with the right operational model for finding residents efficiently, investors can generate healthy ROI without charging more than locals are willing or able to pay.”
However, Home Made could face political headwinds in Ireland, as opposition to the BTR model grows amid soaring house prices and falling levels of home ownership in a society that continues to place great store in the latter. Sinn Féin, the largest opposition party and very well placed to lead the country’s next government, is particularly hostile to BTR. It has pledged to eliminate the favorable tax treatment currently enjoyed by investment funds in residential property.