Press Release


9th September 2019


Consumer Technology Offr Set to Transform Buying and Selling Property

83% Have no Confidence in the Buying and Selling Process in Ireland

Offr Ensures Transparency for this Outdated Process

Buyers and sellers of property are set to benefit from a NEW consumer technology, called Offr, developed to reduce the amount of time it currently takes to buy or sell a property. The new technology will also provide a more transparent experience for everyone involved, and help to reduce stress and restore confidence in the process of buying and selling a property in Ireland.

With seed funding to the tune of €1 million, and backed by AIB, Bank of Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, 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. The technology itself will be available on estate agents’ websites, thus helping agents to eliminate the perceived problem of fake bids and offers on property.

Property technology newcomer, 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.

Amarach Research commissioned by Offr has found:

83% of people have no confidence in the buying and selling process in Ireland

66% of people who bought a property in the last five years found it to be stressful, while 69% found it to be a lengthy process. Just 5% found the process speedy

50% ranked ‘improving transparency’ as the number one thing they would ‘fix’ in the buying and selling process

Just over half of Irish adults (55%) (aged between 35 and 54) think that ‘fake bids’ are a common problem in property sales in Ireland

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.

Offr’s new technology 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.

CEO and Founder of Offr, Robert Hoban said;

“Transparency and trust is key when it comes to buying or selling property and it’s of major concern that 83% of people said they are not confident with the process in Ireland. The perception of fake bids is a huge issue and it’s for these reasons that we’ve brought the best minds together to find a solution to this outdated process. The solution is Offr and the technology ensures transparency because you can see offers on a property in real time. Offr makes the process fast, flexible and efficient and it eliminates a lot of the fear and stress that comes with the biggest transaction of most people’s lives. There is currently little smartphone technology available past the initial property search. Now the entire transaction can be processed online”

Almost 90% of estate agents in Ireland are small businesses with less than five PSRA licenced employees. Typically, it takes seven months for an estate agent to get paid, from the day they first list the property.

Patrick King, Director of Strategy, Policy & Corporate Affairs at Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland (SCSI) said;

"Offr is a great example of what happens when you blend great technology with a Chartered property professional’s knowledge, delivering a service that meets the needs of agents and customers seamlessly. Selling a home can be a long-drawn-out process that costs everybody time and money. This technology offers sellers & buyers a transparent platform, while allowing property professionals apply their high standards and valuable services to the process.”

Johnny O’Dwyer, Head of Digital Investments & Innovation, AIB said;

“We are delighted to be investing and partnering with Robert and the team at Offr to advance digital innovation in the Irish property market and for the benefit of our customers.”

Karl Deeter of Irish Mortgage Brokers, said;

"With Offr you get ease of use, better transparency and fast results, potentially transforming how people buy and sell property; I'm delighted to see this come to the Irish property market"

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 is also a regular media contributor and market commentator. 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.

See video to explain how Offr works - https://youtu.be/VxH6hg0ibcU

For more information see www.offr.io

Twitter @offr_property

ENDS

For further information contact Aileen Gaskin 087 7724 717 or Sarah Dunne 085 853 5647.

Editor’s Notes:

Co-Founder biographies

Robert Hoban, Chief Executive Officer & Founder Offr

Robert Hoban has worked in the Irish property sector for the past two decades, specialising in the sale of commercial and residential assets and is a vocal advocate for the advancement of technology, transparency & information in the sector. To date, Robert has overseen the exchange of over 6,000 Irish properties, 30% via online auctions.

During his tenure as senior rostrum auctioneer and Director of Allsop Ireland, and Director of Bidx1, €1bn of property transacted over a busy 7-year period, 30% of which was sold online.

Prior to that, Robert worked for 7 years with Savills (formerly Hamilton Osborne King) in the Country Department specialising in the sale and valuation of Country Houses and Estates across Ireland, and the provision of estate management advice.

Robert was educated at Belvedere College S.J., University College Dublin and Dublin Institute of Technology, where he completed a Law degree at night. Robert takes particular pride in having helped grow companies whose core philosophy has been to innovate, to embrace technology, to introduce new concepts to a conservative industry, to attempt to find better ways of doing business and to always champion integrity and transparency in business.

Philip Farrell, Chief Commercial Officer & Co-Founder Offr

Having been active in a full-time capacity in the property sector since 1989, Philip has attained a wealth of knowledge and experience in all aspects of the entire property industry.

This experience was acquired initially through his role managing a long-established estate agency practice (22 years). During this time, he was also appointed as Chairperson of Real Estate Alliance, a nationwide property group with 55 offices throughout Ireland. Subsequently, Philip was appointed as full time Chief Executive Officer of the REA Group in 2013. he led the organisation in its rise to prominence as a key player in the Irish property sector.

Philip also has extensive media experience. This includes a weekly property column titled 'Real Deal' which ran in the Sunday Independent. He continues to be a regular media contributor on property related matters. In addition, Philip has been actively involved at board level with a number of professional property bodies.

In 2015, Philip established 'Farrell Property Consultants', a niche consultancy practice assisting both corporate clients and private individuals in all sectors of the industry. Services provided include acquisitions, portfolio reviews, due diligence, PropTech initiatives, valuations & strategic advice. Through 2017 & 18, Philip operated as a consultant for Property Partners, a long-established Irish franchise property group. This role also involved the successful re-brand of the group.

In 2019, Philip co-founded Offr, the first end to end online transactional platform for agents, which brings all stakeholders in the property transaction together, creating a faster, more transparent experience for all parties.

The property sector is currently experiencing huge change internationally as a result of the arrival of the “Proptech' phenomenon. This trend will fundamentally change how property transactions are conducted into the future. The Offr platform will play a key role in this.

Niall Dawson, Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder Offr

Australian-born Niall Dawson’s first foray into IT was when he started programming on his Commodore 64 back in the 80s. Graduating from the University of Sydney with a degree in computer science, Niall decided to relocate to his ancestral home in Dublin in the late 90s.

From here Niall rode the Celtic Tiger and worked in a variety of industries such as Time and Billing, Health Care, Defence, Recruitment, Sport, Ecommerce and now Real Estate.

Prior to working on Offr, Niall most recently worked as Head of Development at both XSellco.com and UltimateRugby.com. Niall was involved with both businesses from their inception. One of Niall’s primary motivations is taking business from concept to completion. He was responsible for the design and implementation of the products, as well as building the teams behind these award-winning Irish companies.

XSellco is a Ray Nolan backed business for multi-channel online sellers and was named winner of Deloitte Technology Fast 50. UltimateRugby.com is a Brian O’Driscoll and Ray Nolan backed iPhone and Android app for worldwide rugby coverage.