Interested in investing? Not sure where to start? Curious about the property market?
Today we’d like to introduce to you an exciting new company making property investments straight-forward, hassle-free, low-risk and highly profitable via their easy-to-use platform: Brickowner.
Brickowner was founded in 2015 by property expert Fred Bristol and tech entrepreneur Tobias Stone. With 15 years of experience in property, Fred turned to crowdfunding to pool capital from various investors after finding a number of exciting investment opportunities, and realising many investors are unable to access best in class opportunities, the idea for Brickowner was born. Brickowner is an easy-to-use, transparent property crowdfunding platform enabling individuals to invest from as little as £100 into exclusive property investments of their choosing, allowing all investors to earn more than the 0.5% many are being offered on their savings at the moment.
Fred and Tobias subsequently assembled a stellar team of property and investment experts: COO Gareth Ship (formerly a manager for Deloitte LLP), CTO Maulik Sailor (former founding CTO of P2P property landing platform Landbay which is now backed by Zoopla), Non Exec Director John Wood (Previous Managing Partner at Cluttons), and Advisory Board Members Ed Ungar (former Google Director, Europe) and Evelyne Kanakis (former advisor to Microsoft, Vodafone, Sony and Orange). The team spent 1 year building the technology for Brickowner from scratch and testing the platform to optimise user flow.
Fast forward to 2017: Brickowner kicked off this year by successfully completing funding of their first investment, Abbeygate, with 45 new investors. Shortly after, 2 more UK properties were added to the online portfolio and for the latter half of 2017, Brickowner will continue to grow its roster of residential, industrial and commercial properties and the asset partners it works with. Going forward, the team will release a new property to the platform each month. Their new property investment “All Saints” has recently opened for funding offering an annual return of 10.04%.
So how does Brickowner work? We’ve found Brickowner’s platform to be extremely straight-forward and transparent. Individuals sign up via the website, choose the properties and the amount they would like to invest, investors will earn 3% until the funding target has been met. Once enough investors are backing the same property and the funding is complete, each individual receives a regular monthly dividend in proportion to the amount invested as well as a final return when the property is successfully liquidated - depending on the profile of the investment. Current minimum projected returns are at 8% (much higher than for instance a savings account can offer) and offer security against real property assets- something that other investments can’t offer.
Due to its crowdfunding principle, the ownership of property and any changes of value are shared with other investors which creates security and ‘a real sense of community’ (Christine, 58, Brickowner Investor based in South East London).
We subsequently spoke to Brickowner’s COO Gareth Ship about why property crowdfunding is the way forward and where the venture is headed in the next 5-10 years.
Gareth, what makes Brickowner unique?
‘Individuals can invest from as little as 100 pounds into various property investments of their choosing which they would normally not have access to. Every user can build their own property portfolio, increase the size of their investment whenever they wish to do so, choosing to withdraw or reinvest their returns. With its strong management team, Brickowner has strong connections with highly experienced property managers who manage anything from £50m to over 1bn of property investments. Crowdfunding makes it possible for individual investors to have access to property investments of such scale. As investors can spread their capital across a number of properties, their risk is diversified. Users can log into the website and monitor how their properties are performing. It’s all very simple.’
How much time do I have to spend monitoring my funds?
‘I personally check my account once a month and as with any investment, investors should take a long term view and be comfortable with the concept of investing for 2-4 years. However, we are launching our secondary market this autumn which will allow individuals to resell their investment much earlier, and provides flexibility if a user needs access to their money sooner’.
What’s the cost and how safe is it?
‘Brickowner only charges 2 fees: an upfront fee of 3% when funds are invested, to cover the tech and logistics, and an annual management fee of 0.75%. This is much lower than competitors’ fees as we act solely as a platform and don’t manage the properties ourselves, which would require a larger and costlier team. Brickowner is government-regulated by the FCA and any uninvested funds are protected in a separate account from the company (money is held in escrow)’
‘Investing in property has historically generated higher returns than other types of investment s, it provides cautious individuals with an investment option backed by a tangible asset (property) when compared to other returns such as in shares which depend on underlying business performance. Investors have free reign in their choice of property and can create their own portfolio’
What are Brickowner’s plans for the future?
‘In 2017 we will continue to release new properties onto the platform, at least one each month. In 2018 we hope to be raising £250,000 to £500,000 per investment opportunity. We are growing our relationships with property managers and will continue to diversify our portfolio offering’
How will Brexit affect the property market?
‘I believe the uncertainty created by Brexit can be seen as a positive for the types of investments we offer access too. Instability has prompted a lot more people to move their money into what they deem as more stable investments. Whilst there are dips in certain parts of the property market, there are a number of promising UK property investment trends overall; for example Savills recently released a report that hotel investments, for instance, are in fact growing and showing good returns- something which we are offering access to in our new investment- All Saints’
Thank you, Gareth.
Brickowner has a special offer at the moment: for an investment of £1000, £50 will be credited back to the new user’s account!
Click here to start investing or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
(To be eligible for this promotion a user needs to invest £1000 into an investment on the Brickowner platform, and remain invested until fully funded. £50 will be deposited 30 days after the chosen investment is funded.)
With our knowledge of the Chinese investment landscape, at Cocoon Networks we are very confident Brickowner will not only appeal greatly to UK investors but is simultaneously of great interest to the Chinese market and Chinese investors looking to invest in UK property. We are therefore delighted to introduce Brickowner not only to our UK audience but also to our extensive network in China over the coming months.
Brickowner is a property crowdfunding platform that lets people invest directly into property. The platform provides investors with the ability to diversify their investment over multiple properties and offers people a route to get onto the property ladder.
is Europe’s first financial investment consultancy and networking platform specialising in cross-border technology transfer between China and the European continent. Cocoon Networks’ wide range of services includes financial consulting, co-working spaces and IP management. With its London-based headquarters and offices in four major cities in China, Cocoon Networks facilitates the creation of fruitful and enduring Sino-British business collaborations.