Who are you?
I’m Stephen Moss, the founder and managing director of the largest property investment platform in the UK, Sourced.
I’ve worked in property for the last 20 years and have been involved in a number of entrepreneurial start-up businesses including the launch of a landlord phone app ranked 7th in the Sunday Times Property App awards and running my own six-branch estate agency.
What does it say on your business card?
What is Sourced?
Sourced is the largest property investment platform in the UK and brings the whole investor journey together into one business with three distinct parts – learn, search and invest. We have our sights set firmly on becoming the ultimate brand name for property investment services.
What services do you provide?
Established to match UK and overseas investors with hand-selected investment opportunities, we offer UK-wide investment advice and property sourcing through our 34-strong network of franchises. This guarantees the same level of local knowledge and off-market opportunities, anywhere in the country.
Since we started in October 2017 our network has grown from one to 34 offices, we have launched a new peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platform and we’re building on our current position as the country’s largest property investment platform and network of property sourcers. We’re also the first company to provide a free online training platform that gives investors of all levels of experience, the skills, knowledge and support they need to grow their portfolios.
How do you help property investors?
We support investors by making it easy for them to find the best and most investable properties via our bespoke search engine with a dedicated off-market section. We’re also able to offer plenty of free advice and training, which allows us to add value to the property investment community and build a very knowledgeable and skilled client base.
What are the benefits of P2P lending?
Peer-to-peer lending has been growing in popularity over the past five years because the traditional lending model is so cumbersome and time-consuming. The banks and other traditional lenders are just not agile enough for the property deals that many of our investors are pursuing.
Over the last 10 years there’s been a distinct shift as investors realise they can enjoy the returns typically enjoyed by the banks and conclude deals more quickly by calling on a network of their peers. P2P brings investors and opportunities together on a secure and easy-to-use platform.
It’s important to stress that peer-to-peer lending is not to be confused with crowd funding. Peer-to-peer lending invests in debt not equity and as such typically offers quicker repayment terms secured against the asset, which means it minimises risk for the investors. Our repayment rate for investors is 100% because they are always repaid before the developer when a project is completed. Our P2P opportunities have an average six to 12 month investment term, which will deliver returns of up to 12% and are fully secured against UK property at a maximum loan to value of 70%.
Should investors be concerned about the recent interest rate rise?
The simple answer is no. Due to the small incremental increases that are being made, the rise is having little effect on the figures when assessing a potential investment opportunity. The rate rise was expected and the Bank of England is expected to keep increasing the rate over the next few years. Although newer investors are giving these rate rises far more consideration before purchasing property, mortgage lenders are now offering low, long-term fixed rates so there are plenty of options and we don’t expect this to slow the market down.
What is your greatest achievement in your current role and what made it so special?
Our greatest achievement is in exceeding our own expectations in the first year of business. Within our first 12 months we have opened a network of 34 offices which gives us strong UK-wide coverage. We’ve also released a free training platform that is used by thousands of investors every day and have launched P2P to help us build even stronger relationships with our investors. All of this has been made possible because we’ve recruited an incredibly capable and focused team at head office who share our ambitions and they have been instrumental in achieving what can only be described as phenomenal growth to date.
What is the most satisfying part of your job?
The most satisfying part of Sourced is seeing a franchisee close a deal, particularly when they are new to the sector, and knowing that our support and training has played an instrumental role in it. Funding a property on the P2P platform is also a highlight as it really shows that our community and network of investors and contacts support what we do and believe in our vision.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the industry at the moment?
The Government presents the biggest challenge for the property industry thanks to the introduction of additional stamp duty, reduced tax relief and the likelihood of even more legislation. The Government has its sights set firmly on property investors at the moment.
What is your property prediction for the remainder of 2018?
It’s a buyers’ market. The number of sellers is reducing and there are more and more opportunities for savvy investors. My prediction is that the property market will stay like this for the remainder of 2018 and well into 2019 too.