If anyone was likely to build a renting platform for landlords and tenants then it should be Toks Adebiyi, who has observed rental property from every angle.
The 38-year-old is a landlord but has also been a tenant, run a property investment group with 1,000 members, established his own estate agency and trained as a letting agent.
But it took one of his tenants ringing him while he was on holiday to set him on a path to what would become Clooper.
“I had been managing my properties via pretty crude methods of paper and maybe some Excel spreadsheets and I had always meant to try and build a digital solution,” he says.
“But it took a tenant phoning me on holiday requesting that something be fixed that was the final straw – surely there had to be a better way, I asked myself.”
Clooper has been in development for several years and he describes it as an Airbnb for the long-lets market rather than another landlord platform or an online estate agent.
“We are building a social platform that is home-centric and enables our users to be better landlords,” he says.
One key element of the platform is that landlords can, if they are busy or on holiday, enable tenants to get quotes to have issues fixed – the landlord then signs off the best quote.
The platform launched in earnest during March this year and in June raised £400,000 in seed funding from over 300 investors on website Crowdcube.
This included a major contribution from Paul Rothwell, the MD of commercial-to-resi developer and landlord Empire Property.
“Clooper has been built to serve the smaller landlords who will never use an agent because they prefer to manage their properties themselves, which is around 60% of the market,” he says.
“I like to think they are people who want to do it themselves but do it properly – and we already have many landlords using us who like that.”
Adebiyi says a more advanced version of the platform called Clooper PRO is waiting in the wings that will be for larger landlords and letting agents too.
Meet the landlord who’s built an ‘Airbnb for long-term lets’ is written by Nigel Lewis for www.landlordzone.co.uk