The property industry has grown exponentially over the past 10 years despite the economic pressures, legislative changes and the obvious effects of the past few years. 

This has been in almost direct defiance of the Government’s attempts to bring the industry ‘to heel’ with numerous legislation changes and laws that many believe are designed to enforce a cultural shift from renting to a more owner / buyer centric property market.

The change to both market conditions and consumers habits has fuelled an insatiable need for fast-paced and intuitive proptech (property technology) that not only speeds up the renting process but that has compliance at its core. 

Inventory Base has been at the forefront of this drive, leading the way in the development of responsive reporting systems that enable users across the rental lifecycle to capture important, data driven evidence to help landlords protect their assets and tenants their deposits.

Background

Founded as Radweb in 2007, Steve Rad and James Taylor graduated from the University of Portsmouth with degrees in Digital Media Marketing, Computer Science and a passion for all things technical.

Together they have built Radweb into a suite of products that include Inventory Base, Property Inspect, Host Inspect and Property Deck.

Starting out with a desire to disrupt what was then, still an emerging industry built on software that is still finding its own way in the world we all now know ‘fondly’ as proptech, Inventory Base started life off on a piece of paper, scrawled notes and ideas but with a singular vision to bring about a real change to what both Steve and James saw as a letting industry in dire need of a responsive, reporting solution for clerks, landlords and agents.

The 3 D’s

Experts in cloud technology; the success of Inventory Base has and continues to be built on the 3 D’s:

  • development
  • determination, and
  • devotion

to what everyone in both the company and throughout the industry, led by Steve and James, can see is a winning combination of ability, drive and a leadership style that is as inspiring.

Yet, as in pointed out by some of the top startup CEOs across the globe, just because you have made a few quid and are ‘valued’ as a multi-million business, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you will grow to the lofty heights realised by the likes of Elon Musk’s SpaceX or experience the accelerated growth of larger proptech companies such as Reapit or Coadjute

But that’s not to say that it can’t!

Celebrating our 10th anniversary, Inventory Base and sister product Property Inspect has grown to service customers in over 45 countries, ranging from residential to commercial to hospitality and government, providing tens of thousands of simultaneous users with a responsive and reliable service that can be adapted and customised to suit almost any organisation. 

What makes Inventory Base stand out above the other companies vying for the top spot?

With the UK proptech sector worth over £6 billion, there are 700-plus proptech companies in the UK. 

Steve Rad: “The problem with being at the top is that there is nowhere to go. For James and I, we’ve always been focused on the customer journey rather than being No1 so our drive is to ensure they are at the forefront of everything we do, from product design through to deployment. It’s all about them.

We’ve grown steadily over the last 10 years by being able to continuously iterate our software in an unrivalled way that has enabled us to upgrade, improve and adapt our platform to every conceivable need the industry has thrown at us. There have been quite a few curveballs, but we love a challenge!

It’s taken a lot of hard work, but along the way we’ve built an amazing team of people who sit at the heart of our company and who all share the same passion and determination for building a great product that scales.

Everyone wants to be at the top of their game especially in the fast paced world of proptech and we are no different, but it’s the route we have chosen that makes us stand out. Putting the customer first is and will always be our priority and is why we are now the leading software provider to the property reporting industry.”

How has Inventory Base grown with no investment?

Steve says: “Our strategy has been to reinvest from day one. This has allowed us to nurture and grow the business organically. Whilst some startups look for ‘pre seed investment’  to accelerate and establish their place within the market, we wanted to develop a brand that was built on great service and adaptive tech rather than move quickly from startup to exit.

“It’s not about the quick win for us, it’s the long game we are interested in”

One of the keys to our success is that we’ve made round-the-clock support our highest priority – ensuring our customers, at any time around the world, can get help when they need it, not just when someone looks at the email during office hours.

Taking this stance has not only allowed us to address problems in real time and resolve issues quickly, it has, in turn, led to outstanding customer experience that is backed up by multiple industry awards and fabulous 5 star customer reviews.” 

By taking baby steps rather than rushing towards an unrealistic ‘number’, our growth has exceeded even our initial expectations.

Steve comments: “But without our team, Inventory Base would not be what it is today, and with our customers’ feedback and support (and at times, a little patience) our mission has remained on track to create their perfect service. 

Our strategy to reinvest has not just been monetary. It is in the training and development of our in-house tech team, our sales and marketing staff and in our infrastructure as we develop and grow our services.

We have become an extension of our clients’ businesses and made many friends in them along the way. And as we all lean ever more heavily into a tech-led rental and sales market, we expect, no we know! that our services are at the core of the property industry.”

The future of Inventory Base and Proptech – what comes next?

There is no such thing as one size fits all in the property market.  

The needs and wants of the tenant, the landlord and home buyer are as varied as the house types and styles they rent, let out and buy and this has never been more evident since Londoners decamped en masse to the suburbs in search of more space and a bit of grass to feel under their feet. 

So the pace of change is never ending and will only ever be hindered by our own inability to embrace the proptech that makes it possible. 

This is why Inventory Base continues to be at the forefront of change in the proptech reporting sector as we develop better systems, enhance features and provide a data driven service that meets the needs of suppliers to large corporate agencies and asset managers.

But it’s easy to get distracted by the lights of inspiration and forget that the market is driven by the needs of single tenants, couples, multi-families as well as those seeking to downsize in later life who want homes that nurture and won’t compromise their safety or comfort.

Inventory Base already has a huge suite of features and options for the user to manage their reports, either out in the field or from the security of their desktop. 

From responsive templates, live inspections, multi-functional app and offline capability – the list of options to the user and their clients is growing literally daily, but we can’t rest here.

Steve adds: “We need to continually improve, become more efficient and above all else feed into our ESG agenda of eco-friendly and sustainable working practices that gives back to the planet through paperless reporting.

Reduce our clients carbon footprint by utilising the proptech tools to help manage their schedules, to optimise and reduce travel and emissions and help landlords, tenants and buyers to be more eco friendly by monitoring energy use and developing options to collate data instantly to inform, make the right choices and reduce our impact on the environment.”

How can Inventory Base manage over 4.4 million properties in the PRS?

Data is the new currency, so there is a need to not only manage but monitor property that now operates on a continuous 24 hour cycle that can and needs to anticipate the users needs, guarantee their safety and support their lifestyles.

Smart properties are where Inventory Base is already delivering solutions to help clients manage the 4.4 million rental properties in the PRS such as integrations with Airthings to capture sensor readings for buildings to develop better management processes, deliver energy efficiencies and reduce the building’s carbon footprint. 

With the ability to import live weather conditions, add land registry data, share information and talk with third party systems across the globe, the benefits of our service to the property market, built with smart proptech features, are endless.

A final few words from Steve: 

“Our 10th anniversary is such an amazing milestone for a small business.

We could not have done it without our customers, our integration partners, our proptech collaborators and the vision of a property market willing to embrace change. But this is only the beginning. We’re just getting started…”