An all-in-one personalised digital platform that guides first-time property buyers through the entire home-buying process has formally launched on App Store and Google Play.
FirstHomeCoach - the brainchild of Ben Leonard, former HSBC Head of Financial Institutions, and Paul Carse, the former CTO of the Racing Post - offers bespoke guidance for prospective homeowners, many of whom lack knowledge of the house buying process, have a poor credit rating or struggle to save up a deposit.
At the heart of the free platform, which is also available online, is a basic desire to help people: offering digital coaching, via an online knowledge base and functional check-list, to individual users - including those most left behind by society and the property market - so that they can fulfil arguably one of life’s most important goals.
Specifically, it will coach users on:
- Deposit saving
- Credit scores
- Mortgages & Insurance
- House hunting
One of the platform’s unique benefits is how it helps people use their data to help themselves. The plans for FirstHomeCoach landed the team a spot as one of six winners of HM Treasury’s Rent Recognition Challenge earlier last year, with the Treasury providing £100,000 of funding to help develop the platform as a result.
The business philosophy is one of collaboration, working hand-in-hand with leading mortgage brokers, insurance providers and legal firms to offer people an integrated marketplace of trusted and transparent products and services that will assist users every step of the way to buying a property.
The platform will be entirely free to use for consumers and accessible to all with no requirement to sign-up to use the basic features. Accessibility and the responsible use of consumers’ data are real priorities for the team, with no consumer data sold or adverts targeted towards users. FirstHomeCoach only generate revenue when users choose to take up a service through one of their partners.
FirstHomeCoach is launching as home ownership rates in the UK continue to fall, with the average first-time buyer now 30 years old. According to a recent study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the chances of owning a home in the UK have more than halved over the past 20 years.
Ben Leonard, CEO of FirstHomeCoach, said:
“We are delighted to formally launch FirstHomeCoach, which is designed to empower users with the keys to unlock their own data and play life, better.
"Many young people do not believe that getting onto the ladder is an achievable goal, which creates real social inequality.
"A recent study suggests that the homebuying process is the second most important thing first time buyers would like to change, after extending Help to Buy, and we are responding to that call for action.
"FirstHomeCoach’s purpose is, through the responsible use of personalised data, to give hope to anyone who wants to put down roots and call a place home.”