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“We want that critical mass” – Anthony Kyriacou of krispyhouse

PropertyWire speaks to Anthony Kyriacou, founder and chief executive of property portal krispyhouse

There’s a new challenger on the block for Rightmove and Zoopla, as krispyhouse has been looking to make a splash in the lettings sector since launching its website in October 2023. Agents advertise their properties on the platform, while tenants can punch in the area where they want to live and communicate with them.

Its CEO Anthony Kyriacou compares the process to using WhatsApp, as he says: “Our main USP is providing a much faster communication channel between a tenant responding to an advertisement and an agent.”

The website also hosts a prospecting tool for agents, enabling users to analyse where supply currently sits on the market, so they can look to plug the gaps with their own offerings.

‘We mustn’t charge too soon’

A major selling point seems to be the price of the platform, as it’s currently free for agents to use – and the aim is to undercut the market when it eventually does charge.

“For agents who are independent it’s an issue if they have to pay £1,000 per platform, as turnover is important to them,” Kyriacou says.

“We want to show letting agents that we can be an all-encompassing platform that helps them build their business operations, creditability and day-to-day management.

“We will be assessing the engagement in our back end. We want that critical mass to show we are a credible product.

“There’s been examples of products on the market in the past few years and they haven’t worked because they wanted to charge very soon.”

Once krispyhouse starts charging, the plan is to price it at £149 a month for agents, and to make it free for tenants.

Krispyhouse – a sweet name

PropertyWire asked why the company was named krispyhouse, given the connotations with Krispy Kreme.

Kyriacou took being associated with doughnuts in good humour, saying having a quirky name is a deliberate strategy help the business be remembered.

“It’s a name which causes a reaction; which stands out from the crowd,” he says. “Hopefully it helps somebody think of krispyhouse.”

The krispyhouse name is being publicised using a variety of advertising, from out-of-home to digital advertising on social media platforms, as it looks to attract more tenants to the platform.

Geographical push

Establishing the platform in London seems to be the current goal, after which the focus will be shifted to Northern cities.

“London is the most exciting city for rentals,” Kyriacou says. “Albeit Manchester and Liverpool will be our focus once we have capitalised on London.”

The platform already has agents advertising in Liverpool and Edinburgh, with Kyriacou claiming they’re getting some fantastic results, though it will likely to take some time to properly establish the business outside of the capital.

Section 21 concerns

Kyriacou was asked about the potential abolition of Section 21, sometimes referred to as a ‘no fault’ eviction.

This has been promised by the Conservatives since 2019 but still hasn’t gone through, as abolishing Section 21 is now subject to the court system being reviewed following amendments to the Renters (Reform) Bill.

Meanwhile the Labour Party has committed to getting rid of Section 21 if the party triumphs in the next general election.

“I personally don’t know where the abolition of Section 21 is coming from,” Kyriacou says. “I think the system seems to be working at the moment.

“The way it’s interpreted as ‘no fault’ has emotional connotations, but rarely do you see landlords wanting to upset the apple cart by issuing a Section 21 eviction willy nilly.

“From a landlord’s perspective the property is an asset that you need to be able to rely on.

“Will it solve the problem? Who knows. Will it spook the market? Yes. Is that a good thing? I think no.”

Indeed, Kyriacou is worried that getting rid of Section 21 could send the market back 50 years.

“I don’t think anybody wants to go back to the 70s where people were occupying properties and never leaving – so landlords were refusing to let them out,” he adds.