When You Move: Peter Goodman
The serial entrepreneur talks about noticing a niche in the property market, and the importance of belief
Name: Peter Goodman
Company Name: When You Move
Location: Greater London
Date Launched: 01/01/16
No. of employees: 15
Tell us what your business does:
When You Move is a modern property law firm, delivering exceptional client service using a proprietary CRM / case management platform alongside a consumer facing mobile app for continued transparency throughout the property transaction.
The technology we use is all our own so we can develop and evolve in a very agile fashion.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
Simon (co-founder and CEO) and I began discussing how we felt that the property buying and selling process lacked a lot of the transparencies seen in other industries.
The lawyers are at the centre of the transaction but were not always very good at controlling the flow of communications on a regular basis.
So, after much research and understanding around the process, it was clear that technology could really assist the legal team to do so, but instead of licensing the technology to others, we decided that more of an impact would be possible if we controlled the end to end solution. So, we went about building technology and gaining a licence to practice conveyancing law.
How did you know there was a market for it?
There are more than 1.2m property transactions in the UK each year and its estimated that the conveyancing market in the UK is more than £1bn profession, so the market already existed, but we feel that with a different approach to client servicing and building technology to increase transparency in this market will result in When You Move becoming the dominant player in this market.
What were you doing before starting up?
When You Move is my 7th start up and Simon’s first venture as a co-founder and CEO.
My previous business was social.com which was the world’s largest social advertising management platform, now owned by Salesforce.
Simon had previously run global teams at the likes of Thomson Reuters and was always focused on delivering efficiencies within large industries and really driving revenues and business growth.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
I have always run my own business.
I’ve always had the mentality that I could execute an idea much quicker if I started a company than climb the corporate ladder.
Simon caught the start-up bug a few years ago and really felt that he could take all of the fantastic skills nurtured in large corporations and make a difference in running a start-up business.
How did you raise the money?
The first round of seed funding came from both new angel investors and investors in my previously successful ventures. It is a lot easier to raise money with a good track record than without.
The property sector is a very hot topic at the moment, albeit more focused on the online estate agency market.
However, we felt that the legal sector was equally ripe for improvement and many investors agreed.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
We are a modern property law firm and we make money from fees for conducting work for our clients. We operate in the normal way a legal practice operates but we also deliver our service leveraging our own proprietary technology stack.
Our technology ensures that there is the right level of transparency in a transaction and the right communication channels for all parties involved.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Since the beginning we wanted technology to play a central role in the companies DNA.
However, in a profession where technology is still fairly sparse, changing behaviours of our initial hires and seeing them reap the benefits of technology in terms of making them more efficient in many of their day to day tasks and seeing the client reactions to technology only reaffirms the proposition we have built.
What was your first big breakthrough?
When the first high fives and fist pumps happened in the office between a legal professional with 15 years’ experience and our CTO. That was a huge breakthrough in terms of changing the behaviour of individuals by demonstrating that technology, when used well is a huge asset to someone delivering their job.
Instead of being sceptical, they have become welcoming of change that helps them day to day and even leading some of the product sessions asking for features to make them even more efficient and client focused.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
It has to be something that you truly believe in, your desire will be tested throughout the process and you need to make sure that you have the passion to make it through the tough times because the good times are simply incredible.
Where do you want to be in five years' time?
As a business When You Move will be the leading brand providing legal services in the UK property market. Alongside which, the company will also be looking at other territories to deliver this level of customer service with the legal sector in other countries.