Few will argue that buying a home is stressful. For those considering that big leap in tenant-to-owner life, buying your own brick and mortar pile can be one of the most difficult tasks of adult life.
Not only is this probably the biggest purchase in life, the logistics of buying a home can be a bureaucratic ground for the uninitiated.
Lintil, an Irish startup launched earlier this year, aims to streamline and simplify the home buying journey with a free platform that helps buyers every step of the way, from home search to conclusion of the case.
“The traditional way of buying and selling a home has barely evolved over the past 40 years and is still done almost entirely offline, forcing all buyers to coordinate among multiple parties, causing confusion and unnecessary stress, ”says Emmet Creighton, co-founder. and CEO.
The company was scheduled to launch in March 2020 – however, the arrival of the pandemic that same month forced all their plans to be postponed.
“While the impact of Covid-19 was significant, it ultimately worked in our favor as people began to realize that most things can be done online rather than in person,” says Emmet.
Digitization of processes was a boost for Lintil, which officially launched in July 2021.
“We tested for months before launch and are extremely confident that our virtual home buying assistant will dramatically improve what used to be a difficult process,” he said.
Based in Dublin, the company currently has 3,000 members in Ireland and 26,000 in Great Britain. Functioning as a virtual home buying assistant, Lintil follows all the steps and steps of the buying journey, allowing home buyers to book discounted quotes from all market services including mortgage brokers, lawyers, insurance companies and land surveyors.
We had an overwhelming response from home buyers signing up and telling us that they have been waiting for a solution like this for a long time.
Having worked as a real estate solicitor for several years, helping high profile clients buy real estate in Ireland, he has seen how frustrating the process can be.
With many clients relying on his guidance along the way, he set out to create a platform to meet all the needs of first-time buyers with co-founder Dr Jonathan McLaughlin, a former professor of math, science and technology.
“Because we can negotiate on a large scale, Lintil can negotiate discounted quotes from mortgage brokers, lawyers, insurance companies, real estate surveyors and more,” he explains about of the process.
Lintil is riding the crest of a wave right now because we are doing something positive – in a market full of negative news.
“Last year, at the height of the pandemic, we opened a Facebook page to help potential buyers through the process, which we did primarily to keep ourselves and our staff busy and motivated. But it has now grown into the largest group of home buyers in Ireland, with a quarter of those people having become Lintil clients.
“It was a real example of putting something in place to help people, and that can benefit us commercially. “
Lintil acts as a concierge service, Emmet explains, a process of getting started from the search for the property to the final stage of handing over the keys.
“The process of buying a home can involve up to 14 different departments, including banks, insurance companies, land surveyors, etc. Our job is to study the market and find the best service providers currently operating at the best possible price.
Lintil effectively presents these services to customers, and for which we charge a fee for these services to do so. Everything we do for the client is free.
With just six months on the road, Lintil continues to exceed the expectations of its founders, with angel investors already on board and major expansion plans set to begin in 2022.
“The response has been overwhelmingly positive on both sides, to say the least,” he says. “We have big plans for the UK in particular, with a number of big companies there already involved with us.
“In addition, we are attracting considerable interest from companies across the EU who want to locate us in their territories. But while the market reaction has been overwhelmingly positive, we are fully aware that these remain early days for Lintil, and we are proceeding in a measured manner to respond to them.
Timing in business is the key to the success of any startup, an area where Lintil’s arrival has been reinforced by a number of changes in the market.
“2019 was the first year that more business was done on the mobile phone than on the desktop – a huge paradigm shift in the way people interact with the internet and commerce. The Lintil demographic, people between 25 and 45 who buy their first home, are used to buying everything on their phones, but are now moving towards buying things through ‘conversational commerce’ like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Everyone is used to buying on their phone, following their journey from source to when they arrive at your doorstep.
Lintil has also been helped by the Covid-19 restrictions, where people have stopped physically visiting offices or having face-to-face meetings in favor of the safer method of using mobile as a conduit:
“People, for example, would automatically hire a lawyer in Cork to buy a house in Cork – which is not the case at all. A lawyer in Donegal will do the job just as well, without needing to be on site in Cork or elsewhere.
“The same goes for insurance, mortgage brokerages and real estate surveying. What Covid has done is open up the entire market to homebuyers – Lintil investigating this market on their behalf to find the best services at the best rates. “
As part of the process, Lintil will also evaluate the service after each transaction:
“It is self-regulating, if a particular service is not up to par, we move on to the next.
Gone are the days when you had to visit six or seven different offices, with a trail of paperwork behind you.
This change was already well advanced until 2019, in any case, the pandemic has accelerated it even further, ”he concludes. “Companies like Lintil are there to do this work on behalf of the client – and it will become more and more common as we move forward. “
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