Goodlord was launched in 2015 with a simple mission: make renting better for everyone. The founders wanted to introduce technology into what was the painful, paperwork heavy process of renting a home. I joined the business as CEO in 2018 to help the company scale up.
Tell me about the business – what it is, what it aims to achieve, who you work with, how you reach customers and so on?
Goodlord is the UK’s leading RentTech platform. We build technology that is used by letting agents and their landlords and tenants to simplify the whole renting process; from referencing and contracts, to move-in services and insurance, all on one platform.
This means letting agents can run their businesses more efficiently, landlords can stay compliant, and tenants benefit from a smoother, digital-first process.
We work with around 3,000 client firms, processing tens of thousands of tenancies per month. In total, we support more than one million users each year
How has the business evolved since its launch?
Since launching in 2014, we’ve grown to become the UK’s fastest growing RentTech platform – offering the widest range of tenancy services on the market. Our platform now encompasses everything a letting agent could need – such as rent collection, tenant contents insurance or AI-powered ID checks – all underpinned by cutting-edge technology.
We’ve also made a series of strategic acquisitions in recent years. Since 2020, we’ve brought digital referencing platform Vouch, housemate bills app Acasa, and digital home move assistant Halo, into the Goodlord Group.
Tell us about the working culture at Goodlord
Culture is really important to us at Goodlord and is something we’ve been hugely mindful of as we’ve scaled over recent years. Although we are now 300 ‘Goodlordians’ strong, we’ve worked hard to keep our close-knit, family friendly atmosphere. We were named in 10th place for the Great Places to Work in the UK in 2022 (large-sized businesses).
Every person employed by Goodlord – from assistants to senior directors – has a “values interview” before they begin their roles with us, which we treat equally to the skills-based interview.
How are you funded?
We are a Series B, VC-backed company, having raised £55M since launch. We are continuing to invest ahead of the curve into our proprietary platform as we focus on scaling.
What has been your biggest challenge so far and how have you overcome this?
All startups and scale-ups go through challenges. I’ve led businesses during the dot com bubble, the ‘08 crash and Covid-19 – so I’ve seen my fair share! The early months of the pandemic were pretty stressful; we watched the entire rental market completely shut down. It bounced back fairly quickly, but we had to prepare for a huge range of outcomes. But the challenges we’ve faced have made us stronger as a business and we’ve had brilliant colleagues, a strong board, and astute investors on hand to support us during those moments.
How does Goodlord answer an unmet need?
We are bringing cutting-edge digital solutions to a market which services 10 million households across the UK. When Goodlord launched, the lettings industry was yet to embrace the power of digital – no one was really thinking about rental technology. We’ve enabled that shift to happen at pace, directly benefiting millions of renters.
What’s in store for the future?
We are really ambitious about what Goodlord can achieve. We are laser-focused on growth at the moment – both in terms of the team, the product and our market share. We’re also actively considering additional acquisitions. There are huge pressures on the rental market at the moment and I believe Goodlord can play a role in making it work better for all stakeholders.
What one piece of advice would you give other founders or future founders?
Adopt the mantra that you will never rebuild any technology you create – and make sure your tech team knows this is your mantra. That encourages everybody to build it right in the first place.
And finally, a more personal question! What’s your daily routine and the rules you’re living by at the moment?
Working from home has made us all rethink our routines, but I still find I do my best work at the office – and I stay fitter too because most of the time I cycle to and from work. At the same time I do value the flexibility to work at home and from different places. I don’t have many rules – except for date night with my partner, which happens every week!
William Reeve is the CEO of Goodlord.