Union of the crowds: Innovative crowdfunding platform bridges finance and property to open up new buy-to-let investment route.

The crowdfunding platform CrowdLords has proven that buying a home isn’t the only way to invest in property. The online platform directly connects people looking to build or manage a property portfolio with savers seeking secure investments for the future. With UK house prices predicted to rise by an incredible 25% in just the next five years, property undoubtedly continues to be a market well worth the investment.

Bethan Jenkins, Co-Founder of CrowdLords, commented: “The world is changing. More and more people are becoming investment-savvy and more and more platforms are enabling people to invest. CrowdLords was born when my business partner and I realised the emerging crowdfunding phenomenon would make an ideal match for real estate in the UK.

“Although property is always high on the news agenda here, so many people are being priced out of investing. We just put two and two together. We’re now able to offer active and hassle free UK property investments – which is undoubtedly a unique offering in today’s market.”

The company sees a more co-operative process as being beneficial to both savers and property managers or developers. Those investing directly, rather than only earning interest off their savings in the bank, can potentially get a better return. Meanwhile, those wishing to be landlords have a wider access to funds, with some on more favourable terms.

CrowdLords has clearly spotted a niche, but having a brilliant business idea alone doesn’t guarantee success. After experiencing substantial early interest in 2014, CrowdLords sought the advice of KPMG’s Small Business Accounting team to shed light on the outsourcing of certain processes to simplify operations. Providing CrowdLords with a comprehensive package of administrative support – including updating and submitting accounts, managing the company’s payroll and providing day-to-day advice from a dedicated accountant – the Small Business Accounting team have streamlined CrowdLords’ financial administration; helping the budding entrepreneurs to focus on the more important, strategic elements of the high growth company.

Outsourcing elements of the complex financial administration involved in the CrowdLords business model allowed the company to focus on growth, while providing prospective investors with the confidence and security that comes from working with one of the Big Four professional service firms.

Bethan Jenkins, co-founder of CrowdLords, commented: “A key part of our business is managing Special Purpose Vehicles – investment pools consisting of directly owned shares – which technically own each property. Our concern was that this could become a cumbersome, expensive and time-consuming process, but with KPMG’s Small Business Accounting team taking on the task, the process will be more efficient and simple – at least from our end!”

CrowdLords projects annual returns of between 6% and 15%, and has a range of terms spanning from 12 months to five years. Rental Income is paid quarterly, with capital growth paid at the end of the agreed fixed term.

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