Challenger portal prepares to go live next week after three years in development

first_imgIt’s been three years in development but early next week challenger portal Moovshack is due to go live, The Negotiator can report.It is the brainchild of Mike Silver, who founded East Midlands estate agency Middletons in 2011 but sold it in 2015. He’s also a man who does not tire of explaining how his app is not a ‘challenger portal’ at all.Instead, he says, it’s a smartphone app that enables house hunters to both find their next home and then communicate and transact with both the vendor or landlord and agent all the way through to completion.The full launch, which will come later this year, will be a test of his belief that both agents and consumers are happy to let one home moving platform handle all the communication and procedural work required to progress a sale or rental, including both offer negotiation.But Silver has the Coronavirus crisis on his side. He believes Moovshack’s ability to offer an arms-length digital way to buy or rent a home means it will appeal to a public wary of physical contact.Whole journey“For too long Rightmove and Zoopla have only been involved at the start of the journey and have not been interested or invested in getting the transaction to completion – whereas we are,” he says.“People don’t care about proptech, they only care about their home-moving journey being as short and easy as possible.”His team is due to set its systems live early next week and then will begin contacting the 3,000 or so agents who have expressed an interest in using the service and persuading them to sign up.But the biggest hill to climb for Moovshack is getting consumers to use it. To do this, he’s signed a deal with the UK’s largest newspaper publishing group, Reach, to advertise the app across its network of 247 national and regional newspapers.He also says his pricing model for agents is an advantage – agents can list for free on the app but only pay when they communicate directly with the parties involved in a sale or rental.Visit the Moovshack website.   Moovshack Mick Silver portals June 9, 2020Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Home » News » Challenger portal prepares to go live next week after three years in development previous nextProptechChallenger portal prepares to go live next week after three years in developmentFormer estate agent and Moovshack founder, Mick Silver, talks to The Negotiator about his bid to persuade the industry and consumers that there is a better way to move home.Nigel Lewis9th June 202001,159 Viewslast_img read more

Smith project gets OK from Board of Zoning Appeal

first_img Smith Campus Center, formerly Holyoke, to be transformed for 2018 opening Related The Cambridge Board of Zoning Appeal (BZA) gave its approval to Harvard University’s Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center renovation plans Thursday night. The project had previously secured the approval of the Cambridge Historical Commission, the Harvard Square Advisory Committee, and the Cambridge Planning Board.The approval, the final of the significant regulatory permits governing the proposed design, means that the project will move forward and, pending building permits and coordination with the city on construction logistics, work can begin as scheduled in the spring.Designs include a transparent pavilion facing Massachusetts Avenue, which will provide a welcoming and vibrant entrance alongside a redesigned exterior plaza.The lower levels of the building will include multifloor spaces for formal and informal gatherings, with food venues, flexible meeting and collaborative spaces, and landscaped courts. The second floor also will include the undergraduate and the graduate council offices with meeting space. The 10th floor will offer additional common and social spaces with views of the Charles River, Harvard Yard, and sections of campus beyond the river.A majority of the building will remain open during construction and many University tenants will remain in place throughout. The Smith Center will continue to house a number of administrative offices, including Harvard University Health Services, Harvard University Housing, HUID services, parking services, and the Harvard Information Center. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Sciences Registrar’s Office, and ticketing office will also be located in the building, making them more accessible to the entire campus community.The building, which will continue to welcome the greater Cambridge community and the wider public, will provide an improved experience for residents and visitors alike.Plans include twice as many permanent, regulation-size chess tables, half of which will now be indoors so they can be used year-round. There will be additional public restrooms, modernized bicycle parking, more seating indoors and outdoors, and improved overall circulation. There will be plenty of options for food, various year-round performances, and an abundance of natural light. And the entire area will finally be accessible to individuals with disabilities.“This project represents a mutually beneficial result for Harvard, Harvard Square, and the city of Cambridge. We appreciate the thoughtful process of the city’s regulatory boards and the input of all who participated in the comprehensive dialogue that led to the design and program associated with this exciting project,” said Meredith Weenick, vice president for campus services. “The new Smith Campus Center will be a central meeting point ― from Cambridge to Allston to Longwood, and for undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and staff. It will complement our current House system and only enhance the important social, educational, and cultural relationships and bonds that are so central to life at Harvard.”Students, faculty, and staff were engaged throughout the planning process. Community input was also garnered through public meetings in Harvard Square, including one in late September. Harvard planners conducted more than 25 focus groups and received nearly 6,000 responses to a campuswide survey.Harvard has also prioritized sustainability in the project and is using an integrated approach for design and construction, with a goal of creating a space that visually and symbolically represents Harvard’s commitment to sustainability.Formerly known as the Holyoke Center, the building was renamed in 2014 in honor of Richard A. and Susan F. Smith, who donated the funds for its renovation.  The redesigned center is expected to provide a major boost to the University’s multiyear effort — through the Common Spaces Program — to create and improve locations that foster the intellectual, cultural, and social campus experience for the entire Harvard community and beyond.Plans call for the completed center to open in 2018. Architect, donors named for new campus centerlast_img read more