First in the Door was founded by Claire Whisker, a serial entrepreneur and former barrister. She previously co-founded luxury home rental service Veeve in 2011, securing $11m from venture capitalists; expanding the service internationally into France and the US; then selling an equity stake to a US hotel & travel group in a deal worth over $40m in 2017.
Whisker’s business experience, particularly dealing with affluent homeowners and her subsequent search to find her forever country home in Kent, gave her a detailed understanding of the property market and the challenges facing buyers to find their dream property. As a result, she was motivated to found a property advisor platform.
In an increasingly tricky market for house buyers, people are turning more to buying agents to find ‘off market’ properties and handle all aspects of house buying, from viewings through to negotiations – but there is still little consumer knowledge about how buying agents can help, or how to find trustworthy agents.
First in the Door has 80 professional, vetted buying agents already signed up, covering most of the country. The platform establishes an instant connection between active homebuyers and these agents.
First in the Door is based in London.
Whisker: “Like so many homebuyers here in the UK, I found the process incredibly stressful with gazumping and last-minute price negotiations, delays and sales falling through and a seemingly never-ending quagmire of estate agents, lawyers, mortgage companies, surveyors and planners to navigate.
“If you are selling your home, you have an estate agent on your side to help you achieve the highest price for your property and to advise you throughout the transaction all the way to completion – but there is no one to represent the interests of the buyer. It is quite simply an unlevel playing field and needs levelling up.
“Professional buying agents bring a huge amount of value to the search and buying process, but only a tiny minority of us in the UK are familiar with the concept. Our platform’s capability to establish an instant connection between active homebuyers and buying agents will bring scale and visibility to a sector with limited brand recognition as a whole.”