Five Minutes With… Bill Shipton, CEO And Founder of Bold & Reeves
For our monthly series of interviews at Bold & Reeves, we’ve spoken to a range of different partners, from interior designers to mortgage brokers. This time, however, we look a little closer to home. We sit down with Bill Shipton, the CEO and Founder of Bold & Reeves, to look at how far the company has come and what lies in store for the future.
When did you launch Bold & Reeves?
I started Bold & Reeves in 2012, which is ten years ago now. I was running a family office for a Saudi family and part of my responsibility was the management of their property portfolio in London. To help improve the efficiency of our management system, I wanted to look for an outsourced, “Rolls-Royce” solution that could help.
Initially, I interviewed about five or six potential providers and it became clear that nobody was delivering the sort of services we needed. So I went to the family and said there’s an opportunity here to create our own bespoke service, a service that other high-end property owners will need too. That was the genesis for starting the business.
How did you develop the initial software?
We started off testing our new property management software, which I designed and built, on our existing property portfolio. I quickly realised that the best way to manage these properties and to do it in a transparent way, was to create a logbook to show what tasks had happened or when they were due to happen. This added value to the client, who could see what was going on, and to us as the service provider, as it helped us to manage the properties more effectively.
There is great value in the logbook because it compiles all the data on a property in one place. When that property subsequently changes hands, all of the information on its history can be passed on to the new owner.
How has the company expanded?
When we started, I was supported by an Operations Director with construction industry experience and one property manager – that was it. The company was very small to start with – we probably had 10-15 properties at the beginning. Now we have 152 properties, 16 staff and we’re about to hit 1.1 million sq ft of property under management.
How has the company fared since lockdown began at the beginning of 2020?
Over the past two years we’ve grown the topline of the business by 64%. For me, however, the most significant thing has been that we’ve recruited four graduates into the business and they’ve been brilliant. They’ve enabled the senior project managers, whom they support, to be much more effective.
Bold & Reeves is currently on the search for investment for the next stage of expansion, what does that mean for you?
I have a vision to develop the business along the technology route. We have already started to develop the platform and have licenced it to Mister Peele, our partners in the US, and we want to continue to do more of that kind of activity. We want to provide a residential property management solution for the owners of property portfolios and for family offices. The purpose of the fundraising is to enable us to grow the proptech side. It’s a process that takes some time but holds a lot of possibility.
What sets Bold & Reeves apart from other technology businesses?
The key thing that marks us out as a technology company is that we are the users of that technology. Very often people develop software solutions but they aren’t the users of it. Uniquely, every improvement on our platform is made because it is needed to help us on the service side of the business. I think that’s quite unusual for a tech company to be both the developers and the users.
To find out more about Bold & Reeves services, visit the About Us section of the website.