Veteran Countrywide figure John Hards has joined the board of still-to-launch property portal OpenBrix.
In 2018 Hards rejoined Countrywide as national lettings director; he had been one of the senior figures to leave the organisation a year earlier when the company was led by ex-chief executive Alison Platt.
He then quit Countrywide again late last year, describing the firm as “a great business to be part of.”
Now he joins OpenBrix and says: “Not only is it a genuinely unique portal based on next generation technology [Blockchain] but it will enable tenants to have their own sovereign identity which will carry their data including rental credit history. This brings a genuine solution to the portal space whilst providing many additional benefits at a fixed and affordable cost”.
Adam Pigott, chief executive of the portal, says: “It is fabulous to have someone so knowledgeable and grounded to help me remain focussed on what agents really need. We are 100% committed to deliver a product that gives value to the end-users but also, and at long last, can bring value to the agents”.
OpenBrix says it offers “a global first” in allowing tenants to hold their own data, their own pre-verified Right to Rent information, and their own record of rental payments which can if they wish be used by OpenBrix’s partner, CreditLadder, to influence their credit histories and credit scores on Experian and Equifax.
The new portal has been 18 months in the making and says it’s seeking to address what it describes as agents’ frustrations with the current leading portals - lack of control, price hikes and “the uncomfortable feeling that the agents hard acquired and costly data is being sold without benefit to the agent.”
It says its structure is reliant on a database shared across a Blockchain network of agents, rather than located at one central point.
Its structure is similarly devolved - it says each agency brand, irrespective of size, will have one vote in determining strategy and policy. It describes this as “community control” and pledges that “all price increases will have to agreed and voted on by the community.”