Living Smart: Small Team, Mighty Portfolio

23rd December 2019

Even teams of two can cause big waves in property development. Especially with the help of LandInsight. 



The hero

Living Smart blazed into the property industry in 2013, and show no signs of slowing down their development success.

The founders behind Living Smart are brothers, Ben and Tom Thorns. They've brought their experience as a Financial Consultant and Digital Marketer to the Greater Manchester property world.

They started as property investors providing professional letting management services, these two know what makes a great investment.

  • Making waves in the build-to-let market
  • Working team of two – a small number with mighty impact
  • Using LandInsight since November 2017

Ben and Tom Thorns_Living Smart


So what's changed?

A team of two, Ben and Tom had big dreams of developing an incredible rental portfolio, that included new-build and change-of-use conversion properties.

When they first started, they did what they had to to get that portfolio together. Long nights, and labour-intensive ways of working to keep costs down. It worked, but it wasn't sustainable.

As they scaled their business, they needed to scale their processes.

Once they knew that, it was out with long nights and in with LandInsight.


How LandInsight's helped

Ben and Tom decided to say no to doing everything manually. And while they were at it, they decided to stop paying sky-high land agent fees by sourcing sites for themselves.

They wanted to find better deals for themselves, and be able to move faster on them. And that's exactly what they got with LandInsight.

Sites Pipeline

The Sites Pipeline keeps their potential opportunities saved all together, according to their status. That means it's easier to find information on any site – like ownership information, property data, site plans, plot measurements, and track their sites through the stages of assessment.

By streamlining their processes, Living Smart have boosted their efficiency by 5x compared to their old site-sourcing methods.


Planning Layer

Planning history information is vital for Living Smart's interest in conversion projects. It helps them identify red flags just as quickly as it helps them spot hidden opportunities.

It used to take a lot of time – manually checking for each restriction, cross-referencing maps, and trawling through clunky council websites.

Now, they can access all the information they need in one place – the Planning Layer. They can de-risk their developments by checking out the planning potential early in the assessment stage.

The result? A 100% planning success rate since adopting LandInsight.

Deep Search and Filter Functions

Like most SMEs with limited resources, using land agents to source sites became a huge drain on Ben and Tom's funds.

Using the deep search feature within LandInsight, they can quickly self-source off-market deals while filtering for any deal-breakers like size, use class, and planning status.

That means a ready list of suitable sites in just a few clicks.

"LandInsight is the perfect solution for us. We wouldn't have got to this stage without it."

Keep finding those sites, Ben, because we're not going anywhere.

Screenshot 2019-12-12 at 11.44.42


The impact

By bringing strategy and structure to their workflow, they can now make quick decisions on high-margin opportunities they might otherwise have missed, to boost their growing portfolio.

With the help of LandInsight, they've sourced a minimum 30% GDV margin on all their deals found through the platform.

And you can take that to the bank (they certainly did).



Let's get you started

Living Smart are proof that any team, of any size, can achieve great things with LandInsight.

If you're still struggling with complex spreadsheets (or pen-and-paper systems) and want to grow, it's time to start using your valuable resources on things that really work.

If you want to cut out the land agents and start finding sites for yourself, we can help.

Say hello to our team to get a head-start on your competition.

Start your free trial now.

Steph is the Creative Associate at LandTech. She creates great campaigns, and has a background in digital marketing and film to prove it. She likes responsible property development, but she *loves* Ferris Bueller.