Baker Hughes, C3.ai, and Microsoft announce alliance to accelerate digital transformation of the energy industry

first_img Baker Hughes, C3.ai, and Microsoft announce alliance to accelerate digital transformation of the energy industry. Photo: courtesy of Gerd Altmann from Pixabay. Baker Hughes (NYSE:BKR), C3.ai, and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) today announced an alliance to bring enterprise artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to the energy industry on Microsoft Azure, an industry-leading cloud computing platform.This alliance will enable customers to streamline the adoption of scalable AI solutions for the energy industry that help promote safety, reliability, and sustainability. It leverages the significant energy technology expertise of Baker Hughes, C3.ai’s proven AI platform and applications, and the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform. As a result, energy businesses will have a secure and reliable suite of enterprise-scale AI applications optimized to run on Azure. These solutions are tailored to address challenges across the entire value chain, from inventory optimization and energy management to predictive maintenance and process and equipment reliability.“Shell supports the aim of this strategic alliance to improve efficiencies, increase safety, and reduce environmental impact through digital transformation, aligning seamlessly with our goals and ambitions,” said Jay Crotts, Shell Group CIO. “Baker Hughes is one of our long-standing and valued partners in oilfield services and software development, and we use the C3.ai platform on Microsoft Azure to accelerate digital transformation across our business, helping to improve overall operations. The new technologies being developed will be critical as we all need to work together to reduce the net carbon footprint of the products and solutions that we put into society.”“The industry is adopting technologies that help manage the challenges and opportunities associated with the energy transition. The AI solutions offered through Baker Hughes and C3.ai deliver insights that can reduce risk and improve performance for operators as they navigate this transition,” said Lorenzo Simonelli, Chairman and CEO, Baker Hughes. “With a singular offering that can accelerate digital transformation across the sector, energy businesses can now draw on the power of Microsoft’s cloud, C3.ai’s leading AI capabilities, and Baker Hughes’s expertise in the energy industry.”“We are witnessing a massive market shift as oil and gas businesses undergo enterprise-level digital transformation to improve efficiencies and increase safety, while simultaneously reducing environmental impact,” said Thomas M. Siebel, CEO, C3.ai. “With Microsoft’s global reach and horizontal cloud platform, Baker Hughes’s technology domain expertise, and C3.ai’s industrial AI capabilities, organizations can rapidly improve core business operations and better serve customers with AI-enabled products and services. This strategic alliance is a complete game-changer for the industry.”The solutions will simplify the process of adopting AI capabilities for energy companies, starting with the shift of data management, storage, and compute onto Azure, through the development and enterprise-wide deployment of domain-specific AI applications built on the BHC3 AI Suite.“For the energy industry, this is a time of significant transformation, and forward-thinking companies are exploring how to leverage technology to make their operations cleaner, safer and more efficient,” said Judson Althoff, EVP, Worldwide Commercial Business, Microsoft. “By bringing together the domain expertise of Baker Hughes and the AI strengths of C3.ai to run on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, customers can achieve new levels of digital transformation while advancing their sustainability commitments.” Source: Company Press Release Joint offerings will help make energy operations safer, cleaner, and more efficientlast_img read more

Unaoil faced a ministry ‘stitch-up’ in Iraq tender process, ex-manager tells bribery trial

first_img Al Basrah Oil Terminal in Iraq (Credit: US Army/Spc. Darryl L Montgomery) A former Unaoil executive “sweated blood” to ensure the success of a major energy upgrade project in southern Iraq and faced a “stitch-up” engineered by the country’s former oil minister, jurors in a bribery trial have been told.Ziad Akle, 45, dismissed claims by prosecutors for the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) that he and his former colleagues at the Monaco-based consultancy unlawfully obtained and offered “inside information” about specifications for a manufacturing tender process central to a crude oil expansion project.At London’s Southwark Crown Court yesterday (2 March), he argued a “legitimate” arrangement between Unaoil and Iraq’s state-owned South Oil Company (SOC) provided advance access to the confidential specification documents, and that no attempt was made to “slant” the process in favour of “friendly” companies. Akle ‘sweated blood’ to ensure success of oil expansion project in southern IraqThe events took place against the backdrop of a $4.5bn government scheme to increase Iraq’s crude oil exporting capacity from 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to 4.5 million bpd in the years following the US-led invasion and toppling of Saddam Hussein – the Iraq Crude Oil Export Expansion Project (ICOEEP).SOC was tasked with attracting foreign businesses to upgrade failing oil and gas infrastructure in the south of the country – and Unaoil used its connections in the region, and at SOC in particular, to capitalise on the opportunity.“Our objective was to assist in moving forward this massive and important project that had been talked about for years, as well as to build on the relationship with SOC we had worked hard for – and hopefully earn revenue,” said Akle.“I did this job out of loyalty to my colleagues and my company. I was honourable to my work.“We had sweated blood by 2009 and done things in Iraq that no-one else had done. I wanted Unaoil and the project to succeed.” Corruption charges against three British nationals associated with UnaoilAkle is on trial alongside two other businessmen accused of conspiracy to make corrupt payments in Iraq between 2005 and 2011– Steven Whiteley, 65, who was Unaoil’s general territories manager for Iraq, and formerly a vice-president of SBM Offshore; and Paul Bond, 68, who was a senior sales manager for SBM Offshore.All three men deny the charges brought against them.The trial continues. Former Unaoil executive Ziad Akle dismissed allegations by the Serious Fraud Office that he was involved in rigging a bidding process for new oil equipment in the post-Saddam yearscenter_img Unaoil’s inside information was good ‘market intelligence’Quizzed by the SFO’s prosecutor Michael Brompton QC on the nature of the “inside information” Unaoil shared with friendly clients – including Netherlands-based SBM Offshore, which won a multi-million dollar contract to install SPM equipment ahead of Bluewater – Akle said it was simply used as a “first-mover advantage”.“It’s called market intelligence,” he said. “’Friendly’ meant a company that was well-known to people at Unaoil, and the other way round, so it would be willing to work with Unaoil, trust its advice and work in places it would not usually go.“It helped if a company was friendly.”Asked by Mr Brompton whether the tender had been an “open and honest” process, the defendant said it had been carried out to “address the ‘un-level’ playing field” created by the influence of the oil ministry.“We explored the options,” he added. “There was no guarantee that SBM would want to work with Unaoil.“We tried our hardest to ensure no-one was precluded or ruled out from the running because of specifications.” SFO alleges bribery of senior officials by Unaoil in post-war IraqAkle faces charges of conspiracy to make corrupt payments in Iraq between 2005 and 2010, with the SFO alleging a secretive relationship between Unaoil and a former SOC project manager was used to bribe senior Iraqi officials and influence the outcome of the tenders.But the British-Lebanese businessman, who was spending his birthday in the witness stand and cut an increasingly frustrated figure as the day progressed, claims the secrecy was made necessary by fears Iraq’s former deputy oil minister Ahmed al-Shamaa was “looking for any excuse to derail SOC totally from this process and take over” for himself.Akle alleged al-Shamaa had developed a “special relationship” with people inside other companies involved in the tender.These included Foster Wheeler, the UK-based firm appointed to oversee the process, and Bluewater – a Netherlands-based manufacturer of single point moorings (SPM) equipment bidding for one of the contracts.He said: “There were factions within SOC, within the ministry, in Basra and everywhere in between.“That was the reason for the [secret] arrangement. We were on a mission to help SOC, and if successful, get remunerated for it.“It became clearer and clearer that somewhere in Foster Wheeler, there was a stitch-up in the process.“There was a lot more support for the Bluewater strategy, and we had to take all kinds of measures to level the playing field.”last_img read more

Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy to unlock a new era of offshore green hydrogen production

first_img Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy to develop green hydrogen. (Credit: Pixabay/Jose Antonio Alba.) To reach the Paris Agreement goals, the world will need vast amounts of green hydrogen and wind will provide a large portion of the power needed for its production. Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy announced today that they are joining forces combining their ongoing wind-to-hydrogen developments to address one of the major challenges of our decade — decarbonizing the economy to solve the climate crisis.The companies are contributing with their developments to an innovative solution that fully integrates an electrolyzer into an offshore wind turbine as a single synchronized system to directly produce green hydrogen. The companies intend to provide a full-scale offshore demonstration of the solution by 2025/2026. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research announced today that the developments can be implemented as part of the ideas competition “Hydrogen Republic of Germany”.“Our more than 30 years of experience and leadership in the offshore wind industry, coupled with Siemens Energy’s expertise in electrolyzers, brings together brilliant minds and cutting-edge technologies to address the climate crisis. Our wind turbines play a huge role in the decarbonization of the global energy system, and the potential of wind to hydrogen means that we can do this for hard-to-abate industries too. It makes me very proud that our people are a part of shaping a greener future,” said Andreas Nauen, Siemens Gamesa CEO.Christian Bruch, CEO of Siemens Energy, explains: “Together with Siemens Gamesa, we are in a unique position to develop this game changing solution. We are the company that can leverage its highly flexible electrolyzer technology and create and redefine the future of sustainable offshore energy production. With these developments, the potential of regions with abundant offshore wind will become accessible for the hydrogen economy. It is a prime example of enabling us to store and transport wind energy, thus reducing the carbon footprint of economy.”Over a time frame of five years, Siemens Gamesa plans to invest EUR 80 million and Siemens Energy is targeting to invest EUR 40 million in the developments. Siemens Gamesa will adapt its development of the world’s most powerful turbine, the SG 14-222 DD offshore wind turbine, to integrate an electrolysis system seamlessly into the turbine’s operations. By leveraging Siemens Gamesa’s intricate knowledge and decades of experience with offshore wind, electric losses are reduced to a minimum, while a modular approach ensures a reliable and efficient operational set-up for a scalable offshore wind-to-hydrogen solution. Siemens Energy will develop a new electrolysis product to not only meet the needs of the harsh maritime offshore environment and be in perfect sync with the wind turbine, but also to create a new competitive benchmark for green hydrogen.The ultimate fully integrated offshore wind-to-hydrogen solution will produce green hydrogen using an electrolyzer array located at the base of the offshore wind turbine tower, blazing a trail towards offshore hydrogen production. The solution will lower the cost of hydrogen by being able to run off grid, opening up more and better wind sites. The companies’ developments will serve as a test bed for making large-scale, cost-efficient hydrogen production a reality and will prove the feasibility of reliable, effective implementation of wind turbines in systems for producing hydrogen from renewable energy.The developments are part of the H2Mare initiative which is a lighthouse project likely to be supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research ideas competition “Hydrogen Republic of Germany”. The H2mare initiative under the consortium lead of Siemens Energy is a modular project consisting of multiple sub-projects to which more than 30 partners from industry, institutes and academia are contributing. Siemens Energy and Siemens Gamesa will contribute to the H2Mare initiative with their own developments in separate modular building blocks. Source: Company Press Release Projects target a total investment of approximately EUR 120 million over five years in developments leading to a fully integrated offshore wind-to-hydrogen solution  last_img read more

Non-commercial discovery in Jerv exploration well (PL973) operated by Chrysaor

first_img Non-commercial discovery in Jerv exploration well. (Credit: David Mark from Pixabay.) Chrysaor Norge AS as operator of PL973 has concluded drilling of explorationwell 15/12-25. The well targeted petroleum in reservoirs of Paleocene age (TyFormation). The well was drilled to a total depth of 2,795 m below mean sealevel and terminated in limestone, also assumed to be of Paleocene age. Thewater depth is 86 m.The well encountered a 40 m gas condensate column in reservoir of good to verygood quality. No gas-water contact was observed. The well was not formationtested but coring, sampling and data acquisition were performed, includingpressure data. The reservoir pressure is highly depleted and the remainingresources are interpreted to be insufficient for development. The well is nowbeing plugged for abandonment and no further data will be acquired.This is the first exploration well drilled in PL973. The licence was awarded in2019 through the APA2018 licensing round. Well 15/12-25 was drilled by the COSLInnovator rig which will now drill well 15/12-26 in the same licence. Source: Company Press Release The well encountered a 40 m gas condensate column in reservoir of good to very good quality. No gas-water contact was observedlast_img read more

Letting agents face £30k on-the-spot fines

first_imgHome » News » Letting agents face £30k on-the-spot fines previous nextLetting agents face £30k on-the-spot finesLondon Borough of Hackney says errant agents and landlords now face much stiffer fines and could be forced to repay rent to tenants if minimum standards are not met.Nigel Lewis27th October 20170962 Views Letting agents in one of London’s poorest boroughs face on-the-spot fines of up to £30,000 and will be forced to repay rents to tenants if they fail to manage properties to the required standards, it has been announced.The London Borough of Hackney, which is the 11th most deprived borough in England but famed for its Hackney Empire theatre and hipster areas such as Stoke Newington, says it will fine agents and landlords who fail to comply with council instructions to make improvements to properties, let overcrowded properties or fail to meet licensing conditions.The borough says it has introduced the civil penalties so that it can take “immediate action” against agents rather than engaging in lengthy court proceedings.Some 34,000 properties are rented privately in Hackney, a third of all households, and rents have increased by 20% over the past five years – a two bedroom apartment in the borough can cost £2,000 a month to rent.“While we’ll still prosecute the most serious offenders, these new fines will give us the powers we need to quickly punish the minority of rogue landlords out to exploit tenants where it hurts – in their pocket,” says Councillor Sem Moema (pictured left).Despite the high prices, two thirds of renters canvassed during research into the local private rented sector by the borough said repairs were not being done when needed, and that one in five HMOs contained serious hazards or were in disrepair.The new fines are part of the boroughs ongoing Better Renting Campaign, which may soon include a borough-wide mandatory licensing system for all HMOs, and a blanket selective licensing scheme within its three poorest wards, following a consultation on the measures due to end in December.The borough recently also introduced a voluntary lettings fees ban across the borough, although so far only two agents have signed up – Margo & Co and Julian Reid.London Borough of Hackney sem moema estate agent fines October 27, 2017Nigel 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 2021last_img read more

Purplebricks is ignoring advertising watchdog’s ruling over fee transparency, claims CIELA

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » Purplebricks is ignoring advertising watchdog’s ruling over fee transparency, claims CIELA previous nextAgencies & PeoplePurplebricks is ignoring advertising watchdog’s ruling over fee transparency, claims CIELATrade organisation believes ASA’s October ruling that adverts must be clear that Purplebricks’ fees are upfront is being ignored by the hybrid agent.Nigel Lewis6th February 201804,502 Views Purplebricks is to be investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) over a ruling the watchdog published last year which upheld a complaint by the Charter for Independent Estates and Lettings Agents (CIELA) about its TV advertising.CIELA claims that Purplebricks is still not being clear about its upfront fee structure, despite the ASA saying it should do when, in October, the ASA found that Purplebricks’ ‘commisery’ TV ads had breached its Code of Broadcast Advertising.In the comments, the ASA said Purplebricks must “ensure that when making a comparison to other fee models in their ads, they made it clear that their flat fee was always payable.”Last week CIELA made a further complaint to the ASA, pointing out that several of Purplebricks’ online adverts made the same claims, and had not been amended to reflect the ASA’s earlier decision.CIELA has been told by the ASA that its complaint will not be taken forward.In an email to CIELA, it has said that “having considered your complaint, we have determined that it is not necessary to reinvestigate the issue, in light of the previous ruling.“Instead, we will refer this matter directly to our Compliance team to take action; the Compliance team does not report to complainants or publish the details of its work, but please be assured that it will address the problem.”CIELA claims that no-where on its website does Purplebricks clearly state that unlike traditional agents its vendors pay up-front, rather than on completion.But in one homepage box, ‘What’s included in our fixed fee”, there is an oblique reference to the up-front fee, when the copy says: “Use our competitively priced conveyancing services, and you need pay nothing upfront. Instead, you’ll pay when your property sells or after 10 months, whichever is the sooner.” Purplebricks advertising standards authority ASA commisery TV ads February 6, 2018Nigel 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 2021last_img read more

Agents too keen to bag a sale when doing viewings, say buyers

first_imgThree quarters of all home buyers who have attended property viewings believe the agent showing them around was more interested in their sales commission than providing decent information about it.That is the claim made by research commissioned by outsourced property viewings and inspection service Viewber today, two years after it started up. Viewber says it also now offers a national service after being set up in September 2016 by former Douglas and Gordon boss Ed Mead.The company also claims its service is gaining traction and now has 300 estate agent clients and 1,100 registered users alongside 5,000 freelance personnel who do the viewings. Viewber is making hay among agents keen to cut their fixed costs as the market becomes tougher, and enables agents to offer viewing at times of day and evenings or weekends that many buyers now prefer and that their full-time staff members are unwilling or unable to attend.Weekend viewingsThe research by Viewber, which was conducted among consumers who have used their service, found that almost all preferred viewings after work or during weekends, 82% wanted to view homes when it suited them, not the agent while 81% don’t care who shows them around a property as long as they are armed with its details.“Most sellers and landlords naturally expect agents to conduct viewings whenever they’re asked, but we all know, especially if busy, that often just isn’t possible,” says Ed Mead (left).“Viewber’s guarantee to do any viewing in the UK with 24 hours’ notice allows agents to make that promise, a significant consumer-focused step forward.‘’For many agents the ability to cut fixed costs, whilst generating more income and increasing their reach, could mean the difference between thriving and going under.”property viewings Ed Mead Viewber September 11, 2018Nigel 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 » Agents too keen to bag a sale when doing viewings, say buyers previous nextProducts & ServicesAgents too keen to bag a sale when doing viewings, say buyersNegotiators are not providing enough information about properties during viewings reveals research commissioned by Viewber as it goes national.Nigel Lewis11th September 201801,706 Viewslast_img read more

Government reveals shock abolition of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions in England

first_imgThe Government has announced that it is to ban ‘no fault’ Section 21 evictions ending one of the key tools that letting agents and landlords use to end tenancies.James Brokenshire (below) has called the plans the ‘biggest change to the private rental sector in a generation’.“By abolishing these kinds of evictions, every single person living in the private rented sector will be empowered to make the right housing choice for themselves – not have it made for them,” he said.And in a rare departure from Brexit preparations, PM Theresa May has also taken time to back the plans, saying the shake-up will protect tenants from “unethical behaviour” and give them the “long-term certainty and the peace of mind they deserve”.The announcement has the support of lender Nationwide whose Director of Home Propositions Paul Wooton says: “Nationwide has been calling on Government for some time to introduce indefinite tenancies and we welcome their commitment on this issue. Tenants who are paying rent and not breaching tenancy agreements should be able to stay in their home unless the landlord has legitimate reasons for ending the tenancy.”But the planned abolition of Section 21 has not gone down well among letting agents.“Today’s news could be devastating for the private rented sector and landlords operating within it,” says David Cox, Chief Executive of ARLA Propertymark (pictured, right).“The effects of the tenant fees ban have not yet been felt, and now the Government is introducing more new legislation which could deter landlords from operating in the market.“Although in the majority of cases there is no need for Section 21 to be used, there are times when a landlord has no choice but to take action and evict tenants from a property.”‘Serious dangers’Landlords are equally worried, including the Residential Landlords Association, whose Policy Director David Smith (pictured, below) believes there are ‘serious dangers of getting such reforms wrong’.“With the demand for private rented homes continuing to increase, we need the majority of good landlords to have confidence to invest in new homes,” he says. “This means ensuring they can swiftly repossess properties for legitimate reasons such as rent arrears, tenant anti-social behaviour or wanting to sell them. This needs to happen before any moves are made to end Section 21.”“For all the talk of greater security for tenants, that will be nothing if the homes to rent are not there in the first place. We call on the government to act with caution.”No-fault evictions have already been banned in Scotland and housing charity Shelter is currently running a campaign to persuade its government to introduce similar legislation in Wales.James Brokenshire landlord regulation no fault evictions abolition of section 21 notices Section 21 notices David Cox section 21 David Smith RLA April 15, 2019Nigel Lewis2 commentsJohn Socha, Orchard BMS Ltd Orchard BMS Ltd 15th April 2019 at 7:09 pmIn order for two of my disabled tenants to obtain suitably modified homes, I had to use Section 21 to end their tenancies. This smacks of the opposite of the divorce laws that have just abolished “blame” to make the process more humane.My tenants would not have been housed by my local council/housing association. If I evict them for rent arrears, or any of the various “grounds” our borough council will not accept them. As usual, the do gooders of Shelter (houses not one single tenant) and Generation Rent (Not in the house rental business) have missed the point. If I feel that I do not have suitably adapted property, I want the state to house my former tenants. This has occurred only 3 times in 23 years. Is that not what the state is supposed to be there for? A safety net.Few people invite disability into their lives. It picks citizens (including myself) at random. An avenue of assistance for such tenants is now shut.Log in to ReplyJulian Blackmore, BNE BNE 15th April 2019 at 12:58 pmWhat a complete joke, you watch landlords sell in droves or just leave them empty. Just when you thought the government couldn’t behave like bigger idiots, they propose this.Log in to ReplyWhat’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 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Government reveals shock abolition of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions in England previous nextRegulation & LawGovernment reveals shock abolition of Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions in EnglandIndustry reacts with horror to likely ‘devastating’ effect on private rental market by measures announced by James Brokenshire.Nigel Lewis15th April 20192 Comments5,366 Viewslast_img read more

‘Offer management’ platform to launch in UK co-founded by star agent

first_imgHome » News » ‘Offer management’ platform to launch in UK co-founded by star agent previous nextProptech‘Offer management’ platform to launch in UK co-founded by star agentOffr enables agents, vendors and those making offers on a property to communicate via a common platform, helping reduce fall-throughs by 50%.Nigel Lewis27th January 20201 Comment1,784 Views The Negotiator has been shown a new proptech platform that claims to revolutionise how prospective buyers make offers on a property for sale.Called Offr, it’s a tech platform that enables estate agents to move the offer management process online and help them and vendors control and understand more about each offer and who’s making it and how prepared each buyer is to move to SSTC.It’s a white-labelled widget that sits on an agent’s website and enables approved buyers to make an offer at the click of a button. This, it is claimed, will drive more traffic and buyer engagement to agents’ site.Created by an Irish tech firm which has recently moved its operations to London, it is backed by an investment of €1 million from two Irish banks and has been in Beta mode for the past 18 months.Its launch is being spearheaded by Phil Farrell (pictured, above), who as well as being an estate agent with 27 years’ experience, is well known in Ireland for his property column in the Irish Independent.Ten million“We estimate that there are eight to ten million offers made in the UK every year on residential property but no one is capturing this information and managing it,” he says.“To speed up the house buying and selling process it’s essential to bring information about potential buyers into the offer process earlier and, among many things, weed out the tyre kickers.”The platform came out of auction house Allsop’s move into Ireland during the late noughties and the online tech developed by the company to handle online bids for properties. Its former director in Ireland and until recently the force behind BidX1 online auction site, Robert Hoban, is a co-founder with Farrell along with tech guru Niall Dawson.Offr is due to officially launch in May or June this year in the UK and is already being tried out by several high-profile agents. It plans to charge £300 a month to agents who want to list unlimited number of properties, and an undisclosed per-property charge for those who don’t.Read more about proptech.Offr Phil Farrell Allsop January 27, 2020Nigel LewisOne commentAndrew Stanton, CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist CEO Proptech-PR Real Estate Influencer & Journalist 27th January 2020 at 10:42 amI must profess a personal interest with Offr, in the sense that two of the directors Phil Farrell and Robert Hoban, were plying me with several pints of Guinness last Friday night in a hostelry in London Bridge. Putting that aside, and unlike Guinness which is said not to travel well across the water, Offr certainly does.I have been following the fortunes of this company for some time, and as a person very much in the know as my day time job is networking with all sectors of the proptech and real estate industry, meeting CEO’s, project managers, data scientists, captains of the finance, banking and legal industry and more, I love it when someone gets it right.And Robert, Phil have definitely got it right, with their offering – Offr.In between the pints Phil and Robert said their biggest problem was articulating what their service was. I suggested it was ‘two taps – Offr’ – meaning with two taps of your smart phone you can offer on a property, this is an integral part of their service. It also suggests that the service is instantaneous and seamless, the modern consumers touchstone.Phil rightly said, two taps seems more like Michael Flatterley, but after another pint of the black stuff I said well what is the Offr proposition?With an Irish gleam in his eye, Phil then said that Offr is a service for agents that runs alongside their existing business, it enhances it, and gives transparency to all parties, with a dashboard system that allows all stakeholders to be super connected.They went on to say that they had looked at the slow model of real estate, all the sticking points, and they had digitally engineered a better model with the buyer and the vendor at the centre of all things. Also, a transparent and time specific way of agreeing sales, still on the traditional private treaty basis. But, where buyer’s are pre-qualified before they offer (Offr), and at point of sale, within seconds the memo of sale can be produced, and all parties who offered and were unsuccesful would be instantly told.Then the proptech in the Offr solution really kicks off, with all ther stakeholders in the sale, buyer, seller, solicitors, all on a dashboard system able to see in real time the progress of the sale.For me – though I am no longer selling property, if I was I would use Offr (not the drink talking) because – it works – at point of pitching for the business in front of the vendor the Offr solution will gain vendors, and it will run along the existing way the agent works, it will also support a higher fee.So, more instructions, a better listing fee, a quicker sale being agreed and a speedier more transparent route to exchange.My advice – look on the Offr website today and get in contact with these two Robert or Phil, they may not buy you a pint, but, they will transform the bottom line of your business for the better.Log in to ReplyWhat’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 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more

Mortgage broker gets into ‘hot’ water over saucy magazine ad

first_imgAdverts for financial products are not known for being racy or, let’s be honest, that interesting but mortgage broker Habito has got into hot water after its ‘Karma Sutra’ themed magazine ad prompted a reader to complain.Last year the company ran a two-page spread that include some saucy imagery to illustrate research it had commissioned that had found getting a mortgage made one in ten couples’ sex life ‘hell’.While most estate agents use mortgage brokers that stick to the dowdier side of marketing their services, broker Habito left little to the imagination for readers of Grazia magazine.The ad features illustrations of various positions from the Karma Sutra as well as various sexually-themed motifs.In case readers were in any doubt, the illustrations were accompanied by mortgage-related descriptions including “Down-payment Doggy”, “The Standing Variable Rate”, “Prime 69” and “The Base-rate Scissor”.OffenceAn offended member of the public complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, which has dismissed the complaint after Habito pointed out that Grazia aimed at an adult audience and that that the ad was meant to be fun.“While we acknowledged that some would find the artistic illustrations of sexual positions and accompanying descriptions distasteful, they were not explicit and we considered that most readers were likely to view the ad as a humorous play on the results of the survey,” the ASA says.“Consequently, we concluded that the ad was unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence to those who saw it and was not irresponsible.”  Habito Mortgage broker advertising standards authority ASA ASA complaint rejection January 29, 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 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Marketing » Mortgage broker gets into ‘hot’ water over saucy magazine ad previous nextMarketingMortgage broker gets into ‘hot’ water over saucy magazine adHabito was reported to the ASA over the ad, but the complaint was dismissed after the watchdog said the ads were more fun than explicit.Nigel Lewis29th January 202002,149 Viewslast_img read more