New company pays locals to find housing sites

In a creative approach to tackle the nation’s housing shortage, new company Patch Partners is offering to train, support and reward people to find and evaluate local property opportunities in their area, with a view to increasing supply. Incoming opportunities are evaluated by Patch, and then fed to the most appropriate purchaser within Patch’s developer and investor network. Patch is also a purchaser for certain opportunities.

Local people join as partners and choose their local ‘patch’, then undergo a comprehensive part-time training programme, culminating in an accreditation. Partners then have the knowledge and skills to spot and evaluate new and undiscovered housing opportunities. Partners also have the ability to earn fees and profit shares from the opportunities they find.

Joiners are trained in the target housing project types, how to interpret local planning policy, and how to undertake detailed assessment of potential opportunities. According to John Skelton, managing director of Patch, partners are given the opportunity to become proficient in the most profitable element of property: planning gain.

“This business suits people who have spare time, who want to be fast-tracked into the very core of property development, or want improved connections with genuine property investors,” said Skelton. “We ran a similar business in the 2000s, where many innovative housing sites were found and developed. This attracted joiners from many backgrounds, such as stay-at-home mums, airline pilots, project managers and property professionals such as letting agents. We already have people joining Patch from a similarly wide range of backgrounds.”

The inaugural training programme of Patch Partners commences in July. By October, Patch says its newly-trained partners will be looking for innovative and much-needed housing opportunities in their area, armed with all the core skills, support and earning potential.

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