Housing pioneers nHouse create designer and eco-friendly homes in a factory and are very much part of the new wave of suppliers tackling the housing crisis in the UK and beyond. We spoke to nHouse CEO and founder, Nick Fulford, to find out more.
Can you tell us a bit about nHouse?
We make spacious, high-tech and green 'grand design' style homes...in a factory. Our highly experienced team have completed the Research and Development process, product development, brand creation, supply-chain set up and we have achieved full BOPAS (British Offsite Property Assurance Scheme) accreditation (necessary for mortgages and loans). We have generated over 500 sales enquiries, built our first house and have more under construction.
Why should people invest in this campaign?
There is a huge need for housing. Shelter is a core need for all of us, but in the UK the shortfall in the supply of housing is over 100,000 each year. This lack of supply is one of the reasons why house prices have been rising for decades. Making houses in factories is an effective way to bulk produce thousands of homes. Outside of the UK, it is estimated that nearly 2 billion people are ‘underhoused,’ so there is a big potential market for nHouse.
There is a huge capacity for nHouse growth. At present, the production facility we use has a potential annual output of 300 houses per year, which would represent an approx. £70m in annual revenues. And that’s through just one factory.
We have an innovative product. In the UK over 90% of new house buyers report snagging faults, and only 1 in 4 people would actually consider buying a new house. Critics say that new homes are too small, featureless and of poor quality.
In contrast, the nHouse has been created by a world-class architectural team, is 20% bigger than the average new build, has better core materials (60-year structural guarantee), along with higher quality kitchens, windows and bathrooms than most new builds.
Add in the lifestyle technology, eco features, low running costs, adaptability and the turnkey service we offer, and we think this explains why we get a 71% preference rating amongst potential new home buyers when our product is compared to the best-selling UK new builds.
We have a highly experienced team, which includes award-winning architects, production experts, salespeople and marketers. Our team is made up of individuals who have a track record of running long-standing successful and profitable businesses.
We have the support of the UK government, which has outlined it will support ‘modern methods of construction’ through the planning process. Additionally, Homes England (the government organisation tasked with delivering more homes) has pledged billions to help support offsite construction. In his 2019 New Year Message, the UK Housing Minister confirmed his commitment to our sector.
You raised nearly £1m with Crowdcube in 2017. How was this invested?
The initial investment allowed us to do a huge amount. Namely:
Develop - design, engineer, source suppliers, achieve accreditation, prototype and prime for volume production - a range of three nHouse products:nHouse3, nHouse4 and nHouse4+.
Recruit a senior management team and set up an office and customer showrooms.
Create a brand and launch to the public at Grand Designs 2018, and to the trade at Mipim 2018.
Invest in marketing sufficiently to generate over 500 sales enquiries to date.
Set up a fully furnished show house.
Create and legally protect our intellectual property.
And what is the next round for?
We have recruited a top Sales Director, Daniel Everett and want to expand our sales team to help process and convert the incoming sales enquiries (as well as becoming proactive). Daniel has already achieved a huge amount in his first few months with over 50 houses ‘on the board’ that we are aiming to help get into planning.
The funds raised will allow us to extend our runway through 2019.
What is the international opportunity?
We have so far received sales enquiries from Dublin, France, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, Nigeria, Tanzania, North America, Dubai, Australia, New Zealand and even the Falkland Islands. We are also growing a network of potential partners, franchises, developers and salespeople who would like to work with nHouse internationally. At present, establishing ourselves in the UK is the clear priority, but for investors looking for good growth opportunities in the businesses they back, we believe we have strong evidence that there is a large growth opportunity for nHouse.
How do you intend to grow your sales?
We plan to grow our sales with:
A high-quality sales team:
An expanded team will help us to properly capture and convert the almost daily incoming sales enquiries we generate. At present we don’t have the resources and bandwidth to give all sales leads the attention they deserve. And we would like to have the resources to be proactive too.
More marketing activity:
The awareness of nHouse in the UK is still limited, which we want to change. We plan to expand the knowledge of nHouse (whilst driving demand) via a range of marketing routes (PR, advertising, events, SEO, exhibiting etc.)
Product Range expansion:
We currently offer three-bed and four-bed homes. We aim to additionally offer an ‘apartment’ product (nFlat), a bungalow, an assisted living home, a low-cost housing unit (nHouseALL), as well as bigger homes (nHouse5 / 6.)
Market share growth:
Achieving growing sales in each product category in the UK by offering better homes at competitive prices with customers actually enjoying the experience (we want to mirror the service satisfaction levels achieved in the quality car market.)
Export and licensing:Longer term we are looking at how we can supply houses to other parts of the world, either directly or via local production facilities
What is next for nHouse over the next three years?
Delivering on our first developments, increasing market awareness, further expanding the team, launching new products to market, capturing market share and exploring business development opportunities in the UK and beyond. Additionally, we want to drive down supply prices as our volume approach gives us more purchase power.
Find out more about nHouse and invest by visiting their pitch page.
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