Who is Karl McArdle? CEO & Co-Founder
In the compelling world of property selling solutions, few individuals stand out as true trailblazers, leading their companies with ingenuity, determination, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.
Karl McArdle, our CEO and Co-Founder of The Property Buying Company is at the forefront of our goals and objectives for the future.
With a career spanning decades and a reputation for fostering innovation, Karl has not only steered The Property Buying company towards unprecedented success but also played a pivotal role in shaping the property industry landscape.
In this exclusive interview, we delve deep into the mind of Karl McArdle, exploring his remarkable journey from the inception of our company to its current standing as a leading UK cash buyer.
From the earliest sparks of inspiration that ignited his entrepreneurial spirit to the challenges he conquered while building the company from the ground up, this interview offers a rare glimpse into the life and experiences that have sculpted Karl into the CEO he is today.
Karl’s drive has propelled The Property Buying Company to the forefront of house selling solutions and instilled a culture of creativity, compassion and collaboration within the organisation.
Through candid anecdotes and insightful reflections, he shares the pivotal moments that have shaped his perspective and guided his decisions in times of triumph and during the inevitable hurdles every business faces.
Who is Karl McArdle?
In this section of the interview we will explore Karl’s experience and knowledge within the property industry; from his entry into the property industry as a teenager, where a chance encounter led him to unknowingly broker his first sale, to his navigational prowess during the financial crisis that transformed his outlook on markets and resilience.
Can you tell us how you got into the property industry?
So I actually got into the property industry by complete mistake — when I was about 15, my mother had a house on the market and was struggling to sell it.
I had some friends over who were from out of town and when their parents came round to pick them up, I just started telling them all the great things about the house.
I told them all the things I loved about it, all the things in the local area and in the end, they actually bought the property from us. So, I actually sold my first house at 15.
That’s how I first ever got into property and it ignited my passion for property — from then on I just kept working hard with some local people in the property sector and it just grew from there really.
How have you seen the property industry change since you began your career?
I’ve seen the swings from all sides really. Since I began my career, we’ve seen a lot of change, I mean I worked during the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008 — obviously, I saw the market and lending shift considerably.
The company I was working with at the time had to diversify massively, moving away from buying and more into trading, just to try and counteract the difficulty of selling on the open market.
That was a real eye opener and I’m quite thankful that I was able to experience that at the time because it’s given me a lot of knowledge to deal with situations since then, like with Brexit and the turmoil created by Covid.
I’ve seen the market swing from a very buoyant market where you could sell a house by putting a post it note on it, whereas now, we’re finding things a little bit more challenging on the open market.
If you didn’t work in property, what else could you see yourself doing?
I’d be an astronaut! Just joking, I think I would still really enjoy selling and working with people, so maybe like a luxury hotel owner.
I think I would enjoy hosting people to come and stay at my luxury property and being able to spend time with them, ensuring that they were able to walk away with a happy face.
What is a typical day in your life like?
I normally wake up around 5am and I'll spend an hour or so reading the news to see what’s going on in the markets; money, property and business — I try not to read too much day to day news.
Usually I then go on a 10K walk in the morning to get the lungs going and clear out the mind, before heading to the office.
We’ve got a fantastic team, and my day to day working life is just a case of working on strategy with the marketing team, thinking of creative ideas. We are constantly trying to find new ways to help our customers and how we can transform the property buying world really.
In between all that, I’m spending time with my young daughter and my fiance. I'll try and spend as much time as possible with them, even if it's a couple hours in the evening playing with the little one.
Who would you want to play in a film?
Definitely James Bond! I think I could definitely see myself living his action-packed lifestyle with thrilling pursuits, intense car chases, daring stunts and exotic locations.
As a leader in the cash buying market, what piece of information do you wish you had when you first started?
Things take a little longer than you plan for, but having a strong team helps you meet deadlines.
You need to make sure that you have a strong team of people around you, we’ve had some fantastic people that have worked for us over years and we have some fantastic people that work for us now.
I just think that going back 12 to 13 years when we started out, we should have spent a little bit more time hiring and putting more attention behind the right people from day one.
Ultimately, I’m only one person and there’s only so much that I’m capable of doing as an individual. So yeah, I’d say if you find the right people, keep them!
Karl McArdle & The Property Buying Company
In this section, we delve into Karl McArdle’s journey with The Property Buying Company — a venture that epitomises his ability to disrupt industries and elevate customer experiences.
Under Karl’s leadership, our company has advanced through the UK cash buying industry, streamlining property transactions, making the process faster, more transparent and tailored to the needs of modern homeowners.
How do you ensure that the business keeps growing and maintains ahead of the competition?
It’s all about the people that work with you.
We’ve got a fantastic creative marketing team within the organisation that are constantly looking what our competitors are doing.
I also like to make friends in the sector, obviously there are a number of companies that are out there, and you know, we like to think that we can pick up the phone and talk to any of them anytime.
There’s also an element of doing our research and finding things out and keeping an eye on what’s happening in the market and trying to have some creative ideas before events happen.
We are constantly trying to work out the probability of something happening and trying to be proactive to any issue that gets thrown our way and making sure we always have a finger on trigger.
How does being a leading cash buyer differ from a high street estate agent?
We all have a place within the housing market, we’ve worked with a lot of estate agents across the country.
As a cash buyer, we’ve had some fantastic results with some of the stock we’ve sold — we have a great place in the market but it’s not for everybody. It’s a similar concept to We Buy Any Car.
An issue with estate agents or third parties is that customers are looking to sell their house and then things don’t go in their favour. The mortgage markets might change, interest rates suddenly increase dramatically — the sale gets stuck.
Both options are fantastic, but we differ in the sense we can provide the house sale guarantee and it doesn’t matter if something breaks down or collapses on the open market because we will always be here, ready to buy with cash.
We offer a peace of mind for customers, knowing that they can sell their house within a set timeframe.
What’s been the proudest moment for you as CEO?
We’ve had plenty of proud moments over the years, and there are a few which are up there.
The new office launch in 2019 was one of our proudest moments, moving from a small compact office that we’d been working in for seven plus years to creating this beautiful space for the team.
Being able to provide a really nice gym, indoor bar and the facilities to allow them to relax and have a fantastic working environment for everybody. Yes, it was costly but just being able to create a space for our company to grow.
An ongoing proud moment is knowing that our customers enjoy our service, we have almost 2000 reviews now and I continuously tune into our customer stories and experiences.
Additionally, I’d also say that I’m proud of our marketing team who have put a lot of energy over the years into our SEO campaign and seeing our keywords being ranked high on Google.
How did you find doing an interview on NASDAQ?
Well apart from waking up at 4am to do a walk around Central Park with my business partner Jonathan Christie, it was fantastic!
I would recommend anybody to do it if they are given the opportunity — it was a completely daunting experience with being put in the spotlight but definitely made us think on our feet.
It’s definitely something that I’d recommend to anybody and I thoroughly enjoyed working with the NASDAQ team there. We rose to the challenge and I thought we did very well and it was very well received.
Opinions on the housing market
In addition to Karl’s role as a creative leader in the property industry, he also possesses a keen eye for identifying trends and anticipating shifts in the market.
As the national economy experiences significant changes, Karl’s insights provide a beacon of knowledge for stakeholders across the company including investors, homebuyers and industry experts alike.
In this section of our interview, we will delve into Karl McArdle’s opinions on the housing market and how the landscape is likely to change in the near future.
What do you think the biggest problem in the property market is?
The biggest issue in the property market is certainty.
I think people having the confidence and knowing what’s coming and what’s going on has been the biggest challenge now. Whether that’s interest rate rises, or if now is a good time to buy or sell.
We just need a period of stability and peace of mind to be able to make informed decisions.
Unfortunately, we’ve not got that and that has caused a slowing effect on people taking to the market as they wait for a better rate, a better deal, a better house etc.
I think that certainty has been the root cause of most issues in the industry, whether it’s a crisis, access to money, Brexit or what’s going to happen next.
In your opinion, what are some emerging trends or technologies that will shape the future of the housing market?
The future of the housing market will undoubtedly intertwine with emerging trends and technologies that will reshape the way we function as a house selling solution.
Within the property market, I’m hearing murmurs that AI and the ability to use automated property valuations that pull from all different sources could potentially play a huge role in property transactions in the future.
With the immense amount of data available today, AI will be able to analyse multiple databases for a property's characteristics, Land Registry data and even market sentiment which will enable more accurate, data-driven valuations.
How do you think the concept of homeownership will evolve in the coming years, and what role might alternative housing options play in this evolution?
In the past, owning a home was a fundamental concept of UK culture, but It’s changing now.
I think that the UK’s concept of homeownership will evolve with other countries in Europe, for example, Germany has a massive rental market which is far more than the homeowner market.
If the interest rates keep increasing, it’s going to be quite difficult for people to be able to try and acquire their own property. We’ve seen a surge in rental demand, but it’s all subjective.
What sources do you rely on to stay informed about the housing market, and how do you ensure the information is accurate and reliable?
Other than reading my news in the morning, I often rely on the team at The Property Buying Company to keep me informed on the market. They can tap into the market and listen to genuine customers, which can give us an idea of trends and things that are happening.
The inquiries that come into the organisation can give us an immediate steer as to what’s going on. It’s all good and well reading news articles, but we’re dealing with 1000’s of customers in any given month and having that data available is fantastic.
It’s all down to information sharing within the company, we like to put emphasis on cross-department collaboration — in fact it’s one of our values!
How has Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis impacted the housing market, and do you believe its effects will be long-lasting or temporary?
I think they’ve really affected the housing market and it goes back to the uncertainty within the market. The nervousness created during Brexit and Covid, meant that people were worried and just had to sit around and wait to see what the market would do next.
A good example of the uncertainty in the market is during Covid and the inability to transact, the drawing back of sales and the over inflation of prices off the back of the Covid market.
This caused many house buyers to overstretch themselves in a mad rush to purchase properties when they perceived the supply was lowering — which in hindsight, they’re probably regretting now.
There’s just level after level of uncertainty in the market and unfortunately I think it’s going to be long lasting. It's not a quick fix, and it’ll take a lot of effort for things to stabilise and settle before people regain their confidence in the market.