Last year, International Business alumnus Martin Andersen decided to leave his job in real estate finance - and founded his own company, Easyoffer.
Tell us about your company.
In March last year, I decided to leave my job and start my own company. Easyoffer is an online market place for lawyers, accountants and clients. Clients who need a lawyer or an accountant come to us and we provide them with three free quotes. Within 24 hours of contacting us, clients receive these quotes and can choose which offer suits them best - free of charge. The way our business model works is that we sell client contact information: the lawyers and accountants pay us for the opportunity to reach out to potential clients. As the concept is “three offers”, the lawyers and accountants have a one-in-three chance of getting a new client, meaning that they always provide very attractive offers.
Tell us about your journey from graduation to founding Easyoffer.
I graduated from Regent's in 2010 with a BA (Hons) in International Business with Finance and German. I then went on to do an MSc in Real Estate Investment from Cass Business School. Upon graduation from Cass, I moved to Madrid and started working in Jones Lang LaSalle (now JLL) as a Junior Analyst in the Capital Markets division. After a six-month internship there, I was offered a position as a Senior Analyst at Catella Corporate Finance in Madrid, working on debt and capital markets in the real estate finance sector. I was at Catella for 18 months before moving back to JLL in a senior analyst role. Then, in March 2015, I decided to leave JLL to start my own company.
My plans for the future are to further develop Easyoffer and, in 2017, expand it internationally. We opened in 2015 with just my brother and I; we now have 20 employees and the company is growing fast. Our plan for the next 12 months is to double our workforce and start providing services in new countries. Our ambition is to become the biggest and most profitable lead generator in Spain, within our sectors (legal and accounting).
What impact did your studies at Regent's have on you?
My time at Regent's had the biggest impact on me, both professionally and personally. My studies at Regent's not only gave me a solid academic background, but also a fantastic network of people all over the world. After graduating from my master’s degree, I moved to Spain without knowing the language at all. But, with my education from both Regent's and Cass, it was never a problem for me to find work here in Spain, despite the crisis and my lack of Spanish. When I moved there, I already had around 20 friends from my studies who I could reach out to if I needed something – that was a big help, especially in the beginning. Regent's also made me more international as a person. Now, moving to a new country is a piece of cake, even without knowing the language. That's something that, prior to attending Regent's, I wouldn't have expected.
What advice would you give to recent graduates starting out in their careers?
Have patience! Studying at university is fun, but it has nothing to do with real working life. We all have big ambitions for the future and can’t wait to crawl up the ladder. But it takes time and long, hard work. I think new graduates should prepare themselves for a handful of hard years of work, with low pay, after they graduate. After that, things get easier. Another thing I would say is: learn how to sell, and learn how to sell yourself. 90% of all graduates end up in some sort of sales position, whether it is investment banking or as a lawyer. In the end, you are a sales person. And finally, pay attention to details and to making amazing presentations - the presentation is equally as important as the results.
Your best memory of Regent’s?
The list is long. It’s difficult for me to outline one moment, but nowadays I would say the best memory I have from Regent's was the cohesiveness among the students. It was like one big family. Going to class was always a pleasure and always fun. Today, I can’t even be in London for a day without visiting campus!
What does the Spirit of Regent’s mean to you?
To me, the Spirit of Regent's means being international. No matter where you travel, as an alumnus, you always have someone on speed-dial or Facebook who you can visit or ask for advice. For me, the combination of business studies and languages was fantastic. Regent's really helped students to move around and take on jobs all over the world. I wouldn’t have changed my time at Regent's for anything.