Frequently asked questions

Complaints

What is Pionr’s complaints procedure?

Answer

We take complaints very seriously, and follow a strict complaints procedure in order to ensure that we take every step to meet our clients’ needs.

On receipt of any complaint, our Compliance Officer will be notified immediately. The Compliance Officer will enter the complaint in a register kept for this purpose and immediately notify a senior manager.  A written acknowledgement will be sent within 5 working days confirming receipt of the complaint and giving the name or job title of the person dealing with the complaint.  A final response after investigation will generally be sent within 4 weeks of receiving the complaint, or in the event that it has not yet been possible adequately to resolve the complaint, then the client will be sent a written notification of this, which explains why Pionr is not in a position to resolve the complaint and indicates when Pionr will next make contact.

Fees and costs

How much does it cost me to invest with Pionr?

Answer

Wallet usage fees

We have made every effort to reduce the cost of managing your wallet to a minimum. he fees below are those charged by Lemon Way, our payment services provider for processing each transaction type.

Method Transaction type Percentage fee per transaction Fixed fee per transaction (GBP)
Bank card Deposit/funding 1.2% £0.18
Bank transfer Deposit/funding
0.6% £0.20
Direct debit Deposit/funding
0.6% £0.20
Bank transfer Withdrawal 0% £0.00
Bank card (non-European) Deposit/funding
2.8% £0.18
Bank transfer (non-European)
Deposit/funding
0.6% £7.00
Bank transfer
Withdrawal
0% £10.00


Investment fees

Unlike the majority of other property crowdfunding platforms that simply act as a middle-man between developers and investors, Pionr expends significant effort in locating project sponsors offering appropriate investment opportunities globally, and then subjecting the projects to a stringent process of analysis and due diligence before offering them on the Pionr platform. Pionr aims to reduce risk and maximise returns for investors via the platform. We offer a fee structure that is competitive within its marketplace, with a majority of charges applied only when a client's investment has been successful, in order to ensure that our interests are aligned with those of our clients.
1. An upfront fee of 3-5% when the funds are invested. This is a one-off fee at the point of investment, and is there to cover the use of the Pionr platform.
2. A management fee of 10.5% of gross rental income for yielding assets. This fee will be paid monthly from the SPV relating to each property, and covers the management costs.
3. A profit share of 20% when the investment term ends and the underlying asset is sold.
All costs associated with sourcing, managing and disposing of the investment are paid by the SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) holding that particular investment. Such costs will include, but are not limited to, company-related costs such as accounting and legal costs, as well as costs associated with the ongoing upkeep and management of the investment, such as ongoing surveys and valuations.

What happens if additional costs arise for an investment after the initial funding has been completed?

Answer

It is possible that a cost could arise that could be greater than the gross rental income or in the case of development projects, which is beyond what was originally anticipated, and which had not been provided for as part of the initial funding. In such a situation Pionr reserves the rights to take out a loan which would be secured against the investment or SPV holding the particular investment. The loan would then be paid back from subsequent gross rent or from the subsequent sale of the investment.

Will Pionr ever ask me to add money to my investment?

Answer

Under no circumstances will you be asked to provide further capital. All ongoing costs are funded from the gross rental income, and upfront costs are provided for during the initial funding of the SPV.

Income and returns

What can I do with money I receive as rental dividends from a Pionr investment?

Answer

The dividend you receive from your share of rental income is yours to do with as you wish, and you can either re-invest it in another property via Pionr, leave it in your virtual wallet, or withdraw it to your linked bank account.

What could affect my income and returns?

Answer

Income in yielding properties can be affected by a number of factors. The aim of the property manager will always be to maximise yield however, there can be unforeseen costs related to repairs and maintenance, or to other external factors outside of the control of the property manager (such as macro-economic factors), and these can negatively affect net yields. Equally however, if costs are less than anticipated, or it becomes possible to increase rental rates, your income can increase.

As with rental income, capital growth is also dependent on several factors, both internal and external. All things being well, if a development project is completed on schedule and within budget, and the market conditions remain similar to those forecast at the time of the original investment plan, then the capital growth should be largely in line with that predicted. Market conditions change however, and this can affect the level of capital growth either positively or negatively. An example of an external factor that could affect the amount of capital growth might be a recession leading to a less buoyant market for a particular type of property.


Our values

What are Pionr's Values?

Answer

We are on a mission to democratise international property investment. In order to realise this goal everybody at Pionr understands the importance of maintaining a consistent and honest approach to dealing with clients, suppliers and society at large.

In addition to practising the eleven statements of principle defined within the FCA Handbook the Pionr team are committed to being:

  • Friendly and approachable
  • Efficient and reliable
  • Knowledgeable and innovative
  • Honest and transparent
  • Dynamic and confident
  • Down-to-earth

Platform

How can I keep an eye on the performance of my investments?

Answer

When you make an investment via Pionr, you gain access to a feature-rich and easy-to-use Investor Dashboard, that is backed by the latest financial technology. From the Dashboard you can track project milestones, from funding through to exit, monitor regular earnings and capital gains for individual projects, as well as for your portfolio as a whole. Smart filters allow you to drill down by location, sector, and type of investment, as well as the option to export your data for further analysis; the Pionr Investor Dashboard simplifies the process of managing your property portfolio.

How do I fund a wallet on Pionr?

Answer

You can fund your Pionr account in 3 ways: bank card, bank transfer and direct debit. Bank transfer is the most inexpensive  method and we therefore encourage you to use this method in order to avoid eating into your future returns.

Before you can transfer funds and use them within your Pionr dashboard you need to have created a wallet in the currency that the investment is denominated in. For example, if you want to invest in a euro-denominated investment, then you will need to create a euro wallet. This can be done in a few moments from your personal dashboard.

In order to create a wallet you will need to verify your identity by uploading photographs of documents such as your passport.  When your wallet becomes active you will be able to add funds using one of the following methods:

1. Bank card

We accept Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards issued to individuals living both within and outside of the European Economic Area (EEA).  Please note that your card issuer may charge you additional fees for funding a wallet that is in a different currency to your card.

2. Bank transfer

We accept bank transfers from accounts held within the EU and from those held outside of it.  Please remember that your bank may not offer a competitive exchange rate if you try to fund a wallet that is in a different currency to your bank account.

3. SEPA (Single European Payments Area) Direct Debit

We accept direct debits from current accounts within the Single European Payments Area.  Please note that your bank may charge you a fee for this service if you try to fund a wallet that is in a different currency to your bank account.

Our payment service partner,  Lemon Way S.A.S is a French e-money institution limited liability company by shares incorporated under the laws of France and approved as a hybrid payment solution by the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (http://acpr.banque-france.fr/).

To find out more about withdrawals, please view this FAQ

How do withdrawals work?

Answer

You are able to withdraw funds from the wallets found in your dashboard at any time. Withdrawals to UK bank accounts from GBP (pound sterling) or EUR (euro) currency wallets should clear by the next business day.

You can only withdraw funds once you have an approved wallet, that is linked to a bank account in your name that has been verified.    Withdrawals to a bank account trading in a different currency to the wallet in question may be subject to additional charges from your bank.

Investor Dashboard

Answer

When you become a Pionr user, you gain access to a feature-rich personal dashboard. From there you can track project milestones, from funding through to exit, monitor regular earnings and capital gains, generate tax statements and even get prior notice of exciting new properties.

With smart filters that allow you to drill down by location, sector, and type of investment as well as the option to export your data for further analysis; the Pionr investor dashboard simplifies the process of managing your property portfolio.

We regularly evaluate the performance of the investor dashboard and are constantly updating it to add new features or make it more easy to use.  If you have any recommendations or thoughts feel free to get in touch, it would be our pleasure to hear from you.

Property investments

Can non-UK Investors use Pionr's platform?

Answer

Non-UK clients can invest via Pionr, however you are responsible for making sure you comply with the laws of your country of residence, including any governmental or regulatory requirements. We are however, not presently accepting investors from the US, Canada, China or Russia.


What happens if a funding target is not met?

Answer

If for some reason a property on the Pionr platform doesn’t achieve its funding target, any funds that have been committed by investors will be reimbursed in full along with any platform fee that might have been charged. These will be reimbursed into the user’s Pionr wallet

Who manages properties I invest in?

Answer

Investments offered via the Pionr platform are submitted by 3rd party project sponsors (typically property development firms or direct real estate investment firms) and the management of the property assets is either handled directly by the project sponsor or contracted to a specialist property management company or property operator, with whom a legal contract is in place.

Regulated by the FCA

Financial Conduct Authority regulation

Answer

Pionr is a trading name of Black Mountain Group Limited which is an Appointed Representative of RiskSave Technologies Ltd, a firm which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with firm reference number 775330.

Pionr is fully committed to practising and following the eleven statements of principle as defined in the FCA Handbook.

  1. Integrity: a firm must conduct its business with integrity
  2. Skill care and diligence: A firm must conduct its business with due skill, care and diligence.
  3. Management and Control: A firm must take reasonable care to organise and control its affairs responsibly and effectively, with adequate risk management systems.
  4. Financial Prudence: A firm must maintain adequate financial resources.
  5. Market Conduct: A firm must observe proper standards of market conduct.
  6. Customers’ Interests: A firm must pay due regard to the interests of its customers and treat them fairly.
  7. Communications with clients: A firm must pay due regard to the information needs of its clients, and communicate information to them in a way which is clear, fair and not misleading.
  8. Conflicts of Interest: A firm must manage conflicts of interest fairly, both between itself and its customers and between a customer and another client.
  9. Customers : relationships of Trust: A firm must take reasonable care to ensure the suitability of its advice and discretionary decisions for any customer who is entitled to rely upon its judgment.
  10. Clients’ Assets: A firm must arrange adequate protection for clients’ assets when it is responsible for them.
  11. Relations with Regulator: A firm must deal with its regulators in an open and co-operative way, and must disclose to the FCA appropriately anything relating to the firm of which the FCA would reasonably expect notice.

We will treat you as our client for the purposes of the FCA rules in the promotion and arranging of investments to and for you.  

Risks

Are there risks involved with property investment?

Answer

As with all types of investment, there are several different types and levels of risk associated with property investing. At Pionr we take these very seriously and we are keen that our clients should understand these risks too, so that they can make investment decisions that best reflect their personal risk appetite, as well as allowing them to reduce risk by diversifying their property investment portfolio.  Please refer to our  Key Risks page for more details.

What happens to funds that I invest?

Answer

Any funds committed by an investor into a newly-listed property investment are held separately from Pionr’s own bank accounts.  When the target for a given property is achieved, the funds are drawn down and the special purpose vehicle (SPV) for that property is created.  All the associated costs of the property, whether purchase or development are paid from the amounts raised from the investors.

When I invest via Pionr how safe is my investment?

Answer

Each property investment is made through a stand-alone ring-fenced special purpose vehicle (SPV). The investment within the SPV is completely ring-fenced from the assets and liabilities of Pionr, and all the other investments made on the platform.

This means that if Pionr ceased to exist, the property investments would not be affected, and an alternative manager would be appointed to oversee the management of the investments.

All funds held in your account which are not invested in property are held in a Lemon Way client account.  Lemon Way is a regulated payment institution accredited by the ACPR (French Prudential Supervisory Authority) on the 24/12/2012 under number 16568J.

Security

What data security and disaster recovery measures are in place?

Answer

Pionr’s applications and databases run in a secure environment hosted by OneProvider.com.  Every night we copy all customer data from our Paris data centre to a secondary backup location. In the event of any kind of outage compromising the Paris data centre, we have a copy of all of our data and systems in a separate geographic location. OneProvider.com has server locations in 146 locations worldwide.

The FCA are very strict regarding data security, and require annual proof that in the event of a disaster we have the requisite recovery processes in place to ensure that systems continue to function and customer data is not compromised. We run disaster recovery simulations each year.

The FCA also require us to use independent cyber security companies to attempt to hack into our own systems (penetration tests). These are carried out on a regular basis and our most recent test has rated the Pionr platform as highly resistant to malicious attacks.

Taxes

When making investments via Pionr are there tax considerations?

Answer

Corporation Tax (payable by SPVs)

With Pionr your property investment is made via shares in a special purpose vehicle (SPV), which is established specifically for purchasing an individual property.  An SPV is a type of limited company.  For more details on SPVs please visit our glossary.
The taxable profit made by the SPV is subject to corporation tax, which the SPV will pay directly to the relevant tax authority.
Responsibilities

Whilst we will provide you with all the information needed to handle the tax obligations covering your investments with Pionr, you will be responsible for the payment of your own tax, which may include capital gains and/or income tax.
We do not provide tax advice and you should seek independent tax advice before investing if you are unsure of your position. It is your responsibility to ensure that your tax return is correct and is filed by the deadline and any tax owing is paid on time. If you are unsure how your investment(s) will affect your tax status you must seek professional advice before you invest.

Glossary

Capital gains

Capital gains are the difference between the sales proceeds from an investment and the initial cost of the investment. If sales proceeds are lower than investment cost, then there are no capital gains. Capital gains do not account for any dividends received or any transaction costs

Deferred tax

All properties listed on Pionr are invested  via special purpose vehicles (SPV), which are individual companies specifically incorporated for the purpose of holding your investment in an underlying real estate asset and operating that asset.

Deferred tax is the accumulated corporation tax within an SPV (special purpose vehicle) resulting from an increase in the value of the property since purchase (i.e. the corporation tax rate multiplied by the valuation increase). Deferred tax only becomes payable if and when the property is sold, and is considered a potential liability until that point.

Dividend yield

Dividend yield is a measure of the net income (gross rent less deductions) from a property investment relative to the value of the property. The dividend yield is calculated as follows:

Annual dividends expressed as a percentage of the fundraising target (plus Pionr's fee)

The dividend begins to accrue from the completion date of the property’s purchase, or a later date if specified in the property description.

Dividends

Dividends are the amounts paid, on a monthly basis, to all investors in a property. Dividends are calculated as gross rent, less deductions for:

  • Property-related costs (including property management, maintenance and insurance)
  • Periods when there are no tenants paying rent
  • Corporation tax and other local or regional taxes (if such are applicable)

For a leveraged property investment, there will also be a deduction for interest charges, which are tax-deductible in some jurisdictions.


Dividends received

Dividends received are the cumulative dividends received by a specific investor. The investor sees the amount presented on their personal dashboard.

Forecast dividends

Forecast dividends are the expected monthly amounts that an investor will receive from their Pionr investments.

For example, if the forecast annual dividends for a property in its entirety are €15,000 and you own 2% of the shares, then your forecast dividends are €25 per month (i.e. the annual figure of €15,000 divided by 12 and multiplied by 2%).


Funding target

The funding target of a new listing, which forms the basis of its share price, consists of:

  • The property’s purchase price 
  • Plus all third party purchase costs and additional funds required for furnishings and repairs
  • Less any mortgage (which is a term loan secured against the property)

Gain / Loss

Gain/loss is the difference between the sales earnings from an investment and its total cost (which includes any transaction costs). If sales proceeds are lower than Total Cost, then the amounts are negative - a loss.

Gross rent

Gross rent is the forecast or actual rental income received, before any deductions.  For example, if we estimate that we can let a property for £1,500 per month, then forecast gross rent is £18,000 per year.

Gross rental yield

Gross rental yield is the forecast gross rent (after building service charges for leasehold properties), expressed as a percentage of the latest property value.

Interest

Interest is the cost payable to a financial institution, such as a bank, for borrowing money to fund part of a property’s purchase.  Interest is usually expressed as an annual percentage rate.

For example, a total debt of £500,000 with an interest rate of 4% per annum means that £20,000 is payable during the course of the year to the debt provider.

Investment cost

Investment cost is the price paid for your investment excluding transaction costs.

Latest property value

The latest property value is the most recent estimate of a property’s open market value, provided by an accredited surveyor.

For new listings this will be the agreed purchase price, which in turn is supported by a chartered surveyor’s physical inspection and valuation.  Thereafter, accredited surveyors carry out desktop revaluations on a regular basis

Latest valuation gains

Latest valuation gains are an estimate of gains or losses based on the latest valuation.

Specifically, they are the difference between the latest valuation and the valuation at the time of purchase

Leverage

Leverage is the use of debt finance to fund part of a property’s purchase cost. This is often known as a mortgage and is secured against the property.

The term Leverage is often used interchangeably with geared or gearing.

Loan to value

Loan to value (“LTV”) is the ratio of debt (such as mortgages or loans) to the property’s purchase price or value and is expressed as a percentage.

For example, if the property’s purchase price is £500,000 and the LTV is 50%, then £250,000 will be funded by debt.

Net rent

Net rent is the gross rent minus all property-related costs (e.g. maintenance, insurance, letting & management of the property).

Net rent is presented prior to the deduction of corporation tax.

Shares

Each special purpose vehicle has shares, and each share has an equal standing in terms of rights and economic benefits.

Special Purpose Vehicle

Each property listed on Pionr is owned by a special purpose vehicle (“SPV”), which is a limited company, that you can then buy shares in.  Property investments are often structured as an SPV because it allows large numbers of individuals to own a single asset.

The latest share valuation

The latest share valuation is the latest property valuation expressed on a per share basis.

Total Return

The Total Return of a Pionr investment is the total gain or loss generated from holding an investment. The Total Return includes all Dividends Received, Capital Gains generated and Transaction Costs paid.

What do I actually own when I make an investment with Pionr?

Once you have made your first investment with us, you will beneficially own a pro rata share of an underlying physical property asset via a shareholding in a special purpose vehicle (SPV), which is a type of limited company created in order to hold your and the other Pionr investors’ ownership of the physical asset.  You will receive a pro rata share of any rental income and capital growth in proportion to your ownership of the SPV. The value of your investment will also change in direct proportion to any change in the value of the underlying property. The dividend paid to the property investors is calculated by deducting any relevant costs of the property investment and the SPV from the gross income.

What is the Single European Payments Area?

SEPA consists of the 28 member states of the European Union, as well as the four member states of the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), and Andorra, Monaco, and San Marino.

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Capital at risk. The value of investments can rise and fall. Projections are not a reliable indicator of future performance. See Key risks before investing.