The UK’s rental market is huge – and growing bigger every day. Over one in three people in the UK rent their home as opposed to private ownership, with rent payments totalling more than £84bn in 2018 alone. Analysis by Zoopla in 2020 showed the demand for rental accommodation grew by a massive 20% from the previous year.
As the middleman between landlord and tenant, a letting agency plays a vital role in keeping both parties happy while increasing efficiency across their operations such as rent collection and property maintenance. Naturally, this becomes more important as more properties are added to your portfolio, where the goal is to reduce unnecessary spending and costly delays. But even a single property can generate multiple challenges: plumbing, electricity, decorating, roofing and so on. No matter how big or small your letting company’s portfolio, there’s always room for improvement.
A helping hand from prop-tech
This is where prop-tech can help. Just as fintech uses computer power to aid busy professionals in the finance industry, prop-tech uses the potential of information technology to create more effective solutions in the property market, helping letting agents save time and money.
For example, agents can use CRM software to efficiently manage the relationship between tenant and landlord, streamlining processes such as advertising properties, screening applications, signing documents online, collecting rents, managing maintenance tasks and more.
This means complicated tasks can be dealt with quickly, sidestepping the need to send multiple pieces of paperwork back and forth. All parties benefit as each stage of the renting experience is managed effectively, meaning tenants can move in with minimum fuss and live happily in the property, confident that any issues will be dealt with quickly. In turn, this leaves both letting agent and landlord free to focus on building a housing portfolio.
How reliable is your property services supplier?
It’s also important to use a reliable property services supplier. As an agent, you might not have the time to assess and manage all the individual property service contractors available in your area. This can be tricky when dealing with a separate plumber, painter and decorator, electrician and roofer, all working to separate timetables and varying levels of quality of service. Hire the wrong contractor and this could lead to a delay in the tenants moving in, an unhappy landlord, and a dent in your profits. Apply this across all your properties and this can become a major problem.
A great property service supplier has a team of all the relevant tradespeople for you, so you only have one bill to pay and you can be sure that only the very best workers are on the job. And of course, the same property service supplier can send their professionals to all of your properties, saving invaluable time.
But how can you find a good property service supplier? First, look for online reviews. If a supplier is not forthcoming with their customer’s reviews, either their customers aren’t happy or simply don’t exist at all. However, don’t stop here. Double-check any positive reviews to make sure they ring true. If the reviews look legitimate make sure the type of service supplier is correct for your needs.
Always aim to speak on the phone or meet in person. A good property service company will be happy to talk things over with prospective clients. Once you’ve made arrangements with your supplier, don’t forget to ask to see progress reports such as end of tenancy cleaning reports so you can easily evaluate the job they’ve done.