Online letting agents voted best in the UK
Online letting agents Tenants4U.com, the low cost letting agent service, has just scooped ‘National Letting Agency of the Year’ at the 2012/13 national Landlord and Letting Awards. Known as the letting industry Oscars, this award reflects the transformation happening within the lettings industry.
Just as the Internet turned the world of High Street travel agents upside down, it appears that a similar fate could be looming for High Street lettings agents.
An increasing number of landlords are turning to online lettings agents such as Tenants4U.com and UPAD to find the tenants for their rental properties. It’s not surprising, when you consider that these services are typically quicker, more convenient and can save landlords thousands of pounds a year.
What does this mean for the traditional high street letting agent?
Many High Street letting agents argue that the personal service, tangible presence and added value services that they provide are crucial for landlords.
There is no doubting that for landlords that need a hands-on ‘full property management’ service, some high street agents still do present themselves as a more obvious choice, however not always with any guarantee.
What is also clear, however, is that the benefits of using a High Street agent are quickly eroding as Online letting agents win more and more landlords across with the savings that they can provide.
Tenants4U Managing Director, Shereena Lingiah commented “Successful property letting is all about maximising profits – earning the most income possible and incurring the least cost. At Tenants4U.com we provide free property letting for landlords, but still provide landlords with access to all of the major property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla etc. The landlords using our service conduct their own property viewings and in doing so, save themselves thousands of pounds a year.”
Speaking about winning the national award, Shereena commented: “This is such an unbelievable achievement for us and our team. The business has only been trading for 8 months, but the response from landlords has been incredible. I feel that the award recognises that we are the fastest growing out there and the vast amounts of money we are saving for landlords in the market. It will certainly motivate us to keep pushing to further improve our service.”
Tenants4U is just one of several online letting agents mounting increasing pressure on what is starting to feel like an outdated High Street letting agent model. Without the same high street branch and staffing costs, the online letting agent can pass these savings directly onto the landlord.
Online agents are also starting to offer nationwide property management services, further encroaching on the High Street agents territory.
Tenants4U offer property management packages from as little as £15 per month, whilst UPAD also offer a service from £60 per month.
Property Landlord, Mr R commented:
”I recently used Tenants4U to advertise one of my residential properties in Brighton. I used their free service, where the eventual tenant pays a £99 application fee. Within 3 days I had 30 viewings lined up for the property, which let on the first morning. For me, it simply wouldn’t make sense now to let my properties in any other way.”
It’s yet unclear just how much impact the Online letting offer will have on the High Street, but it already seems evident that like most other sectors, businesses will need to evolve to remain competitive and relevant for those with money to spend.
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