The coronavirus pandemic has had wide-ranging consequences for all parts of life, and has affected every single one of us in some shape or form, but one of the major knock-on effects has been a greater reliance than ever on tech, digital solutions and remote working. Virtual and video tours and viewings have come into their own and there has been an increasing move towards doing things online wherever possible.
Here at Property State, we were already managing lettings online before the Covid-19 crisis hit, so we were in a better position than most to cope with the challenges faced.
Below, we outline the benefits of an online letting compared to one achieved through traditional high street letting agents. We want to let landlords know that it’s fine to switch agents for a better value service and experience.
Many argue that the coronavirus crisis has merely accelerated the move towards greater levels of remote working and digital interaction, with the government still encouraging people to carry out their property searches and activities online wherever possible.
This is highly likely to continue even as we ease out of lockdown and back to something close to normality.
Rather than in-branch visits, which are now being discouraged, tenants and landlords will instead carry out much more of the lettings process online. Not only is this a safer way of doing things in the current landscape, it’s also more convenient and more environmentally-friendly.
By using an online letting agent, you can benefit from high-tech solutions and innovative ideas that might not be the case with a more traditional high street agent, who may be more stuck in their ways.
Mobile apps, for example, have not been embraced by the property world in the same way as they have in many other sectors, but they are the easiest, most hassle-free way to keep all parties involved in a tenancy updated at all times. An easy-to-use app, giving landlords the ability to see all the information regarding their properties, tenancies, documents, financial statement as well as additional information and functionality at any time from anywhere, provides the clarity and peace of mind that so many landlords desire.
Consumers will increasingly be looking for online, remote solutions postCovid-19, and those who have already had considerable experience in this area will be the ones to benefit.
The high street was already in serious trouble even before a global pandemic devastated the retail and hospitality sectors, leading to a host of job losses, store closures and even companies going to the wall.
For years now, more and more high street letting agents have been opening up – with high rents, large overheads and other associated costs – even as footfall has gone the other way. The number of people visiting a branch in person had fallen dramatically, especially in town and city centres, even before Covid-19, and that trend is more than likely to continue now that social distancing and enhanced hygiene protocols are additional factors to consider.
Kitting out an office to make it Covid-secure and consumer-friendly will be costly – and an extra cost to bear for many letting agents who have already been hard hit by the ban on tenant fees brought about by the Tenant Fees Act. Alternatively, online letting agents – operating remotely or from a central base – have none of these issues associated with declining footfall, high office costs or making a branch Covid-safe for consumers.
The costs saved on this can be passed on to landlords in the form of greater use of tech, innovative solutions and lower fees.
Some of the most common complaints from landlords about letting agents and property management companies are receiving rent late, missing monthly/yearly rental statements, loss of rent due to problematic tenants, loss of rent due to agent not handling the eviction process properly, having to spend their own money to repair plumbing, gas and electrical faults, a lack of property inspection reports, being charged for pest control, not being informed before completing property works and out-dated property certificates.
That’s why here at Property State we have designed a unique rental management service model that covers a landlord's needs from every possible angle, meaning no more delays on rent, repairs or reports.
At present, some form of guaranteed rent is more crucial than ever, which is why we offer you your guaranteed rent on time, even if the tenant can’t or won’t pay. We also manage your property, find you suitable tenants and even cover legal/eviction costs should this occur. Thanks to Covid, there is a lot of confusion surrounding evictions – and what landlords can and can’t do – so it’s vital that you work with a letting agent who understands the complexities of section 21 and all other rental legislation.
The days of letting agents opening up new branches on the high street, and expanding across the city, county or even country, would appear to be numbered, with coronavirus likely to lead to a long-lasting shift in how we live, work and let/rent property.
Now is the time for the online model – prioritising tech and innovation – to thrive.
Property State was born to fill a gap in the lettings industry, taking a new approach to landlords' problems and creating solutions with our potent mix of ‘savvy technology and innovative ideas’.
We offer an affordable, all-inclusive rental management experience that is efficient and smooth. To find out more, please contact us today.