Technology is revolutionising how every industry operates. The lettings process is no exception.
As little as 10 years ago, the standard route to letting your property was to pay a visit to a high street letting agent and appoint them to oversee the whole process. The only viable alternative was a 100% DIY approach which involved time-consuming admin and the need to keep up with ever-changing legislation.
Landlords now have an appealing digital alternative: using an online letting agent to advertise properties, find and screen tenants, deal with compliance and provide a comprehensive management platform.
As the cost of investing in property increases and more and more legislation is introduced, landlords are looking for cheaper and more convenient ways to manage their portfolios.
Step forward the online letting agent.
Here we explain how to let your property online, the range of services available and the benefits they deliver for landlords.
What is an Online Letting Agent?
High street and online agents share the same goal: to find tenants for landlords and help manage their property. But the path to that goal differs.
The main difference is the physical presence of a high street agent with a shop front and visible staff. Negotiators are there to arrange and conduct viewings, giving landlords the option to be completely hands-off.
Online agents won’t be found alongside your local newsagent and convenience store. Instead, they’ll offer all their services on a website and via specially designed software platforms. An ideal option for accidental landlords and professionals who want to combine a DIY approach with expert support.
What Services Do Online Letting Agents Offer?
People-focused technology, like that offered by MakeUrMove, means you no longer have to rely on a traditional estate agent to manage and market your property.
A slick online letting platform allows you to take control of your property portfolio 24/7, whatever its size. But taking the DIY route doesn’t mean doing it alone. You can choose exactly what aspects you want to manage and what parts you’d rather outsource to the experts.
For example, MakeUrMove’s platform is fully customisable, allowing you to be as hands-on or hands-off as you want. You can ask fully vetted and DBS-checked agents to carry out viewings or do them yourselves. You can prepare your own inventory or add it as an optional extra. You can use a gas engineer you know to carry out inspections or instruct to our trusted and accredited national partner.
The platform’s functionality replicates all the traditional services you’d receive from a high street agent, and more, including:
Find and screen tenants
Arrange viewings and inspections
Collect rents and chase arrears
Manage maintenance requests and appointments
Stay compliant with all regulations
Arrange tenancy documentation
Benefit from rent protection
Receive eviction and legal assistance
And of course alongside streamlining all these day-to-day landlord tasks, your online agent will advertise your property on major portals such as Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation.
From a straightforward advertising package to a fully supported managed service, going online equals flexibility, control whilst also being time saving and reducing your costs.
How to Choose an Online Letting Agent
As the popularity of the DIY approach grows, the number of online letting agents appearing on the internet increases. Choosing the right one is essential so check the following:
How long have they been operating?
Do they have a track record of happy landlords, satisfied tenants and credible testimonials?
Are they members of any professional bodies such as Safe Agent, ARLA and RLA?
Do they subscribe to a property redress redress scheme?
Do they have client money protection?
What’s their approach to customer service? Can you easily speak to a helpful (human) expert?
What qualifications do their staff have?
Have they won any awards?
Tick all these boxes and you’ll be partnering with an agent you can trust.
How Does it Work?
Taking MakeUrMove as an example, letting your property through an online agent is simple:
Create your listing and then publish to Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation by choosing the most appropriate package for you. Then using the 24/7 software, screen the enquiries and confirm viewing appointments at a time that suits you, set up reminders and then automate your follow ups.
Once you have a tenant choose whether you want references, complete checks and issue your contracts digitally for signing. If your package includes deposit collection you don’t need to do anything as the MakeUrMove system will request payment and arrange lodging with the Deposit Protection Service. Don’t worry about the move in either, our free tenant concierge service will help tenants get all the utilities set up and even arrange their media installations, removals and insurance.
Choose rent collect, rent protection or full managed for the ongoing assistance and rest assured that with the digital service and document share bank you will remain compliant by uploading all the required documents for instant sharing with your tenants.
If required you can add on maintenance management and get access to our partners to instruct other services such as Gas Safety Checks, find a contractor or arrange property inspections. You decide!
The Benefits of Online Letting Agents
While traditional agents will boast that their local knowledge and human approach can’t be matched by an online offering, this needn’t be the case. Tech can still be personal and dedicated local agents do exist away from the high street.
And they’ll struggle to outshine online in numerous other ways:
It’s significantly cheaper to use an online agent as they offer a flat rate fixed fee. In fact, landlords can save up to £1000 per property compared to letting through a high street agent.
At MakeUrMove, flexible packages start from just £15 a month, making the DIY landlord route very affordable. Further costs are fully transparent with no hidden fees and no commission.
With an online agent, your property can often be listed within a couple of hours and shared to thousands of registered tenants instantly. There’s also no need to produce printed brochures which can delay the process even further.
The result is that your property may well successfully let much quicker, within an average of 7 days if you choose MakeUrMove.
Unlike liaising with a high street agent who’s tied to their opening hours, you can access your landlord platform 24 hours a day, seven days a week and control everything.
So you can arrange a viewing, update property details, check rent payments and add extra services whenever it’s most convenient.
No need to wait until your agent opens for business and no more chasing them to make changes. You can do it all at the click of a button.
You’ll also have control over when viewings take place thanks to an online viewing schedule. This allows you to highlight when you’re available, making the whole process quick and easy for everyone.
Efficient, flexible, convenient and cost-effective, choosing to let your property online has many benefits. Isn’t it time for you to ditch the traditional letting process and embrace the opportunities given by personalised technology?
Find out how easy it is to let your property online with MakeUrMove