ej_topmost
Property Hawk

ONLINE LETTING AGENTS

What is an online letting agent?

An online letting agent is the new breed of letting agents that often don't have a physical office and don't just cover a specific locality.  This type of new style letting agent are purely internet based and are geared up to do the internet marketing that traditional letting agents do by getting the rental property onto the major property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla.  They often also offer other ancillary services such as carrying out the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) or producing an inventory for a landlord.  Of course they will charge extra for these services but still the fundamental service is to get your rental property uploaded and visible across the inernet and to all those prospective tenants.

Should I use an online letting agent?

Is it possible to find a tenant without a traditional letting agent?  Well in this world of disruptive technology and routes to market we know its all about the Internet.  This means for landlords getting your property on one of a number of the major internet property portals like Zoopla or Rightmove is where it's at!  I have looked at the best free letting sites  but to be frank my experience with advertising my rental property on Gumtree was to be frank less than impressive.  I did get responses but the quality of tenants was not what I was looking forward.  One of the issues with free advertising sites is that because the tenant does not have to pay to access them it does attract less financially secure prospective tenants.  Personally, not what I'm looking for.  I want a dependable long-term tenant with a good job or even a good tenant guarantor.

A couple of years ago the Internet was not that dependable, websites were unstable, functionality was limited, user experience was often poor.  No longer.  To be frank my experience with some traditional letting agents has been less than impressive and for me as an experienced landlord I don't want some wet behind the ears trainee letting agent making decisions on my prospective tenant (who is going to make or break the tenancy) and potentially make my life hell.  A letting agent for me just needs to get my rental property on the online portals.  I want to have control over the vetting of the tenant.

My only experience of a nightmare tenant was brought about by having them hoisted on my by an undesurning letting agent.  I know that if I'd had the opportunity to meet the prospective tenant I would have NEVER EVER taken them on.  This is again why the new breed of online letting agents are good.  They do in my opinion force a landlord to take control of the important aspect of letting a property
the viewing of a rental property.  So I turn to my recent experience of using an online letting agent and it's been pretty good.

Online letting agents - how much?

How much will it cost to advertise my rental property with an online letting agent? The critical thing to know about using an online letting agent is that they going to be a lot cheaper than a conventional letting agent.  This is basically because they don’t have the costs of a large network of physical letting agents with all the associated rental costs and business rates which have to be paid for somehow.  These are ultimately reflected in your letting agent charges.  So having ascertained that one of the big advantages of an online letting agent is the costs then how much will you have to pay?  The simple answer is that providing you just require the basic service of getting your property advertised the cost is going to be south of a £100.  Just doing a brief trawl around the internet will throw up various online letting agents that have promised to do it for less.  I’m guessing that a lot of these start ups are offering their services on a no profit basis to lure in business and build volume so don’t necessarily expect the rates to stay this low for ever.

My experience of using an online letting agent

My journey started as most landlords do being under pressure and trying to balance, business, rental properties and just a little time away from it all.  I start by looking at my alternative to get my rental property online.  There are an increasing number of online letting agents able to get your rental property on the big property portals.  This list is not exhaustive but lets start with:

Letting A Property

Upad

Purple Bricks

Open Rent

Visum

I Am The Agent

Rentify

They all pretty much do the same thing.  They get your property on the big internet portals.  The cost of the service ranges between £50 - £100.  I used Letting A Property partly because I've used them before (not necessarily a great reason) but also because we work with them so I was curious as a consumer to see if they delivered.

How easy was it it to get my rental property online?

My experience of using Letting A Property was pretty good.  I had a few rudimentary photos of my rental property that I could upload through the Internet.  The website worked well so I could upload a description and write a letting advert, specify the rent and deposit.  It kept me legal by insisting that I had a Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

Just to make landlords aware once done the last for 10 years and if you like me cannot remember whether it has been done you can check online using the EPC registry.

I'm guessing the whole process of getting my ad ready to go live took probably no more than 45 minutes.  There was a short pause whilst the details were checked by Letting A Property before the advert was then posted to Rightmove and Zoopla.


Once uploaded I was amazed at the response.  I literally had 6 requests to view the property within the first 24 hours and then another 4 roll in over the week.  The system worked well with me receiving notifications through via my nominated email.  I was also impressed with the quality of the enquiries.  I was happy that out of the enquiries there were a good half that I would have given the opportunity of a face to face meet with the tenant.
 
Having received the notification email from Letting A Property I then send off a number of emails or gave them a call.  Pretty quickly I had vetted the prospective tenants down to a short list of 3 prospective tenants.  In some way they self selected.  There were several tenants that were pushing me to show them around having missed out on properties in this area.

I duly arranged to meet the tenants, conducted the viewings.  Made my decision to go with a charming young brother and sister from Poland.  They have moved in and have been so far excellent tenants.  All I can say to other landlords is that you need to wrestle control back from amateur letting agents and DIY.  From now on I wouldn't do it any other way.

 

Comments (1)

Online Letting Agents
I think you may find lettingsupermarket.com are one of the better ones I have used.
#1 - Les Gallagher - 04/03/2017 - 09:19
Name
E-mail (Will not appear online)
Subject
Comment
To prevent automated Bots form spamming, please enter the text you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.
»
This comment form is powered by GentleSource Comment Script. It can be included in PHP or HTML files and allows visitors to leave comments on the website.
Most popular landlord information and FAQs

 

What rental yield should a landlord try to achieve?
Accelerated possession - Section 21 Notice
Non payment of rent
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)
How to prepare a property inventory
Grounds for possession of a rental property
Fair wear and tear on a rental property?
Filling out a N5B form for possession
Landlord insurance advice
Letting to students
How do I choose the best tenant?
Should I use a letting agent?
Commercial Mortgages

Whole market search.
Instant personalised quote.
Rates updated in real time.

Find the most suitable mortgage for your individual requirements using our advanced buy-to-let mortgage finder.

Search

FORMS FOR LETTING PROPERTY

FREE TENANCY AGREEMENT (AST)
FREE SECTION 213 NOTICE
FREE PROPERTY INVENTORY
FREE SECTION 21 NOTICE
FREE SECTION 8 NOTICE
FREE TENANCY GUARANTOR FORMS
SERVING NOTICE

FINANCE AND TAX ON RENTAL PROPERTY

INCOME TAX
CAPITAL GAINS TAX
LANDLORD INSURANCE
PROPERTY INVESTMENTS
OTHER BTL FINANCE
BTL FINANCE - THINGS TO KNOW
BUY TO LET MORTGAGES
BTL MORTGAGE BROKERS
SELLING A RENTAL PROPERTY
LANDLORDS SDLT

RENTAL PROPERTY REGULATIONS

GENERAL SAFETY
GAS SAFETY
ELECTRICAL SAFETY
FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS
FIRE SAFETY
TV LICENCES
HMO (HOUSE IN MULTIPLE OCCUPATION)
TENANCY DEPOSIT SCHEME (TDS)
ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES
COMMUNAL HEATING REGULATIONS

INVESTING IN BTL PROPERTY

A GUIDE FOR NEW LANDLORDS
WHICH PERIOD OF PROPERTY
CALCULATING RETURNS
RENTAL YIELDS
FINDING PROPERTY
SELECTION STRATEGY
INVESTMENT CHECKLIST
PROPERTY AUCTIONS
BMV PROPERTY
BUYING OFF PLAN
BUYING APARTMENTS
BUYING HOUSES
BUYING HMO'S
ALTERNATIVE INVESTMENT
KNOWING THE RISKS
PROPERTY INVESTMENT CLUBS
RENTAL TYPES

MANAGING RENTAL PROPERTY

GIVING NOTICE TO LEAVE
NON - PAYMENT OF RENT
TENANT ABANDONMENT
GETTING YOUR MONEY BACK
THE TENANT WONT MOVE OUT
THE TENANT DOES A BUNK
SQUATTERS
RAISING THE RENT
REDUCING THE RENT
REPAYING THE TENANCY DEPOSIT
FAIR WEAR AND TEAR
MOULD AND CONDENSATION
MAINTENANCE OF A RENTAL PROPERTY
APPLIANCES
LANDLORD ASSOCIATIONS

LETTING RENTAL PROPERTY

TEN STEPS TO LETTING
FINDING GOOD TENANTS
PROPERTY MARKETING
ONLINE LETTING AGENTS
WRITING A LETTING ADVERT
FURNISHING A PROPERTY
LETTING AGENT OR DIY
SELECTING A LETTING AGENT
VETTING TENANTS
TENANTS ON BENEFITS
LETTING TO STUDENTS
PREPARING AN INVENTORY
PROPERTY HANDOVER
RIGHT TO RENT GUIDANCE
RENTAL DEPOSIT
TERMS OF A TENANCY
LENGTH OF A TENANCY
RESPONSIBILITY FOR REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE
TENANCIES IN SCOTLAND
ALTERNATIVE TENANCIES
LETTING TO TENANTS WITH PETS
LANDLORDS' WATER RESPONSIBILITIES

LEGISLATION OF LETTING PROPERTY

INTRODUCTION
TENANCY DEPOSIT DISPUTES
ARBITRATION
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
TRIBUNALS
HOUSING ACT APPEAL DISPUTES
THE LANDS TRIBUNAL
RIGHTS OF LIGHT APPLICATION
APPEALS FROM LEASEHOLD VALUATION TRIBUNALS (LVT's)
POSSESSION PROCEEDINGS
POSSESSION - SECTION 8 NOTICE
POSSESSION - SECTION 21 NOTICE
SECTION 21 TIMETABLE AND PROCESS
N5B POSSESSION
POSSESSION ORDERS
GROUNDS FOR POSSESSION
PREPARING FOR A POSSESSION HEARING
LEASEHOLD DISPUTES
HARASSMENT BY LANDLORDS
RENT DISPUTES BETWEEN LANDLORD & TENANT
FAIR RENT (RAC)
MARKET RENT UNDER AST
LEASEHOLD VALUATION TRIBUNALS
MODIFICATION OF RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS