More people are looking online when buying, selling or renting property in the UK. It’s so much easier to tap into an app or consult the oracle (namely Google), when looking for property
Tenants can ‘virtually’ look at properties at any time of the day or night while landlords and letting agents can also put their properties on to the internet 24/7. The days of going into an estate agent during regular working hours to talk about properties are long gone.
The convenience cannot be exaggerated. It’s especially useful for people who are looking to move to another part of the country and who thus wish to look online at what properties are available for rent and at what price. They can then use Google Maps to find out what other services are in the area, whether there are schools nearby and what the roads are like.
Whilst this may have it easier for property companies to contact potential tenants, they also face fierce competition. The rental companies need to make sure that they have all the right SEO text and keywords in their descriptions. They also need good quality photographs to showcase the properties, in addition to crisp videos and virtual tours.
For the professional landlord or management company, using an online letting agent can also be cheaper than a traditional, high street agent. The costs may be more transparent and there can be a set fee for different packages.
Some packages may include tenancy agreements, credit checks, energy certificates, providing an inventory and checking-in tenants.
This technology has made it easier for buy-to-let investors to manage their own properties or leave everything entirely in the hands of their online letting agent.
The move online is a trend which is set to increase in the next few years. For example online estate agent easyProperty is launching a division specialising in land and new homes. It is thought that the new-build property sector could tie in with easyProperty’s letting service in becoming involved with new build-to-rent projects in some of the UK’s major cities.
It is not just the property letting sector which is benefiting from the advances in online technology.
In addition to being able to place properties to let online and being visible to potential tenants in any part of the world, many of the administrative and management tasks can also be carried out online.
This can set up templates and checklists, make recorded notes and take photos. So, an inventory check can easily be done in situ without the need to go back to the office to write up the report. It, therefore, saves valuable time.
You can also check tenants in and out by using the software on your phone or tablet while you are with the tenants at the property. So photographs or discrepancies can be dealt with while both parties are present.
With advances being made all the time in online apps and software, the administrative overhead associated with rental property should become ever more manageable.