There is no part of the property sector which has not been impacted to a significant degree by the Internet. The ability to pick and choose when you view properties, check the latest rentals available, list a property for rent and even communicate late in the evening is a godsend for many. So, what are the additional benefits of online letting agents over the traditional business model?
Checking multiple properties
At the blink of an eye a prospective tenant can have a handful of properties to check. A simple online letting agents search facility involving your details, budget, area and duration of stay will take away time wasted looking through paperwork and leaflets. Online letting agents will also advise clients of average rents in different the regions of the UK allowing them to compare and contrast various offers.
Those who have ever looked through the private rental sector will be aware of the varying degree of quality and cost. Online communications allow both parties to communicate in their own time. In the event that a transaction may be possible, by the time they actually talk (with the landlord or the online letting agent) the vast majority of questions will already have been answered. This is the perfect filter to save time, money and effort for all parties.
Escrow deposit accounts
We can only imagine the number of potential enquiries private landlords receive that never follow through. This may because of a change in circumstances, concerns about a deposit or finding the time to visit a property. It is interesting that many online estate agents are now offering escrow deposit accounts. This allows prospective tenants to place their deposits under the control of a third party until the landlord fulfils agreed obligations. It also offers security to a landlord, knowing that the deposit is there and once the tenant has moved in it can be released.
Fulfilling legal obligations
The legal obligations of landlords have increased dramatically over the last few years. It is essential that not only are online adverts presented in the correct manner but prospective tenants must also receive the correct paperwork. To many people this is a legal minefield and one which can potentially lead to court action and damages in some circumstances. Therefore, the ability to make clear legal obligations on the side of the landlord and the tenant avoids confusion and potential for misunderstandings.
We have seen situations in the past where properties have been “let” by individuals who did not actually own the property. Once the deposit was received, the rogue “landlord” suddenly disappeared leaving the tenant and actual landlord to sort out the mess. Thankfully, the Internet offers the opportunity to carry out online identity checks and create a line of communication. There is also the obligation for a landlord to ensure that the person renting their property is legally allowed to do so – more paperwork from the authorities!
Time is of the essence
Every landlord and would-be tenant will realise that time is of the essence. A prospective tenant may be starting a new job and needs accommodation as soon as possible. Landlords would prefer their properties were fully occupied but this is not always the case. Therefore, the ability to advertise properties online and also utilise the client base and contacts of an online letting agent can be priceless for both parties. In this instance, time really is money….
Conclusion – Online Letting Agents
There is no doubt that the Internet has changed the way in which the letting market now operates. The ability to reach a larger audience of both landlords and tenants benefits all parties. The opportunity to communicate 24 hours a day seven days a week via email and other communication services is priceless. Landlords can also receive assistance with adverts to maximise their offering while prospective tenants are able to search for suitable properties using an array of different criteria. The fact this is all available from the comfort of your home, at a time which suits you, adds to the attraction!