While some markets may have taken their time in accommodating and appreciating the latest online technology, when it comes to rental listings, we are seeing some significant changes coming through. Such is competition in the letting market that a simple description of a rental property with a few photographs does not cut the mustard anymore. Aerial views using drones, high definition video footage and a need to reply to potential tenants as soon as possible are now deemed standard in the rental market.
There is no doubt that the Internet has changed the way we live our lives and, while the property markets may have taken some time to appreciate the full benefits of online promotion, they have emerged with a vengeance. In many ways, the old-style advertising of rental properties was done in such a way that a potential tenant came looking for you, the landlord. Nowadays, competition in the rental market means that landlords have to place themselves in front of would-be tenants and close the deal as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
As competition in the rental market continues to grow, the old-style advertising strategy is for many investors a thing of the past. High upfront charges, minimum advertising periods and no guarantee of a tenant at the end of the process can very quickly eat away at your income. Such is the attraction of the online market that websites based on success fees, payable by both the tenant and landlord, are also being used by rental and letting agents as an alternative means to attract new tenants.
Companies such as Spotahome are blossoming as a consequence of the confidence their platform gives to both landlords and tenants alike.
Modern day letting adverts
It is now possible to list your property on a popular online rental portal in a manner which focuses on successful tenancy arrangements as opposed to simply throwing good money after bad on long-term adverts. Some of the points to consider from the likes of Spotahome include:-
• No up-front advertising charges
• All fees based on a successful tenancy agreement
• Free high definition promotional videos
• Free floor plans and detailed room measurements
• A guarantee to address rental arrears
• A guarantee to repair damage caused by troublesome tenants
As the new breed of letting portals are based on high volumes, professional services and modest success fees (when compared to traditional letting agent fees) your advert will be highly visible and your property description will ensure it is much sought-after.
Security and confidence
The ability to instil a high level of security and confidence into the letting market leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy, greater awareness and ever increasing traffic. The Spotahome website allows potential tenants and landlords to communicate directly through the website. Where bookings have been accepted, tenants will pay the initial landlord payment into a Spotahome controlled account. While the two parties are communicating, the booking dates in question will be blocked from the landlord’s calendar ensuring a level of exclusivity for both parties.
Importantly, the first payment will not be transferred to the landlord until 48 hours after the tenant has moved into the property. This gives the tenant time to address any issues and the landlord the security of knowing the first payment due is held in a Spotahome controlled account – ready to be released. In order to minimise ongoing costs, once there is an initial agreement between the parties they will communicate directly away from the website regarding lease paperwork, deposits and any additional payments. The introductory role of Spotahome is over and there are no ongoing recurring costs.
The modern day letting advert is finally utilising the broad range of online services now available. High-definition videos, detailed plans to secure payments and more, the market has changed. The ability to filter out those who are just “testing the market” and ensure only serious landlords and tenants are connected saves time, money and a great deal of effort. The traditional rental/letting market is changing, offering great choice and transparency to all parties.
They will need to work harder to attract their customers, both landlords and potential tenants, and review their fees which do not compare favourably to their online competitors. If you are looking for a success fee based advertising model, encompassing the latest technology, then the likes of Spotahome are game changers.