Posts with tag: technology

How letting agents are using technology to manage compliance

Published On: November 7, 2019 at 9:32 am


Categories: Lettings News

Tags: ,,,

There are ways in which letting agents are using technology when it comes to compliance, and Gas Tag believes this relationship has never been more important.

Gas Tag conducted research into how letting agents are using technology, uncovering that the most letting agents are saving time, improving accuracy and proactively identifying challenges when it comes to compliance.

The results highlight three key areas in which several leading law firms involved with the research are excelling:

Automated milestones and notifications will save time

Automating notifications and milestones is increasingly becoming a way for agents to ensure landlords are aware of the compliance status of their properties.

Mike Hookway, property management director at London agency Portico, says that setting up reminders allows ‘plenty of time to open discussions with our clients and arrange the necessary visits to satisfy any legislative requirements’.

“The ability to rely on system generated alerts is intrinsically linked to the time-saving aspect of our service proposition for clients,” he says.

Emily McNally, associate safety compliance consultant at Chestertons, adds: “We can run reports as necessary to ensure we are meeting deadlines, meaning that properties remain compliant.”

John Roche, COO of Gas Tag, points out that automating the reminder and notification process can reduce administration work for agents, making their compliance processes more streamlined.

“Notification and milestone systems like this have become essential – agents have the peace of mind that everything is in hand and can focus their attention on other parts of the business,” he says.

Combination of inhouse systems and specialist apps is effective

Letting agents are also looking to integrate specialist compliance technology with their existing management software, according to the research. Bespoke systems can allow agents to manage properties their own way, while also benefiting from specialist products used across the industry.

Emily McNally of Chestertons says that they have their own IT operations system to log information so that it can be seen company-wide. Mike Hookway says that Portico’s bespoke IT system has reduced the need for manual work, allowing the agency to reduce the time required to stay compliant.

Roche adds: “There is also huge value in identifying industry specialist apps and solutions which can be plugged into an agency’s existing system to provide additional support.”

“Collaboration and integration between agencies and technology products is absolutely crucial in keeping costs down and becoming more efficient.”

Central documentation and online record keeping are crucial

One of the biggest challenges, according to agents, is the pressure to serve the correct legal documentation before, during and after a tenancy.

Emily McNally states: “Quick turnaround times and the ever-growing requirement for safety certificates to be in place prior to a tenancy starting or serving notice can put time pressure on matters.”

Lisa Simon, head of residential at Carter Jonas, says: “We now issue certificates digitally. This means that we can prove service and also maintain a centralised digital system to store all documentation for both parties.”

Mike Hookway also adds that cutting corners is simply not an option when it comes to the safety of landlords and tenants. Technology is helping the agency follow the right steps.

Roche concludes: “Digital evidence and audit trails can help agents to protect consumers while ensuring they’re operating on the right side of the law.

“Looking towards 2020, agents’ relationship with technology will be key to streamline processes, make efficiency gains and most importantly, maintain a true reflection of their compliance.”

Arthur Online Launches Integrations with Rightmove and Zoopla for Easier Lets

Published On: October 2, 2018 at 9:26 am


Categories: Lettings News


Arthur Online, a cloud-based property management platform, has launched new integrations with portals Rightmove and Zoopla to make the lettings process easier for all involved.

Under the new integrations, you can now list your property for let directly via the Arthur Online platform. Millions of prospective tenants using Rightmove or Zoopla will be informed as soon as your property is available, helping to prevent long void periods.

If you struggle to find the time to manually upload your properties to portals, then Arthur Online will do this for you as soon as your property is marked as available for let. Rightmove and Zoopla will automatically pull all of the information needed for a listing directly from Arthur’s database, including images, property description, location, price, etc., meaning that you only have to upload this information once.

Once a new tenant has moved into your property, they can then use Arthur Online’s tenant app and web portal, so that both you and your tenant can track payments, view the tenancy agreement, flag and track the progress of maintenance issues, and schedule convenient times with contractors.

Marc Trup, the Founder of Arthur Online, discusses the new integrations: “We’re delighted to offer our customers an even higher level of service by partnering with Rightmove and Zoopla. As a property manager myself, I fully appreciate how hard it can be to manage a property portfolio and how much time it takes up – which is why Arthur Online uses an open API, so it can easily integrate with market leading websites like Zoopla and Rightmove.

“The rental market is moving faster than ever, and time lost literally means money lost. With the integration of Rightmove and Zoopla, you can significantly reduce your void periods. Not only that, vital documents and information like rental agreements, tenancy inventories and images are just a click or swipe away, so you can react quickly to those unexpected changes.”

StudentTenant moves into Mainstream Market with ClickTenant

Published On: October 27, 2017 at 9:40 am


Categories: Lettings News

Tags: ,,,

Online student property expert has launched a brand new online letting agency for the wider residential market –

The new business is offering the first let for free on all new properties, and then a hugely competitive pricing model after that to source tenants and manage landlords’ properties.

ClickTenant has been introduced in the midst of increasing costs and reduced tax relief for landlords, in the hope that it will provide a much more cost-effective and efficient service. The website uses technology to streamline the entire property lettings process.

StudentTenant moves into Mainstream Market with ClickTenant

StudentTenant moves into Mainstream Market with ClickTenant

Danielle Cullen, who has been the driving force behind StudentTenant’s success over the past three years, is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of ClickTenant.

She says: “We have automated a lot of the arduous administrative processes, making the customer journey much more efficient and streamlined. It also significantly saves our staff’s time, meaning less will be needed, allowing us to pass the savings onto the landlords. Viewings and bookings can be managed online, credit checks can be carried out in a few clicks, and an array of additional services can be obtained through instant quoting systems from partner integration.”

ClickTenant believes that its main competitiors will be high street letting agents, who currently control 94% of the sales and lettings markets.

Cullen continues: “Whilst the market is slightly more saturated compared to the student sector, we see our main competitors as the expensive high street letting agents. Online letting agents still only make up just 6% of the current market, giving huge growth potential.

“ is also one of very few platforms that are heavily tenant focused. We wanted to include very dominant and innovative search tools for tenants on the homepage, to encourage more actions to be carried out on our site. Many competitor websites rely solely on partner platforms to generate leads, but we wanted to concentrate on building our own brand and creating a platform that consumers will recognise.”

The new website has different advertising tiers. The most basic package offers advertising on major property portals Rightmove and Zoopla, as well as a credit check on all incoming tenants. The first let will be free for all properties, and the business will only charge a success fee thereafter, unlike many other platforms, where upfront fees are required to advertise.

The new business can also assist with the formulation and signing of tenancy agreements online, deposit collection and full property management, including British Gas maintenance cover – all at a fixed price.

Another of the Co-Founders of ClickTenant, Simon Vaughan, comments: “Although is a new venture, we’ve got a wealth of experience in operating a national online property business. Our team have been doing this successfully in the student sector for a number of years now.

“Through, we’ve learnt that providing a great service by working very closely with our customers is key. The ethos of will be to work in partnership with landlords. We are prepared to list their properties for free and, in return, we ask that they advertise our business – either through a post on social media or by word of mouth. We know the importance of building strong relationships from the outset.”

He concludes: “We see huge potential for growth in what we are offering. What landlord wouldn’t want to advertise their property on all of the major portals for free and have the tenant credit checked? We are also able to offer full letting agent services, at a price that we haven’t found anyone else to be matching.”

If you’re looking to market a rental property, why not check them out?

Technology Set to Change the Tenant, Landlord and Letting Agent Experience

Published On: October 10, 2017 at 7:56 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,

Technology Set to Change the Tenant, Landlord and Letting Agent Experience

Technology Set to Change the Tenant, Landlord and Letting Agent Experience

Technology is set to change the whole lettings experience for tenants, landlords and letting agents, according to property management software firm Arthur.

With over one million apps now available across the leading app stores, it won’t be long until technology will infiltrate the lettings sector with its power functionality.

Apps now enable users to do almost everything that they can do on a desktop computer, making everyday tasks, such as chatting with friends, checking your bank balance, booking a holiday and watching the latest news videos, quicker and simpler.

Arthur believes that smartphones have the potential for not only improving the communications between a tenant, landlord and letting agent, but also for improving tenant safety and security.

The Managing Director of the firm, Marc Trup, explains how technology will enhance the sector: “Tenants in multiple occupation buildings could have a safe button that they can use in the event of a fire, or have the ability to unlock their front door, or report a leak just by taking a picture of it.

“Smartphone apps can empower tenants and provide access to live communications between them, the landlord and/or the letting agent, which is transparent, immediate and auditable. This rules out any misunderstandings and keeps the relationship at arm’s length. There is also a commercial benefit for the landlord – if tenants are happy, they improve the value of rental properties.”

He continues: “In the future, a tenant will be able to search for a property, sign the lease agreement, check the inventory, pay their rent and organise all aspects of their moving via their smartphone. They won’t need to pick up keys to enter the property, as access will be via an app, which will also control the lighting and heating etc. Smartphone apps using proximity technology will enable this to happen and is already being used by some hotels, instead of key cards etc.

“It is inevitable that technology will change the relationship between the landlord, tenant and letting agent for the better.  It has the potential to improve communications, empower the tenant and make property management easier.”

What are your thoughts on using technology in your lettings business – is the traditional method better?

How Technology Could Reduce Complaints Against Letting Agents

Published On: August 2, 2017 at 9:45 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,

Effective use of technology and automation could help to reduce the number of consumer complaints against letting agents, according to payment management solution PayProp.

The firm makes the claim following the recent publication of The Property Ombudsman’s (TPO) annual report.

How Technology Could Reduce Complaints Against Letting Agents

How Technology Could Reduce Complaints Against Letting Agents

The study showed that letting agents were ordered to pay 51% more in awards to consumers during 2016 than the previous year.

What’s more, the number of resolved complaints against letting agents increased during this period, with an average lettings reward of £531.

TPO’s latest report shows that management, and communication and record keeping are two of the top four causes of complaints against letting agents, while PayProp says it is in these areas where technology could help firms become more efficient.

The CEO of PayProp in the UK, Neil Cobbold, confirms: “The finding that many agents have fallen down when it comes to management, record keeping and communication tallies with our own data.”

He believes that in these instances, incorporating streamlined and automated processes could reduce the chances of agents receiving complaints, particularly as there will be a record of all their activity, which is difficult to constitute with paper-based processes.

Cobbold also notes that when it comes to bad record keeping and management, there are two types of agencies – those who make inadvertent mistakes and a small minority who use the lettings industry to break the law intentionally.

He insists that technology can help in both cases: “It can stamp out incorrect handling of some steps, by helping with management, communications and record keeping, and it can also be used to track and trace wrongdoing.

“Although it can’t stop an agent doing anything illegal, it can help provide insurmountable evidence and an indelible audit trail.”

He adds that effective application of technology can raise transparency: “It gives rogue agents less to hide behind and helps to make sure that agents are acting in landlords’ interests.”

The CEO of the up-and-coming proptech provider repeats earlier statements that reservations about technology are unfounded.

“When properly embraced, technology makes one’s job easier, it doesn’t get rid of it,” concludes Cobbold. “For example, by automating administration, you can reclaim more of your time, allowing you to devote more to your business.”


Broadband and Wi-Fi now essential for home buyers

Published On: November 25, 2016 at 9:58 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,,

The latest buyer survey from Knight Frank has revealed that a superfast broadband connection or good mobile connection are becoming essentials for would-be property purchasers.

In fact, these features have passed those such as a good view!

Technological advances

Oliver Knight, Associate at Knight Frank Research, noted: ‘In an age of Wi-Fi, tablets and streaming, it is unsurprising that fast and reliable internet access is seen as a necessity among home movers.’[1]

‘Technology improvements, including fast, reliable internet have meant that working from home is a viable option for many, potentially cutting down on both commuting time and costs. This is likely to be particularly relevant for buyers in more rural property markets,’ he continued.[1]

Alongside looking at what buyers prefer in their property search, the survey also investigates what impact the stamp duty surcharge has had on budgets.

Results show that while 47% of people would be more likely to purchase a property with good internet connectivity, 41% have reduced their budget due to stamp duty. 14% are planning to stay in their property longer as a direct result of the changes.

Broadband and Wi-Fi now essential for home buyers

Broadband and Wi-Fi now essential for home buyers

Life quality

In addition, the survey found that quality of life was the top motivating factor for property buyers, followed by up or downsizing. 30% of those questioned said that their preferred location for their next home is in a city. 25% of respondents said they were looking in a village, while 19% preferred the country.

Security and privacy were unsurprisingly the most important considerations when buying a new property.

Oliver Knight concluded by saying: ‘The wholesale reforms to stamp duty announced in December 2014, and subsequent introduction of a 3% surcharge for individuals purchasing additional properties, have succeeded in making buyers more price sensitive, and this has been factored in to asking prices and offers.’[1]