Is there anarchy in the world of private rentals? No, not really but you may be fooled into thinking there’s chaos and disorder when actually there’s a smart revolution happening. It’s all down to two buzz phrases: prop tech and disruptive strategies.
The latter is rather a negative term for something positive. The ‘disruptive’ element refers to new ways of thinking that are improving and modernising old fashion approaches. Think of is as shaping a new ‘norm’ in lettings rather than young radicals bursting into meetings shouting the odds!
So how will new prop tech and disruptive strategies enhance the relocation process for your clients? While it may feel like ‘new’ news, prop tech has been quietly infiltrating the lettings market for some time. Confidence has now peaked, however, and tech is being adopted by more letting agents and property managers. Here are some existing and emerging technologies that will benefit your end user – the professional relocator :-
Fixflo – this software for reporting and requesting repairs in rental properties first started in 2013 and in 5 years is now a market leader. The beauty is in its simplicity. A tenant simply logs on and identifies the fault using a pictorial based system, with the report being sent direct to the agent or landlord. There’s over 40 language translation options too – perfect for international tenants.
Alexa for tenants – voice control tech is taking on a business slant, with Vesper Homes – a high end London property management company – issuing tenants in properties it manages with an Echo Dot. A developed Alexa Skill allows tenants to report repairs to ‘Alexa’ by voice command. For example, if a tenant says “Alexa, my boiler is broken” a fault ticket will be automatically generated and sent direct to Vesper Homes.
Deposit-free lettings – deposit free renting is probably the most radical of the disruptive strategies, with the big guns keen to try a new approach. Hamptons International is replacing the taking of an initial security deposit with a one-off insurance policy premium in four of its offices. The aim is to reduce the amount of upfront money a tenant pays and provide a guaranteed payout should damage to the property occur.
Pay by app – companies including CreditLadder and Canopy are revolutionising how tenants pay rent, with easy-to-use apps that forward the rent on to the landlord or letting agent. The app also feeds details of rental payments to credit rating companies, contributing to the tenant’s credit score and also building a ‘rent passport’ for each tenant, allowing for quicker referencing in the future.
It’s an exciting time in residential lettings and modern technology very much suits the relocation market.