Advertise property to let, reference tenants, guarantee rent – one package

by Mark Alexander

17:28 PM, 16th January 2013
About 6 years ago

Advertise property to let, reference tenants, guarantee rent – one package

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Advertise property to let, reference tenants, guarantee rent – one package

Advertise property to let, reference tenants, guarantee rent - one packageHow difficult can it be to advertise property to let on all the major rental portals, reference the tenants properly and guarantee the rent and legal expenses in one package with money back guarantees?

It shouldn’t be difficult should it?

What will happen to landlord confidence when such a package is available do you think?

As you will no doubt be aware, there are now a handful of online letting agents who offer to advertise properties to let on the major property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla for FREE. They then make their money by charging tenants for referencing and by selling insurance policies. The model works well in England and Wales but not in Scotland as their new laws preventing premiums to be charged to tenants have killed that particular business model.

Also, in England and Wales I know a lot of landlords prefer to do their own referencing as they don’t trust the ability of others. But what if the referencing could be underwritten with rent guarantee and legal protection insurance for 12 months? In other words, if the tenant fails to pay rent the insurance company become liable for all costs associated with eviction and pay the rent to the landlord until the tenant is evicted. Well as you may be aware, that’s also available (at a price) but as one package and with guaranteed results?

As landlords we very quickly become cautious people.

Some landlords who self manage their portfolio’s already use a variety of tenant referencing and RGI suppliers. However, I also know a lot don’t as they think the tenant referencing will be so strict that very few tenants would ever pass, thus leaving themselves with a scenario whereby they have paid for a service which doesn’t work for them.

By packaging the advertising of property to let, referencing and rent guarantee insurance into one, and then tying everything up with a 30 day Money Back Guarantee, surely this would be a “no brainer” for landlords? Well, price dependent of course!

In my opinion, what landlords need is a simple and straight forward way to buy such a package. I scoured the internet and realised whilst it is theoretically possible to buy most of these services separately, I could not find one company offering what I think most landlords really want/need, i.e. all of the above and a money back guarantee if an acceptable tenant isn’t found within a month.

I put this dilemma to an ARLA Letting Agent I know which specialises in online lettings. I refer a lot of landlords to them and we agreed that it would be an interesting exercise to cost out a such a package. This is what we came up with:-

  • STEP ONE – Advertise properties to let on the UK’s major property portals – Rightmove, Zoopla etc.
  • STEP TWO – Refer tenant enquiries to the landlord to arrange viewings
  • STEP THREE – Reference check tenants
  • STEP FOUR – Implement 12 months of rent guarantee and legal protection insurance for tenants which pass the referencing
  • STEP FIVE – Money Back Guarantee. Very simply, if the property is not “let agreed” within 30 days the landlord may cancel the deal and get a full refund.
Everything I’ve described above will soon be available to purchase as a packaged deal for just £97.  To register your interest please complete the form below.

Packaged Letting Product

  • Please enter a value between 0 and 1000.


Comments

1:32 AM, 17th January 2013
About 6 years ago

Blimey Mark you've come up with the mother lode!!
For LL who are happy in NOT using a High St LA this offer seems to be the answer to a LL dreams.
LA will be quaking in their boots if LL get wind of such an efficacious offer.
As you suggest the present online LA business model will be unviable when and most probably LA fees are banned as Scotland has introduced.
Your package offer will get first mover advantage and possibly wipe out the present competition if those Scottish laws come in down here!
Your business model will be ahead of the game.
To me it is a no-brainer!
Even if the package doesn't work; what have you really lost!?......£97.00..........that is s-d all.
If it works and a RGI claim is needed you'll be quids in.
I'd take a gamble on paying £97.00 any day.
The problem you will have is convincing LL the gamble is cheap enough and worthwhile doing.
I'm convinced however!

Mark Alexander

7:44 AM, 17th January 2013
About 6 years ago

Cheers Paul, the underwriter of the RGI is DAS which is the same underwriter used by most other companies so its safe too. If the Scottish law comes to England though the price will need to increase significantly as tenants can not be charged premiums.

10:05 AM, 17th January 2013
About 6 years ago

Most of my tenants are couples, so two tenants need referencing. I assume your £97 allows for this, and is not just for singles ?

Mark Alexander

10:23 AM, 17th January 2013
About 6 years ago

It does indeed 🙂

Annette Stone

10:29 AM, 17th January 2013
About 6 years ago

Hallo everyone. Hope 2013 is great for us all - in business and at home. Mark I think this is a brilliant idea but I wonder if it could be extended to people like me who simply cannot do their own lettings. There must be many of us as otherwise letting agents would not be so busy.
Also, with my portfolio on the South Coast I do get a six month rental guarantee period free with each tenancy and I do not pay for referencing etc. I also managed to get my management fees down to 8% and I have never had more than a three week void (and that was because I had to replace a shower). This seems to be a very good deal but maybe it is just average. If tenancies go over the six months then I do have to pay for the next rental guarantee period but it is not very much.
Could your new scheme which sounds brilliant be extended for a small fee so that they do the lettings as well?

Mark Alexander

10:50 AM, 17th January 2013
About 6 years ago

Hello Annette, good news, YES, it can be extended to do lettings, inventories, viewings, periodic checks, check out, informing utility companies, maintenance management etc. etc. in fact everything I can think of which you could possibly need. The "Full Management" options are already live in many areas of England and the appointment of local agents is growing all the time. Please see >>> http://www.property118.com/?p=34413

20:44 PM, 17th January 2013
About 6 years ago

As a Scottish LL I'd love to see this type of package available in Scotland and I'd be quite happy to pay additional for the referencing if the total package added up to about £20 per month over a 12 month contract. Previously the referencing service I used charged £70 per tenant so a package at around £240 for renting to a couple of tenants aught to be possible. I can easily add £20 per month to all my rents and the tenants are going to see it as a good deal because letting agents here are currently trying to push rents up considerably more (to offset charging the LL a higher %) and so claw back what they have lost by no longer being able to overcharge tenants with ridiculous additional fees. As an independent LL the new Scottish law is a big plus as I can undercut high street letting agent prices and still benefit from higher rents. My tenants have also said it works better for them, as instead of paying letting agent and referencing fees up front for a tenancy they might not get the cost is spread out into more manageable monthly payments.

Mark Alexander

21:05 PM, 17th January 2013
About 6 years ago

Very interesting comment, I will talk to my contacts about this 🙂

What services would you want for £20 a month?

The reason I ask is that advertising, referencing and RGI might be possible but if you add in rent collection, viewings, inventories etc. it is unlikely to be viable without the ability to charge premiums to tenants.


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