You want to rent out your property. All the cleaning, decorating, styling, and sprucing up has been done, and now you just need some renters. What’s the quickest and easiest way to find tenants?
You can rent your house or apartment out via the traditional route: a letting agent. But you can also do so using an online property portal.
The goal of an online property rental company is the same as that of a traditional high-street letting agent: to generate as many inquiries from prospective tenants as possible and to get rooms filled.
But who does it best? What are the pros and cons of each, and which would work best for you, given your own experience, schedule and workload?
Here we explore the advantages of finding tenants without an agent by using an online property rental company instead of more traditional high-street letting agencies.
This is the big one. Renting online offers landlords huge potential savings compared to renting properties with traditional real estate agents.
High-street letting agents expect a commission for helping landlords find tenants. They’ll typically charge around a month’s rent just to let your property while full property management fees can be between 12 and 20% of the rent each month.
Meanwhile, rental property companies don’t have a physical high-street presence. This means low overheads and consequently, cheaper rates. Furthermore, most online rental companies work on a fixed-fee basis – there are no hidden fees or added costs. As a result, landlords that use online letting agents instead of their high-street counterparts save on average £1,000 per let.
Calling a taxi, selling second-hand goods, ordering takeaway – these things are now all done online and are far more convenient and efficient. The same goes for property rentals. Online solutions can make the task of finding tenants quicker and easier.
Firstly, you can list your property almost immediately – and all from the comfort of your home. With traditional real estate agents, you have to go down to the branch to talk to them, which can be next to impossible if you have a full-time job.
And when it comes to finding tenants, online property portals profit from another advantage: the internet never sleeps. People can conduct an online property search 24/7 – avoiding the somewhat limited timetables of high-street letting agents.
Prospective tenants can check out your property day and night which massively boosts the chances of finding the right one. And you may have prospective tenants from around the globe checking out your property. The number of home-hunters you can reach by posting your flat on a property listing website is much greater – with the pool of potential renters expanding dramatically.
Online agents tend to operate nationally or even internationally. This means they might not have the same knowledge and understanding of the local area as high-street letting agents who have been based in a particular area for a long period of time.
However, this is becoming less and less important. The internet provides an endless source of knowledge for tenants wanting to research a potential neighbourhood. A quick Google search can instantly give you information on the area, as well as its amenities and reputation. It’s not necessary to be a local in order to have local knowledge.
With a traditional estate agent, you can speak to someone face-to-face when it comes to questions or concerns. Landlords can walk into the branch and talk to a real person, with all the reassurance and familiarity that it brings.
With online companies, you will need to email or telephone. However, they’ll have professional support teams to deal with issues and account managers to help resolve problems. They can also offer customer support in several languages for both landlords and tenants, keeping communication smooth and simple.
Inspections and viewings
High-street agencies inspect their properties before letting them. Most online property rental companies don’t do this.
However, some – like Spotahome, for example – do send individuals to verify properties as well as to take photos and generate floor plans. Tenants appreciate knowing an inspection has been carried out as this means more enquiries are generated.
High-street agents can organise viewings and send someone to show tenants around your property. Online agents leave you to sort this out yourself, which can be annoying. But this is also good if you prefer to meet prospective tenants and suss them out for yourself.
Meanwhile, some online property companies, like Spotahome, send designated “Homecheckers” to create a video of your property, eliminating the need for viewings entirely.
Making a Decision
Ultimately, choosing between traditional letting agencies and online property rental companies is a personal choice. Are you short on time? Do you want a fully managed service, including things like rent collection and on-site repairs? Or do you simply want a company to market your property, generate enquiries, and find your perfect tenant, all for a fraction of the cost?
Spotahome can offer a stress-free and 100% online renting experience. Send us a message and we’ll send a Homechecker to your property to take professional photos, create floor plans, and record videos about the property and neighbourhood.
Your property will then be published on our site. Rather than viewings, tenants can simply check out your property on their phones using the virtual tour created by the Homechecker.
You’ll have a booking in no time.
Whether its apartments, rooms, studios, or residences, we can help you rent a property today – all without an agent! Save time and money with Spotahome.