Property and technology are businesses that you might not think of as working particularly well together. But that hasn’t stopped a few pioneering firms looking to shake up the property industry.
Not so long ago people would have checked a newspaper when looking for their next place to rent. These days their first port of call is likely to be Rightmove or Zoopla. These, however, are the next wave of technology companies looking to make the next big splash.
Rentify is a property management company promising guaranteed rent to landlords. According to their website, “Rentify makes it simple for you to rent your property to high quality tenants without worrying about void periods, arrears, and maintenance.”
They promise to cut out the stress of instructing your agent, approving offers from tenants, handling repairs, and guaranteeing the property will be maintained to a like-for-like standard.
Rentify is currently rated ‘great’ with 7.2 (out of 10) stars on Trustpilot. Many have praised the company for being helpful, efficient, and hassle-free, though a handful have claimed their experience was frustrating and disappointing.
Check out Rentify for yourself and let us know your thoughts.
Goodlord is a letting transactions platform who claim to be able to cut your admin time by at least 50 per cent. You can customise tenancy agreements on the go and they claim their app “totally removes contract errors.”
While Goodlord might not be as relevant for landlords who use a letting agent, if you self-manage - or are thinking about self-managing when the ban on letting agent fees to tenants comes in - Goodlord might be worth exploring.
Goodlord has 4.3 (out of 5) stars on Google with a number of people saying how much of a difference it has made for them and commending Goodlord on their customer service, though a small minority said it made the processes slower rather than faster.
Have you used Goodlord? Let us know what you think.
If you’re a commercial landlord, you might want to look into Appear Here. The company calls itself ‘the world’s leading marketplace for retail space.’
Appear Here recognise that traditional models don’t always fit today’s fast-paced world. With the rise of pop-up shops, many businesses are only looking for short term retail space - and that space might not look the way it used to. Along with traditional shops, Appear Here will rent out market pitches, rooftops, gardens, and even catwalks.
They also claim landlords who use Appear Here will earn, on average, half again as much as they usually would.
On Google, Appear Here has a rating of 3.4, and many have called them ‘innovative’. Though some are disappointed with the service they received, the negative reviews seem to all come from people looking to rent spaces rather than landlords.
Planning your next buy-to-let purchase? REalyse could be the place to go. They’re a property investment company that combine real estate expertise with smart technology to help you make fully informed decisions.
REalyse is a subscription service, but if you’re looking to test it out you can get a 14 day free trial.
It’s difficult to find reviews for REalyse - have you used their services? If so, let us know what you think.
Purplebricks is one of the older companies on this list, having been founded way back in 2014. They’re one of the first online-only letting agents, and control 65 per cent of the online market.
In many ways, Purplebricks functions like a traditional letting agent - just without the High Street premises and, they say, the unfair commission. They use ‘Local Experts’ to do everything you’d need a letting agent to do in person, and an app for everything else.
The reviews for Purplebricks are overwhelmingly positive. They have a 9.5 ‘excellent’ rating on Trustpilot. The few who seem not to like the service appear to mostly be those looking to buy or sell the house, and Purplebricks has responded to the vast majority of the negative comments.
Are you a fan of Purplebricks? Let us know!
If you’re not looking for the full online letting agent experience and just need someone to get prospective tenants to your property of an evening, Viewber might be exactly what you’re after.
Given most people work during the day, many prefer to view properties during the evening or at weekend. If you’d rather be doing something better with your free time, you can get a Viewber agent to take the viewing for you.
Not only that, many letting agents don’t conduct viewing in evenings and on weekends. Using Viewber, you’re more likely to get your property seen by more prospective tenants and up your chances of letting it out.
Viewber is another company who seem to have few reviews, but a piece on the company that appeared on Radio 4’s You & Yours raised some concerns. Sam Ashdown from letting agent Ashdown Jones said that actually letting agents are often free on evenings and weekends, and pointed out that someone who knows the property well could be better placed to sell it once the potential tenants actually arrive.
Check out Viewber and tell us your thoughts.
Reposit is a company that may be controversial among landlords. They call themselves ‘the tenancy deposit alternative’, but many landlords may feel that tenancy deposits are fine as they are and need no alternative.
With Reposit, when a prospective tenant decides they’re interested in a property, they pay one week's rent rather than the standard one and a half month’s worth.
The site claims “Reposit helps us rent properties faster, reduces landlord void periods, and saves tenants from having money tied up in a traditional deposit scheme”. While the speed is appealing, what about the large deposit landlords often look forward to when letting a property?
Well, Reposit claims you won’t need one. They will handle referencing and, when your tenant moves out, cover the cost of any cleaning or repairs required. And this may become more appealing if the proposed Finance Bill goes through.
The government have proposed capping deposits at one month's rent, which some fear may cause tenants to think of it as their final rental payment, leaving landlords out of pocket. Companies such as Reposit could resolve that worry.
Again, finding independent reviews of Reposit is tricky, but reviews on their website call it “a no brainer for agents, landlords, and tenants” as well as “a win/win for everyone in the transaction.”
Have you tried Reposit? Tell us how you found it.
Disruptive Technologies are a little different to many of the companies on this list as they focus more on investment.
“Smart properties” may be the thing of the future, but what are landlords to do with their current portfolio? That’s the question Disruptive Technology have decided to answer. They’ve created a tiny chip to fit into both old and new properties and collect data about the building.
What you then do with that data is up to you, but it will help you make informed decisions about buying, letting, and selling properties.
The chip is still a prototype, so it remains to be seen if and how it will impact landlords. Interested in following Disruptive Technologies? Let us know what you learn.
Void periods are a nightmare for landlords. One of the ways to keep your property profitable, or at least break even, is to let it on sites like Airbnb while you’re searching for a tenant. But you’re a landlord, not a hotel owner - you don’t want all the hassle that comes with very short term tenants.
Hostmaker's website calls the company “London’s #1 Airbnb management service” and claims they can increase your income by 50 per cent.
And the hotel owner side of things? They take care of all of that, providing their own check in/out service and professional cleaning in between guests.
Hostmaker score an ‘excellent’ 9.1 on Trustpilot, with the service called “proactive and responsive” and the company “professional and customer-friendly”. The few negative reviews reference how the service is not necessarily considerate for other residents.
Have you used Hostmaker? What did you think?
Keep up to date with Simply Business. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on social media.Subscribe to our newsletter
99 Gresham Street
29 St Katherine's Street
© Copyright 2019 Simply Business. All Rights Reserved. Simply Business is a trading name of Xbridge Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Registration No: 313348). Xbridge Limited (No: 3967717) has its registered office at 6th Floor, 99 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NG.