They say you have to spend money to make money. But utilising technology (some of which you will already have at your disposal) is a relatively inexpensive way to make sure that the only impact the Tenant Fee Bill has on your profit margin is a positive one. Although letting agents are often reluctant to take on new technology, with the abolition of admin fees for tenants and other mandatory fees now illegal, finding a new way to cover your overheads is more important than ever.
- There’s an app for that! – One ARLA survey found that letting agents spend an average of 7.5 hours on admin per week, almost an entire working day. This time didn’t even include the time spent checking references, conducting viewings or chasing credit checks. The right technology can take care of all of these tasks in a fraction of the time. At Fixflo our technology can generate invoices, chase and reference contractors and issue repairs reports amongst other things. It can even guide tenants into fixing their own repairs, provided they’re handy with a spanner! By automating the admin, you free up staff time to take care of the real nuts and bolts of the business: winning new clients.
- Get up close and personal and wipe the floor with competitors – use technology to generate bespoke welcome packs, personalised interactions and 24/7 access. Nothing makes a client feel more satisfied than targeted personalised service. Not to mention that technology can take the hassle out of keeping up to date with legislation, which is a pain point for smaller landlords. Demonstrating you’ve got the digital ability to ensure nothing slips through the net on the compliance front puts you a step ahead of your competitors who, without technology, are subject to human error.
- New products are just a click away – Technology makes offering full property management services significantly easier and more time-efficient. While the revenue generated by full property management is small on a case-by-case basis (usually between 5 and 15% of the monthly rent), converting let only landlords into fully managed services is the simplest way to offset the TFB and using technology for referencing, credit checks, collecting rent and signing documents is a way to do so without needing to add to your headcount.
- This could be anywhere – Liverpool or Rome? While to some they’re a dodgy nineties band, when it comes to property profitability it turns out The Beautiful South really knew what they were talking about. Today’s high-speed internet means letting agents really can be anywhere anytime. While we’re not advocating you give up your office entirely (though for some this is another saving), the advancement of proptech does mean you can manage portfolios remotely. In addition to offering the 24/7 that digital savvy renters have come to expect, this also means agencies can broaden their reach and take ownership of property and business that may be nowhere near them geographically.
- Get social – social media is the way to gold plate your reputation and enhance your ability to win new business. 40% of new business comes from referral so dedicating manpower to building your digital presence via Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter is the best way to maximise your online reputation. Enlisting someone (either internal or external) to manage all your reviews is another way to build trust and establish yourselves. And the best thing is – it doesn’t cost a thing. Which just goes to show that while sometimes you do have to spend money to make money the best things in life are free.
Read more about the Tenant Fee Bill over at our in-depth blog post. We've also got a whole library of handy ebooks that you can download for FREE.... Here's our pick of the bunch.
|Future of Lettings: Technology||The Tenant Fee Bill: Fact Sheet||10 Ways to Survive the Tenant Fee Bill||The Fixflo Report 2018: FREE Download|