More landlords than ever are embracing technology and seeing the benefits when it comes to managing their properties and communicating with tenants.
Almost every aspect of most of our day-to-day lives is linked to technology, with so many things now automated, controlled remotely, or operated via a quick tap on our mobile phone. As a result, we are increasingly coming to expect every process we use to be faster and more streamlined.
This is much the same in the lettings market, and companies that are providing the most exciting technology offerings are moving ahead of those that still rely solely on more old-fashioned methods. For time-pressed landlords and tenants, the latest digital advancements can make a huge difference.
BuyAssociation recently caught up with Katrina Scadding, head of lettings at hapi.space, a letting agent that manages properties across the north west and the Midlands. hapi works alongside some of the UK’s top developers, bringing off-plan developments to the city centre market.
It uses its unique technology offering to allow users – both landlords and tenants – to do everything “completely remotely”, straight from a mobile phone, setting the company apart from traditional high street letting agents.
Landlords want to use technology
Today’s buy-to-let landlords are increasingly seeking the latest tech offerings to help them run their businesses more smoothly, whether they have one property or several. According to Scadding, this is having an impact on the letting agents they are choosing to work with.
“Landlords are favouring agents with a really good technology package,” she says. “They’re wanting something that is providing that really simple, hands-off, actual fully managed service.
“They don’t want the hassle of the day-to-day, chasing their agents, having to follow things up. They just want something that’s there, that’s accessible when they need it.”
So how does hapi’s technology work? “At hapi, we really wanted to focus on creating a tech package, so every landlord, every tenant will have access to this portal where they can manage everything, from their tenancy or for their property, in one place.
“We like to think that we’ve gone the extra mile in terms of our referencing. We have the basic steps that most agents do, but we’ve also integrated open banking, which basically provides a lot more security, a lot more comfort for landlords to ensure that we’re finding the most high-quality tenant for that property.”
Keeping up with legislation
New legislation can be one of the most challenging aspects for landlords to keep up with, particularly those with large portfolios or those operating overseas. Things are evolving all the time in the private rented sector, which is why a large number of landlords prefer to use a letting agent to help them keep on top of things.
Scadding points out: “There’s always going to be changes in legislation across the lettings board. There are new rules, new regulations that come in every single year.
“I think the most important thing with regards to legislation is just ensuring that you have a really good agent working alongside you to be able to provide you with the guidance that you need to make sure you’re compliant.”
Ideal for overseas customers
The use of technology has drastically improved the experience for overseas landlords, too, who are now able to use apps and portals to access everything they need to know, whenever they need it. This is a key client market for hapi.
“A lot of the clients that we do manage properties for are out of the area or they’re based overseas, so there’s one factor that falls into it; we’re always working with a time difference,” says Scadding.
“It means we’ve basically put something in place so that all our clients will have access to their own property portal. If I’m not accessible, if I’m not reachable, because, say, it’s 1am over here, you can still log into your own property portal. You can find any documents, any notes, anything to do with the property that you need.”
hapi.space is a lettings and management agency with a digital approach, offering a fully managed, hands-off service and an online portal for landlords and tenants. BuyAssociation is excited to partner with hapi.space as an agent in the north west and Midlands area. Get in touch today for more information.