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Three new proptech offerings to help landlords navigate coronavirus

Technology has played a crucial role in keeping things moving during recent events. It is likely many of these proptech advancements will become the new norm for the housing market.

A survey in March looked at the “tech effect” currently underway in the UK property market. The findings by Zoopla showed a real increase in proptech usage, as well as platforms like social media playing a growing role.

Agents, landlords and many others intend to embrace the new offerings, according to the survey. Especially in the current climate, these tools have been vital for more businesses than ever. Firms that have transitioned to more digital and virtual processes are seeing the greatest success now.

There are a number of new proptech offerings coming to the market all the time. Here are three of the most recent new changes in the sector:

1. Helping landlords track rent arrears

While much of the rental market has continued relatively untroubled, some tenants have inevitably been unable to pay rent. Some have lost their jobs as businesses have closed, while others may have suffered more directly from the virus. This has created problems for a number of landlords who have to spend time chasing arrears.

Flatfair, a payment technology company, has launched an online portal called Resolve. It is free for landlords, and allows them to set up payment plans with their tenants. The app helps landlords obtain proof of hardship from their tenants when they alert them of difficulties. They can then negotiate and agree on a rent payment plan, as well as negotiate any issues over late rent payment.

Franz Doerr, founder and CEO of flatfair, said: “This is a very uncertain time for landlords, most of whom work extremely hard to provide a good home to their tenants, and now see their livelihood put at risk.”

“Resolve will give landlords certainty that they can simply arrange a rental payment plan online with their tenants and electronically sign a legally binding agreement with everything clearly documented.”

While most landlords hope they won’t be faced with late or missed payments, this free tool offers a way of resolving issues with less hassle for both parties.

2. Virtual lettings platform for no-contact renting

Regardless of social distancing rules, many in the industry today are keen to complete processes online rather than face-to-face. This has been increasingly the case since long before the coronavirus pandemic.

A new virtual lettings platform, called PlanetRent, created by Ringley Group, can now help this happen. Designed to save both agents and landlords time and money, PlanetRent offers a suite of technologies. It aims to connect agents, landlords, tenants, contractors, accountants and others to enable a fully virtual process.

Mary-Anne Bowring, group managing director at Ringley and creator of PlanetRent, said: “Coronavirus has undoubtedly caused huge disruption to the housing market but as the crisis fades we will still be left with the same problem of a rental market stuck in the analogue era when we are in the digital age.

“PlanetRent has been designed to save landlords and agents, time, money and hassle, all the school-boy errors have been designed out, reports to know everything that needs to be done has been done are automatically emailed weekly and a first-class tenant experience is assured.”

“We’ve mapped outcomes for every event: let, re-let, tenant substitution, vacate, repairs, marketing and everything in-between.”

The company believes rental demand will continue to grow over the coming years. Therefore, creating more proptech solutions for the rental market will help to future-proof the sector.

3. Property investment portfolio management

Keeping on top of your property management and finances, whether you have one property or several, is vital. This is more true now than ever as the housing market in general faces new challenges.

Lendlord allows property investors and landlords the option to manage everything in one place. What’s more, it has now teamed up with a leading property forum for private landlords, Property Tribes. This will allow it to expand its reach to thousands more landlords across the UK.

Lendlord’s platform allows landlords and investors to “manage, track and optimise” their portfolios. It has a dashboard that shows users all the metrics around their portfolio’s health, historical trends and potential savings. This could include mortgage costs, as well as upcoming due dates for things like insurance.

Nick Tadd, Director at Property Tribes, said:“It’s become clear to me that if landlords adopt a digital approach and mindset, a significant amount of their issues, including financial ones, could be overcome while creating time efficiencies and improving their portfolio’s bottom line.”

He adds that Lendlord will “take the pain and hassle” out of running your property business.

“Just as a Fitbit is used to track, optimise and manage health, Lendlord will do the same for property finances and portfolios – so ultimately it is managing landlords’ wealth.”


Note: This report is for news and information purposes only, and is not intended as a review or recommendation of any of the products mentioned.

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