“One of the biggest challenges we face as an agency going forward is the tenant fee ban,” says Daniel Otton of Buttercross Estates in Newark. "We focus on delivering good quality homes for good quality tenants."
"Here in Newark an agent can charge anywhere between £200-£500 for a tenant moving into a property, so for those that are charging at the higher end of that scale, that's going to be a massive loss of income.
"For us as an agency, even through we're on the lower end of what agents charge, it's still going to have an impact on us and we're looking at ways where we can mitigate the loss of income from the tenant's side. One of the ways is looking at other areas of income streams, through the likes of insurance products and other services we can bolt onto our customer journey. But overall I think it's a good step for the industry itself.
"I think as a smaller agency, it'll open up a lot of opportunities, we're quite well geared towards providing a good service and running quite an efficient operation. I think for those agencies that are not up to speed with technology and running an efficient system, they're going to struggle when the Tenant Fee Ban comes in, and that's going to probably be a problem that they'll face, for us again I see it as an opportunity where we are able to shine a light on how to provide a good service to our customers.
"The customer experience and customer journey is at the forefront of our minds and has been since we first started the business. We wanted to make sure we were delivering a really good, slick and efficient service, not only to provide a good service but also to make sure we were running as efficiently as possible, and utilising technology is a massive part of that and without that we wouldn't be able to operate as well as we are doing.
"Those who are not utilising technology will really find that the customer experience and customer journey is poor, or not as good as it should or could be. Especially in this day and age where your customers and tenants and landlords are able to review your system and your business online and share that experience with others, it's a massive worry if you're not performing well.
"So we're making sure that by using technology we're delivering that good experience and it's helping our business grow. We were trying to reduce the amount of time we spent on administrative processes and procedures. This business is all about people, we deal with people whether it's landlords, tenants, tradespeople, it's a very people-oriented business, and we wanted to make sure that our focus and the staff's focus was on people and not the administration.
"By utilising systems like Goodlord, we've been able to make the administrative side systemised, slick and automatic. We don't have to deal with that side any more and it frees us up to deal with the people - the tenants and landlords - and make sure our focus is on the right areas. That frees up a lot of time for us to focus on the really key areas in our business and provide that service to our clients. We're spending more time doing viewings than we perhaps were twelve months ago, whereas we're getting more enquiries on a property."