Engage with today’s tenant and find your customer of tomorrow

1 March 2018

In spite of being a multi-billion pound industry, the property sector is still dominated by antiquated processes. Filled with unsatisfactory practices for all those involved, dealing with property transactions can be incredibly confusing, especially for both first-time renters and buyers.

We’re a tech-savvy, mobile-centric society. To see this, simply take a look at other industries such as retail, transportation and travel, and you will notice that we are now living in an on-demand economy. Why is this? Because technology and its capabilities have allowed the consumer to fulfil their demands with the immediate provision of goods and services.

On-demand services have become the norm

On-demand services are so ingrained in daily life that you can even order a wig for a dog on your phone in a matter of seconds without leaving your house, and it can be delivered by 11am. It may seem odd that many of us used to question whether this trend was simply a ‘bubble’. Now, the question is no longer if the on-demand economy will revolutionise the way people transact, but when this new way of transacting business will become the norm for every industry. Failing to spot the signs could mean missing out on huge opportunities.

Disruption of traditional industries

Millennials and Gen Xers are a powerful group, often creating new marketplaces when their needs are not being met by the current options (take our Blockbuster and Netflix example earlier). This is why established companies and industries are adapting to these needs by putting technology at the core of their business - not only to serve that new market, but to combat other intruding tech-based businesses wanting to enter the marketplace. Fintech companies like Monzo and Starling are attempting to enter the previously closed world of banking, and even in our own industry online letting agencies are trying to ‘disrupt’ the established lettings landscape. The three points above are clear signs that traditional agents should use technology to serve the tenant as a customer. 

Harnessing on-demand services

What value does this bring? Why should letting agents go to the effort of making tenants the customers of tomorrow? What financial value will this bring? Well, a tenant’s journey is much more than just signing a few documents and paying rent. There is a world of services and experiences that tenants want to interact with which, again, arises as a result of accessibility to almost anything from the palm of our hands. Successful, proactive agents are looking at ways to extend products and services to their tenants with complete ease and convenience, and are already creating revenues from these transactions.

There’s more good news however. The ability to use technology doesn’t just develop the tenant into a valuable customer, it also brings operational efficiency to the business. With the tenant fee ban looming, tenants who are thought to become cost creators can easily be converted to profit creators. The same technology can be used to offer an efficient service thus leading to a reduction in the number of calls and emails from tenants, speeding up deal closure times and reducing the need for support.

Whichever way you look at it, tenants will have more of an impact on the lettings industry than they ever have before and the scale of this impact will continue to increase as Generation Rent becomes more and more prevalent. Many of Goodlord’s customers are already recognising tenants as valuable customers by offering a cutting-edge process and taking the opportunity to create revenue from additional services. It’s time traditional letting agents capitalise on the creation of an experience that matches the demands of the marketplace, whether that’s because of the uprise of powerful, modern renters or if it’s to fend off the intrusion of online agents. Don’t resist the trend. Don’t be Blockbuster.

Further reading