Technology has become a part of everyday life and many letting agencies have struggled to adapt quickly enough to the rapidly changing demands of customers.
Business is now done in real-time, ideal belongings are no longer tangible and a smartphone is becoming more and more of a necessity in everyday tasks. As every aspect of our life becomes more consolidated into digital assets, consumers now expect convenience through the use of their own technology with each transaction they make.
The likes of Uber, Sainsbury’s and even the Royal Mail have adapted and created an environment where communication is painless through instant notifications and transparency throughout the purchase. As more and more businesses operate in this way, the consumer not only begins to expect this level of convenience, ease and speed but is now increasingly demanding it, and agencies shouldn’t feel they are exempt from this expectation
For the landlord, we recommend making it as easy and efficient as possible to review, agree and sign contracts. Quick tip: If you use Goodlord, landlords are automatically provided with visibility and ease when accepting an offer thanks to automatically-generated contracts that are sent to their email for instant digital signing. Book a demo here.
For the tenant, we suggest investing in automated text messages from your diary to confirm and remind tenants of viewings and other key dates or deadlines.
Not only is a cloud-based solution to paperwork more secure and more organised, tenants are increasingly and exclusively doing business with agents that provide them with a paperless, digital and overall convenient lettings process.
After performing market research, Lucy Conlon from Peabody said:
"It was identified that people wouldn't rent with anybody that they had to physically come and sign a paper agreement with and take time out of their schedule."
A great way to successfully compete with the growing number of online agencies is by improving the user journey and design of your current website. Be sure your website is easy to use, has a modern design representing your brand and allows visitors to gather all of the information they are looking for - particularly details of all available properties and information on how to enquire about them easily. Here are four examples of great agency websites to inspire you:
- The Stow Brothers
- Bloore and King
- Gibbs Gillespie
Additionally, be sure your website is compliant with the new GDPR regulations coming into effect 25 May 2018. Need more info on the GDPR? Check our blog post here.
Use social media
According to the House of Commons Library research 53.5% of individuals under the age of 34 were privately renting properties within the UK in 2017, and this is predicted to increase to 60% by 2025. Critically, this age group is overwhelmingly the leader when it comes to presence and activity on social media.
There are 42 million users registered with social media accounts in the UK, so it is a vital place to market to and engage with the right tenants. We suggest sharing organic content such as blogs from your website or interesting and appropriate articles from third parties, as well as details of the homes you have available for rent. You can reach more relevant people by promoting these posts or using some of the powerful targeting functionality available on most social media platforms to deliver your content or details of available properties to highly specific demographics.
We really urge UK agencies of all shapes and sizes to prioritise and make steps towards becoming more digital in 2018. Jump on board the digital movement and modernise your agency before it’s too late!