This is an extract from Goodlord's new e-book, How Generation Rent will transform the lettings industry. Download it today.
Generation Rent doesn’t just want to purchase from you at all hours - they also want to be able to communicate with you via their desired channel at a time that suits them. This doesn’t mean being available to speak to your tenants at all hours - in fact, most younger applicants and tenants would prefer not to speak to you at all, but rather to send you a message - this might be via WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat or even by installing live chat functionality on your website.
Debbie Franklin, who is now an independent consultant to the lettings industry but previously spent 27 years at Andrews Property Group, oversaw the introduction of live chat on the Andrews website. “We looked at how we could remove pain points for our customers and one of those pain points was being able to contact us, so we introduced live chat,” says Franklin. “We found 45% of live chat enquiries were coming out of hours - we were capturing customers who couldn’t interact with us at another time,” she says. “About 40% of those enquiries were from brand new customers.”
Thomas Izod of Kallars Property Agents in London says his agency has started using an app that lets their tenants get in touch with them whenever they need to. “If there is ever a problem, if they’ve ever got any questions, they can contact us anytime - it’s not just your normal, nine-to-five anymore,” he says. “Everything’s going to go that way where, instead of calling someone, you just send a message and get a response back immediately.”
Jonathan Werth of LiFE Ventures, which invests in PropTech start-ups, believes technology that automates some of the routine communication that takes place between tenants and letting agents will be the next big thing in PropTech. “Tenants will be able to get all the information they need - when their rent’s due, their leaving date, break clauses - through a ChatBot on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.”