ESTAS Insights Newsletter Edition 10

Insight Feature

In the second of our series of features by our key sponsors Oli Sherlock, Director of Insurance at Goodlord, explains how their platform can help agents overcome some of letting agents’ biggest challenges

In the second of our series of features by our key sponsors Ollie Sherlock, director of insurance at Goodlord, explains how their platform can help agents overcome some of letting agents’ biggest challenges

Intro

Goodlord operates in an ever-changing market and industry - which comes with its challenges. There is no doubt that the world of lettings can be unpredictable, but it is how we manage these challenges for our customers that makes us successful and recognised as one of the industry’s top suppliers in the market across the UK.

How does Goodlord's platform help agents overcome some of letting agents' biggest challenges?

Back in 2014, we saw a phenomenal opportunity to change the game in the lettings industry and solve some of the industry's biggest challenges - copious amounts of admin and the burden of compliance.

Physical paperwork and juggling numerous documents throughout the tenancy process in traditional letting agencies is a thing of the past, with Goodlord. With our online solution, from attaching legally-required documents to keeping your tenancy agreements up to date, agents can manage compliance with ease and reduce the risk of costly manual errors to their business.

We offer our award-winning lettings platform to more than 1,000 agencies across the UK, with over 300 employees and over £54 million invested in our technology. The platform combines all the core elements of the lettings process into one dynamic, online service, which cuts agency admin time and spend by 50-75% and helps keep agents compliant.

From the offer letter and referencing, to signing tenancy agreements and paying move-in monies - and beyond - our platform is simple, clear, and easy to use. It also helps our customers to create new revenue streams to boost business profitability, through the market-leading extra products that we offer to their landlords and tenants.

But what about the more recent challenges that agents have faced?

The lettings industry and its recent challenges

Recent years have thrown up a lot of complications for the property industry to overcome, with agents needing to adapt to ensure their success. Luckily, at Goodlord, we relish a challenge and develop new ways to help our customers.

Covid-19 and lockdown

Lockdown came into effect on 23 March 2020, and the impact on the sector was swift. The entire property market ground to an unexpected and abrupt halt. With viewings and moves prohibited under all but the most exceptional circumstances, the industry scrambled to cope with this dramatic turn of events and stall in the market.

Communication and the ability to react quickly to provide a solution to industry challenges has always been the key to our business success, and this time was no different. We quickly set up free monthly webinars with industry experts - Paul Shamplina, Christopher Watkin, David Smith and others - to share expertise on what the pandemic would mean for our industry. We published e-books, blogs, infosheets, and more, to keep the industry up to date - not only our customers but other agents, landlords, and tenants.

The industry came together with a sympathetic approach to its customers, an emphasis on good communication - and a new appreciation of how new technology solutions like Goodlord can help, whether in a remote working situation or simply to save time across the board.

The cost of living crisis

Three years on, Covid-19 still plays a significant role in the climate of the lettings industry - with Brexit and the global energy crisis exacerbating the issues further. Rent prices have surged ever since, not to mention the increase in renters’ utility bills.

Most recently in May 2022, our monthly Rental Index showed that the average cost of rent in England reached £1,020 per property in May, up 0.83% on April’s figures. Overall, the cost of rent has now risen by 11% year-on-year.

The cost of living crisis is therefore throwing up new challenges for agents, landlords, and tenants alike - some of which we address in regular blogs, webinars, and podcasts.

Throughout these crises, our customers have been able to use our reference recommendations to understand their tenants' financial situations, and direct the tenants towards our extra services and products.

Our customers' landlords get an extra layer of protection with this comprehensive tenant referencing, helping them understand the balance between rent increases and tenant continuity - and can use Goodlord's award-winning Rent Protection & Legal Expenses Service too.

Rent Protection is more relevant than ever

The cost of living has caused an increase in the need for protection across the market. Goodlord's Rent Protection product ensures that landlords have full peace of mind with a service that pays out until vacant possession, improving their overall experience with agencies and giving them good reason to remain loyal to letting agents year after year.

The service covers:

  • Rent protection: Protection if the tenant does not pay their rent.
  • Rent recovery: We’ll pursue tenants on behalf of our agents to recover outstanding rent.
  • Eviction of tenants and squatters: We manage legal proceedings and handle the process of eviction for tenants who can’t meet the requirements of their tenancy agreement or squatters who are living in landlord’s property without their consent.
  • Property damage: Legal cover to pursue tenants for damage to the property of over £1000.
  • £100,000 LIMIT OF INDEMNITY: Amount payable in the event of a claim
  • Contract disputes: Costs and expenses for a dispute with a party whom you have a direct contractual relationship with.

We even set up a free mediation service during the pandemic and this service still brings value to landlords, helping them avoid the need to claim in some instances.

Where next?

Luckily, the industry is now even more resilient, armed with a better understanding of how to support customers in the midst of unprecedented events, and of how to use technology like Goodlord to monitor business performance, save time to focus on customer experience, and help support staff to do their jobs in the best way.



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