The UK annual rental growth has now reached a 14-year high, with the average lettings agent processing in excess of 127 new applicants each month, according to a recent survey by PropertyMark.
With such an increase in demand for rental properties, landlords and managing agents are under pressure to process each application as quickly and efficiently as possible. With the average tenant application taking up to several days to review, process and approve, often requiring a large number of manual steps, from performing credit checks, gathering various information on the prospective tenant to physically issuing paper contracts and waiting for both parties to sign, this can cause a lot of unnecessary stress and delays for prospective tenants eagerly waiting to hear if they have secured the property they want.
It doesn’t have to be this way – end-to-end tenancy management solutions like Spike Lettings can take the stress and strain out of the rental experience for both tenants and landlords or managing agents.
Spike Lettings streamlines and simplifies the initial process of moving into a rental property, empowering prospective tenants to easily find and reserve their ideal apartment straight from their phones. And because all the information about available properties is live and constantly updated, even when routed through third-party sites like Zoopla or Rightmove, tenants avoid the crushing disappointment of finding that every property they enquire about has already gone.
From a property management point of view, using Spike Lettings eliminates many of the manual processes that come about when someone phones and enquires about a rental property – instead, residents can do a lot of the work themselves online.
From the marketing of available properties, taking initial payments and reservations, sending and signing contracts and approving references, to managing the ongoing management once tenants have moved in, the whole process can now be performed digitally, reducing costs, and creating a seamless and stress-free experience for both parties. Spike Lettings also integrates with a number of third party finance management systems to automate the raising of monthly rent invoices, eliminating the time staff need to spend performing administrative tasks and allowing them to focus on value-add activities.
Once moved in, the advantages continue with the Spike Living resident engagement portal, where tenants can view financial information such as rent or see their payment history, book amenities, interact with their neighbours and much more, all via a smartphone app.
Meanwhile, property managers can review business-boosting information from the reporting aspects of Spike Lettings, allowing them to easily access reports, such as rent achieved, voids and debtors. This can be done for individual buildings and across a whole portfolio. They can also see at a glance, on our assets dashboard, the number of properties reserved, occupied and unoccupied, showing which property types are more popular, as well as viewing the scheduled move-ins and move-outs for that week or month. Key tenant information such as gender, age and salary can be captured and used to ensure relevant services and events are provided within a development, even allowing for tenant communications to be tailored based on certain demographics.
Jeremy Heath-Smith, CEO of Spike Global, comments: “Finding and securing a rental property, especially for the many graduates who will be looking at the moment, can be a really stressful experience.”
“We believe the whole process can be made significantly less confusing and less stressful by digitalising the entire applicant journey, so that prospective tenants can view the progression of their tenancy in real-time, communicate with the lettings team, sign contracts, and make payments, all online. Spike Lettings can even guide tenants through the process by giving examples of accepted documentation and a constant update on which documents still need to be produced, avoiding frustrating hold-ups for both the managing agent and perspective tenant.”