I am a London based investor and Landlord with a number of properties in Central, West and South West London.
As I have rented out this particular property located in the City, I have tested an array of different channels over the years in a desperate attempt to try and avoid the extortionate letting fees charged by most City based Letting firms by marketing the property myself through Loot, Gumtree local media and telemarketing. As the apartment usually commands a rental somewhere between £425 - £450 per week, typical agency fees in Central London range between 10 - 12% plus VAT which for this property equates to over £2,800 in Let only fees alone.
As you would expect I always instruct the agents prior to the property becoming available and have always found that the local agents typically manage to let my property within 2 - 7 days of the advert going live and on some occasions I have actually found new replacement tenants before the void. Whilst I have tried a number of different tactics to find suitable tenants, historically I have found there has been very little interest and only managed to find tenants quickly through local corporate letting agents.
Most of the tenants who have rented this particular apartment work within half to one mile radius from this apartment. Previous tenants have included doctors from Barts Hospital, taxation accountants, corporate lawyers and international postgraduate students who pay 6 - 12 month’s rent in advance.
On this particular occasion the property was advertised simultaneously with Upad and 4 tried and tested Corporate Letting Agents in the City. To my absolute surprise on this occasion I actually had more responses through Upad than all the other traditional letting agents combined!!
All of the City based agents were advising me to lower my target rental because of the drop in tenant demand in the City following the summer holidays and 2012 Olympics. Whilst market conditions have somewhat affected rental demand in the Square Mile, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was receiving more direct viewing applications by phone and email through Upad.
In total I had 10 serious applicant enquiries through Upad. However I actually only did 2 viewings as I actually managed to rent out the apartment to the 4th enquiry due to the high calibre of the tenant responses the Upad advert was attracting. During the exact same period all 4 letting agents did 9 viewings in total without a single offer. More amazing was the fact that I actually achieved a similar monthly rental price point to that usually achieved by corporate letting agents and saved myself over £2,500 in fees.
The tenant found through Upad actually fits the same tenant profile and is in fact another city lawyer. When I asked the tenant why he responded to the Upad advert in particular, even though the property was being simultaneously marketed by a number of high profile agents, his response was that he was wary of the high fees and charges most agents charge tenants for ASTs, referencing and tenant check in reports and that he also wanted to deal direct with the landlord.
From the first moment I contacted a member of the Upad team, the complete process was totally simple and straightforward and seamless from start to finish. I was contacted with regular updates by email and phone right the way through to dealing with the professional photographer, the advert going live, receiving tenant enquiries and post tenancy follow up.
See the difference...
I have never used Upad before but will certainly do so in the future. I was actually very surprised by the responses for this apartment through Upad for this specific apartment because unlike the other properties I rent out across London, this particular property only ever usually gets rented through corporate letting agents or relocation agents in the City because of its location - despite running private ads on Gumtree and Loot over the years.
This is a guest post written by a landlord and investor.