As interest rates remain at a gut wrenching low, many of us are looking for an alternative investment for our money – and who can blame us?
I’ve been interested in properties for as long as I can remember – and jumped at the chance to own my first home at the earliest opportunity. Now, I’m starting to look at the next stage and for me that’s always been property investments.
A mixture of developments and buy-to-lets. However, having recently sold that first home I bought I know the sheer cost of estate agent fees. With the launch of low-cost, high street alternatives in online estate agents, I believe the market is changing, for the better – and fast!
Which is why when UPad got in touch and asked me to take a look at their site and service offerings I jumped at the chance!
What Is An Online Estate Agent?
Before we start talking about UPad specifically. Let’s talk a little about online estate agents. An online estate agent is a low cost and effective alternative to a traditional high street agent.
If you’re looking at letting a property then you can expect a bricks and mortar estate agent to charge you a tenant find fee alongside a monthly management fee that ranges between 6% and 17% depending on location, agent and service offerings.
What Is The Benefit Of Using An Online Estate Agent?
However, with an online agent you’re only charged a small upfront amount to advertise your property. That’s it. The services are the often the same if not better – again depending on agent.
I guess you’re wondering how an online agent can offer the same services for less money… well it’s simple.
Overheads and economics.
Firstly, we all know that to run a store on the high street costs a lot of money, and with most agents having more than one store, that’s a lot of money. Secondly, online letting agents provide online tools to allow landlords to manage their properties advertisements and tenancy. The initial investment in these tools means more savings for online agents, which they can then pass onto us, the customer.
How Much Could You Save With An Online Estate Agent?
London and south-east estate agents Foxton’s charges landlords a whopping 13.2% of the annual rent for finding a tenant. Rising to 20.4% if the landlord also wants the agency to manage the property.
However, the costs don’t end there… There’s also a £420 admin fee, £165 to check-in a tenant, £150 for gas and electricity safety certificates (each), plus an additional 12% of the value of any works above £1,000 that need to be done on the property.
However the costs don’t end there… Foxtons also charges tenants £420 per property alongside a further £165 to organise a tenant check-out at the end of the tenancy.
As the Upad savings calculator shows, landlords with Foxton’s with a property renting at £1,700 a month (typical London pricing) are paying around £2,600 per year and can save around £1,600 per year by moving to Upad. That’s an additional 1 months rent per year or an additional £133 per month!!
So by now you’re probably convinced that an online estate agent is the way to go. But why should you use Upad specifically to handle your property?
1. Personalised Support
Your highly qualified account manager and the rest of the Upad team are dedicated to helping you find the right tenant for your property as quickly as possible and are available to contact 7 days a week.
2. The Leading Online Letting Agent
As online letting is still relatively new it’s nice to go with the leaders in the field. Over the past five years Upad has established themselves as the very best online letting agent, and has over 40,000 successful lets under their belt!
3. Online Management
As a customer of Upad you’ll have access to a personal landlord dashboard. Providing you with up to the minute information on your tenant find 24/7.
4. Only Pay For What You Need
I’m coming back to the money topic again, but honestly how frustrating is it to spend money on things you already have. Well with Upad you only pay for what you need. Which is why if you’ve already got photographs of your property – you don’t need to pay again, same with the floor plan, paperwork etc.
All this leaves you once again, in complete control!
5. Super Fast Service
In the letting world, time is money and the longer your property is empty the more money you’re loosing. Which is why it’s good to know that Upad will have your property live on Rightmove and Zoopla within just a couple of hours.
They’ll also send through every single tenant enquiry within moments of it being made. Ensuring you get the right tenant as soon as possible.
That was going to be the end of this post, however there’s just two pieces of extra info I want to share with you specifically about Upad that you guys might be interested in specifically if you are (or thinking about becoming) a landlord.
Firstly, here’s an interview with the founder of Upad James Davis who was and still is a letting agent. I admire this company so much more, because of James. He gets it and the way he get’s it is because he himself is a landlord and goes through the same wins and losses as every other landlord.
Which means he knows exactly what landlords need and has the ability to implement that directly.
Second, and finally… Don’t just take my word for it. Upad has over 700 independent Trust Pilot reviews and averages at 5 out of 5 (nice work!)
As always I’d love to know what you think about online estate agents. Have you used one to sell or let a property? Is it something you’re thinking about in the future? What worries you about the services available? Let me know in the comments below.