The online letting agency OpenRent - which claims to have let over 15,000 properties in 2013 - has received what it claims is a multi-million pound media-for-equity partnership with a company linked with Express Newspapers and OK! magazine.
OpenRent has refused LAT's request to specify how much the deal with Northern and Shell Ventures is worth but the investment will fund a nationwide TV advertising campaign and pay for traditional print advertising in publications operated by N&S; industry sources say this exposure is worth around £2m-plus.
However, Daz Bradbury - one of OpenRent's founders - told us that N&S are taking a stake in the company, so it's an indefinite period (rather than with, say, a profit-share) but we expect the initial campaign to last roughly a year.
Founded in 2012, OpenRent offers advertising, tenancy vetting and management tools - what it calls a value-driven alternative to high street letting agents.
With prices starting from £29 the business says it is targeting all of the UK's two million landlords. OpenRent says 94 per cent of its existing customers have given five-out-of-five ratings on review sites Trustpilot and Google.
On average landlords save over £1,600 when switching to OpenRent from a traditional high street agent. We handle all the admin of creating a legally strong tenancy, and our best in class property marketing means the average time to let a property is just 10 days, and much less in London and other cities" says Bradbury.
Richard Martin, commercial director of Northern & Shell, says without the cost base of a traditional physical agency OpenRent is well-placed to offer a stand-out service and our media portfolio will help them build a brand that represents transparency and simplicity as a key differentiator.