Two PropTech suppliers are claiming their new products will help lettings agents in the future, especially in the light of the fees ban necessitating possible cuts in overheads.
Firstly specialist student utilities and service provider Glide - which already offers multi-tenant billing options for students - has now introduced ‘Switch’ to handle the changeover of utility suppliers when tenants change.
It combines gas, electric, broadband, water and TV licence, into one monthly payment.
“Letting agents avoid having to deal with multiple energy suppliers across their property portfolio; while tenants avoid disputes over summertime billing responsibilities and receive fair equal billing for the duration of their tenancy” claims Glide.
The company cites Niall McTurk of Sinclair Properties in York, who says: “As students are experiencing living independently for the first time, they need a lot of support, which in the past has meant lengthy calls to numerous utility companies, taking a huge amount of resource away from the team. We’ve had to manage arguments over bills and in some instances we’ve been left to foot the bill.
“Using Switch has eased this scenario, making the process simple for our tenants and preventing arguments over bills. Our own time required to manage utilities has been reduced significantly, as we now have all the bills across our portfolio in one place and just one point of contact, giving us more time to focus on running the business.”
Meanwhile key exchange service provider KeyNest has expanded its network to 1,500 stores across the UK. It says this will help Airbnb hosts as well as traditional lettings agents.
The expansion comes through KeyNest’s partnership with parcel lockers firm InPost, which sees KeyNest adding InPost’s 1,100 automatic lockers to its already existing network of 400 stores.
"KeyNest’s focus is to make it easier to share keys remotely, enabling Airbnb guests and contractors to access keys while our customers are away or at work” explains Marc Figueras, co-founder of KeyNest.
Located in supermarket car parks, petrol station forecourts and outside of train stations, these newly added InPost locations allow the exchange of keys 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. Customers can drop off and collect keys from the lockers by entering a pre-booked code into the locker’s screen, at which point the locker will open, and the keys can be picked up or deposited.