Agents need to be pro-actively using PropTech and improving their work methods to reduce voids for their landlord clients.
That’s the view of utilities service Tenant Shop, which says reduced void periods can help agents to retain landlord clients at this critical time when the fees ban is impacting on the industry.
"Landlords will be looking to minimise lengthy void periods at all costs and letting agents have an important role to play in saving their clients money, ensuring a smooth changeover between tenancies" says Glenn Seddington, managing director of Tenant Shop.
"With the tenant fees ban now in force, keeping void costs will be an even higher priority for landlords, especially those who are paying higher management fees as a result of the new legislation."
Seddington cites two pieces of research to hammer home his point.
The first, a study by Kent Reliance, says the average landlord loses £528 each year due to void periods - a figure that’s rising due to average rents increasing and the gap between tenancies lengthening.
The second is a study by the UK Association of Letting Agents which suggests that 35 per cent of UK landlords experienced a void period during the first three months of this year, with 63 per cent of these due to natural tenant changeovers.
"By having the right software and processes in place, agents can help to prevent void periods becoming a serious and costly issue for their landlords" Seddington continues.
"Tying up loose ends at the end of a tenancy is crucial in saving time and making sure everything is ready for a new tenancy to commence. This includes notifying local councils and utility companies about tenancy changeovers and dealing with stray bills. If agents can automate these processes using the best PropTech solutions, they can save themselves time and keep their clients happy which is a win-win situation for all parties," he says.
He adds that onn top of the fees ban the challenging market conditions include more government regulation and stiff competition between agents all meaning that keeping landlords happy and demonstrating value for money will be crucial.
"If your service is slick and efficient this is only going to impress landlords, increase your chances of long-term retention and provide your staff with more time to focus on growing your business further.
"Working out how you can reduce the impact of pain points landlords face on a regular basis, such as void periods, will only help in showing your clients why they need the services of a professional letting agency now more than ever," he adds.
"Despite a challenging market, there are still plenty of opportunities for letting agents to be successful. Utilising the best PropTech services and products can be hugely beneficial in achieving long-term stability."