A new online lettings agency called Accommodation.co.uk is looking for franchisees to join ahead of its formal launch next month.
The company says it’s presenting “a first of its kind franchise offering” and a custom-built platform promising to ”streamline and automate administrative tasks” for landlords and tenants.
It says early bird franchisees will benefit from no startup fee for a limited time. An introductory price of £1,000 will be levied before increasing in early 2020.
The firm says its Local Lettings Consultants - reminiscent of Purplebricks’ Local Property Experts - will be able to run their business “without the need for expensive high street offices, equipment and software” but with a digital platform and head office support from its Manchester HQ within the pricing structure.
Through the platform, tenants can find properties and arrange a viewing, make an offer on a property, complete the referencing, including wage verification and a credit check - all in 10 minutes, pledges the firm.
Successful tenants will be able to sign the tenancy agreement and make a deposit payment. After move in, tenants can access a dashboard where they can report maintenance problems and communicate with their landlord.
Landlords can opt for full property management or a let only option.
Clients get book online to arrange a meeting with a local Lettings Consultant, which will include a market appraisal and compliance report. Once new tenants are onboard, landlords will be able to see rent status, a maintenance overview and receive compliance reminders.
“A lot of talented, ambitious lettings professionals are facing immense difficulty in the face of mass closures of traditional letting agents. We’re offering a highly competitive start up fee to empower experts to set up their own business while still benefiting from Accommodation.co.uk’s expertise, training and resources” explains Clive Tomlinson, the new firm’s lettings business development manager.
“The majority of time-consuming administrative tasks will be handled by the platform, freeing up our franchisees to concentrate on delivering a great experience for landlords and tenants alike. We’re an ambitious company and we’re excited to work with our franchisees to grow across the UK to improve renting for everyone.”
And he adds: “By sharing the power of proptech with our local lettings consultants, we’ll enable them to focus on what they’re good at and what really matters to landlords and tenants. By enabling our lettings consultants to work remotely with the full backing of our central team, we’re able to keep outgoings low and earnings high - something that traditional lettings agents simply can’t do.”
Co-founders of the firm are property investor John Lomas, 58, and two former students of Lincoln University, Aaron Short, 24, and Matthew Meekins, 23.
They say their firm will create 50 new jobs in the next three years.
Short says: “We’ve already had an overwhelming response from property professionals who are looking to set up a franchise, with several already undergoing training, as well as our Local Lettings Consultants who are open for business in September. At the moment we have plans to launch three new Local Lettings Consultants each month, and this is likely to increase due to demand.
“More and more people across the UK are either choosing to rent or are frozen out of the UK housing market, and many of those people are contenting with substandard private rental properties, extortionate fees and a poor customer experience. Generation Rent have become accustomed to apps and instant communication, so by emulating an Airbnb experience, we’re creating a more accessible and streamlined experience from start to finish. It will also ensure that once a tenancy begins, there is more accountability and transparency.”