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Online lettings agency says his firm more suited to ‘remote’ working than high street agents

Callum Brennan, founder of Howsy, claims his firm is more ready than many high street agents to help landlords manage their properties and tenants remotely.

Nigel Lewis

A leading online lettings agency has claimed that its model is best suited to coping with the challenges faced by landlords and tenants during the Coronavirus crisis.

Howsy, which is based in London but has a call centre in Coventry, says it has seen an uplift in business during the crisis as landlords seek out ways to manage their properties remotely.

Comments by its founder and chief executive Calum Brannan has suggested that, while some traditional agencies have scrambled to find alternatives to many of the usually face-to-face tasks completed they must complete, Howsy has for some time offered virtual ID verification, contracts and referencing.

“As an online business, we’ve always prided ourselves on the ability to pivot quickly with the changing face of the rental sector,” says Brannan.

“Of course, we’ve never encountered something to this magnitude but due to our operational agility and many of our existing product offerings, we’ve been able to adapt quickly and with very little disruption to the company.

In limbo

“We appreciate that for many tenants approaching the end of a tenancy or looking for a new rental property right now, the limbo we find ourselves in will only be adding to an already stressful situation and we’re on hand to help resolve this issue via our online offering, ” he adds.

“The increase in demand we’re currently seeing means we are able to increase our employment drive.”

Howsy, formerly known as No Agent until agents protested to the main portals – which require listing agents to be bona fide agents – about the name, raised £5 million in new funding last September, and in January bought former rival Upad out of administration.

 

 

 

 

April 6, 2020

One comment

  1. Howsy are saying that because they are an online agent they are in a better position than other lettings operations with premises. Many of my clients are utilising the same tech enabled solutions, within their lettings concerns as Howsy are using, so why does not having an office make them a stronger proposition during these terrible times?

    In fact some of the companies I have knowledge of, have in my opinion perhaps better tech solutions and they also have skilled property professionals ‘humans’ on the end of a telephone able to talk to an increasingly growing number of tenants and landlords who are being swept up in the present saga.

    Maybe Howsy are seeing an uptake in Landlords, not because they have a superior solution, but because private landlords faced now with a potentially difficult time are looking to safeguard income by utilising a ‘managed solution’ rather than dealing with things themselves. So all letting agents may see the same level of engagement from private agents at this time.

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