RentProfile, a fast-expanding tenant and landlord referencing platform, has warned that the industry faces huge challenges as the looming recession caused by Covid begins to bite and many people start losing their jobs.
Already being used by several well-known lettings agencies including Berkshire Hathaway Homes, Hotblack Desiato and Jackson-Stops, its co-founder Paul Munday (pictured) has told The Negotiator that that agents will face an unprecedented test as it becomes more difficult to ascertain the financial reliability of prospective tenants.
“The furlough scheme is one case in point” he says. “How does a letting agent know if someone has been furloughed, and how will they find out if the company expect to retain them or not when come off the scheme?”
Munday says tech will be part of the answer which, as well its tenant and landlord referencing service, will soon include automated Right to Rent checks and a rental deposit registrations system developed in partnership with TDS.
One area of innovation he wants to tackle is speed; traditional referencing can take four to five days to complete.
Jackson-Stops has confirmed that 95% of its referencing requests are completed within 24 hours, and Munday’s tech already enableds agents to onboard tenants in as little as 20 minutes.
Supported by Visa, which awarded the company funds via its Everywhere initiative, RentProfile’s onboarding platform enables agents to progress from terms to deposit taking without physically meeting the landlord or tenant, and without having to push the process forward manually.
“Agents just fill in a form on their smartphones and the next time they get involved is to hand over the keys to the tenants,” says Munday.
“Why does traditional on-boarding require a face-to-face meeting and so many emails to be completed?”