Why a letting agent must have a smart phone

Smart phones; necessary for a letting agent!

With now more iPhones sold than babies born, not having a smart phone and being a letting agent is not a option. A letting agent without a smart phone is like a carpenter without a saw. It is now a vital tool needed to carry out your daily tasks and continue to bring in revenue.

With the huge amount of apps available, I have selected the top 10 tools of the trade to stay ahead of the competition…..


Google calendars

While answering your phone on the go for a letting agent is as common nearly as blinking your eyes, it’s easy to forget who called 5 minutes ago. Now when you take a call take note and set a reminder on your calendar. Allow it to remind you with an alarm alert with required notice. This way you won’t forget where and when you had to be somewhere.


Keep up to date with your social media marketing with this great app. HootSuite is a social media communications dashboard used for online brand management. It publishes to websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare, MySpace, and WordPress. It also publishes to Flickr, Tumblr, and YouTube via HootSuite Apps. It is also a Twitter client. So keep all your social media followers up to date with the latest listings, offers and lettings completed from one location. Bye bye multiple entry updates!

Camera & Pic Stitch

The smartphone has replaced the digital camera, well the ones with a 5 mega pixel plus have anyway. With the iPhone 4s having a 8 megapixel camera with flash, there is no longer any need for a separate digital camera. You can now take several snaps and mail them back to the office and get them published on your website NOW rather than wait until you return to the office. Edit your photos and light effect on your smartphone and even stitch them together to provide your potential tenants with 360 degree shot. 

Genius Scan

Have you ever needed a copy of a document such as a tenant reference or ID whilst out at a viewing or lease signing? With Genius Scan you can take a snap shot of any paperwork and have it stored on your phone in seconds. Send it on via email, fax or even edit the document all on your smartphone. This is a must when conducting viewings and gathering copies of references from potential tenants.

Rentview inventory app 

With this app you can now record the full contents of a property in images and voice notes through your smart phone. Take photos through the app, speak into your phone and when you get back into the office you now have a full inventory with images and text. All your images and voice notes are complied automatically into a full inventory report. Bye bye end of tenancy deposit disputes, hello happy landlords and tenants! 

Nav Free

Sat Nav. Why pay €50+ for a sat nav app when you can get this great one for free? Picture this, we have all been there; your current location is on the south side of the city and your next showing is taking place on the north side of the city. You are in traffic and the only route you know, you just realise is a traffic black spot ahead. You have an appointment in 20 minutes 4 miles away and you have only moved 250 meters in the last 5 minutes. At this rate you won’t get there on time and possibly lose the potential let due to your own no show. With a built-in Sat Nav, easily find another route quickly and get there on time.


With Dropbox you can access all your documents located on your office computer. Need a copy of important documents relating to a rental property; like a copy of a signed lease, proof of ownership, registration documents or anything else you can think of? Now with Dropbox, you can have these documents to view or forward at your fingertips wherever you are located. This can save vital time for you to stay on the road and close more deals.


With so many of your potential viewers now choosing to email you for a viewing time, rather than pick up the phone it’s a must to have constant email access. Out of the office all day conducting today’s viewings and checking your emails when you return to the office to set up for the next day may result in you not having viewings tomorrow. More and more property hunters now choose to email rather than call to set up viewings.


Keep up to date with what’s available on the rental market and ensure you update your listings daily with Daft’s free app. Available on the iPhone and Android.


Letting agency software

Now with Rentview, you can access all the information you need on the go relating to your property portfolio. Instantly retrieve any clients information you may need on the go. Copy of accounts, recent payment history, yearly accounts, issue rent arrears notice, transfer utilities and so much more. Also with the Rentview tenants referencing system you can find tenants authentic previous rental reference once they have been on the Rentview system.

I hope that these apps will find there way onto your smartphone and if you are an agent and don’t have a smartphone you now know why its an essential tool.

Andreas Riha

Email andreas@rentview.com

Facebook Rentview

Twitter Andreas_Riha


Landlord Costs – Costs of Renting out a Property


 Landlord Costs

Landlords, just like tenants, face a number of costs when renting out their property. If using a property management agency to rent the property, there will be letting, management and services charges. Companies will usually offer a discounted rate for a letting and management package. Shopping around is always a good idea and choosing an agency that use good letting agency software is a super starting point.

Landlord costs in Ireland: Non-Principal Private Residence Tax

Also referred to as the second property tax (NPPR), this is a charge of €200 on any residence that is not your primary living one, i.e. if you live in Dublin but own a property in Kildare, then you must pay tax on the Kildare property but not the Dublin home. It must be paid within two months of March 31st (liability date), although there is a month’s grace period. After that a late fee of €20 per month is charged. Applications and payments can be made online at www.nppr.ie.

 Landlord costs in Ireland: The Household Charge

 The Household Charge came into effect on January 1st of this year. It’s a precursor to the full property tax agreed as one of the terms of the EU/IMF bailout and will be used to pay for local services such as libraries, fire brigade services, street cleaning etc. that had been paid by the Exchequer up until now. All residential property owners must pay €100 for each property they own. This does not just mean the physical building, but the number of residential units e.g. a building split into 3 bedsits will require 3 lots of the charge. As with the NPPR, payment must be paid before March 31st or penalties of 10%, 20% or 30% will be charged. Payments can be made through and more information found at www.householdcharge.ie and can be paid in total or in installments.

 Landlord costs in Ireland:Income Tax

Rental income is subject to tax, just like any other income. There are some expenses that can reduce your income tax liability such as management fees, insurance premiums, accountants’ fees for preparing rental accounts and cost of repairs. Details on calculating and paying this tax can be found on www.revenue.ie/en/tax/it/leaflets/it70.html. Consulting an accountant on tax returns available is advised as it can be a complicated process.

Landlord costs in Ireland:PRTB Registration

All residential properties must be registered with the Private Residential Tenancies Board, as must all changes in tenancies and tenants who have been renting for over 4 years must be re-registered. To register, an application form must be completed (found online at www.prtb.ie or through a letting agency) and a fee of €90 has to be paid. If the registration is made after one month of the tenancy has passed, a late fee of €180 will be charged. Be sure to check the website for further details.

Landlord costs in Ireland:Water Charges

While not upon us yet, Minister of State Fergus O’Dowd has confirmed that water charges will be introduced from 2014. Details about how much the charge will be and payment methods etc. are unclear at the moment.

With all of these costs to face, do you still want to be a landlord in Ireland? Can you think of ways to improve a landlord’s prospects?


email info@rentview.com


Ph+353 1 4498157


Cost of Renting – 5 costs of renting for Tenants


Cost of Renting –  for Tenants

Cost of Renting #1 – Rent

All tenants have to remember that the rent isn’t the only cost they’ll be facing when they move. The average rental in Dublin, for example, is approximately €950, but as with every other non-rental household there are a number of costs to be covered.

Cost of Renting #2 – Deposit

Most, if not all landlords will look for a deposit before tenants move in. This is usually one month’s rent and may be used to cover repair costs, unpaid rent or utilities at the end of the tenancy. The general rule for all other costs is the user pays, although it is always worth clarifying with the landlord first. These costs include the following:

Cost of Renting #3  – Electricity/Gas

Rates vary between the Electric Ireland (operating as part of the ESB Group), Airtricity and Bord Gáis and may be affected by government policy. Information on the rates can be found on their websites www.esb.ie , www.airtricity.com.ie and www.bordgais.ie . The letting agent can now no longer switch a tenant from one service provider to the another, unless in certain circumstances.

Cost of Renting #4 – TV: 

TV license (at the time of writing) costs €160. A tenant may query why he or she has to pay this instead of the landlord. The answer can be found on the TV license section of the An Post website (www.anpost.ie). ‘Any person in occupancy at an address where a television set is held is legally responsible for the licensing of the television set regardless of ownership of either the premises or the set itself.’  Similarly, any TV subscriptions to UPC, Sky or any other internet, phone or television company must be paid by the tenant. Costs will vary depending on the package sought. For those who think they can avoid this cost by not having a TV, a proposal exists to launch a broadcasting charge for all households, regardless of whether they have a TV or not.  It covers those who watch programmes on non-traditional media e.g. laptops. The proposal is in the early stages so it’s unclear if it will be passed.

Cost of Renting #5 – Waste:

This applies if the property rented is a house. Recent changes have seen Dublin City Council pass control of waste collection services to Greyhound, a private company. As most readers will know, this changeover has not been a smooth one and there’s much confusion about collection dates and fees. Charges on waste depend on the colour of the bin and size. Our advice is to keep up to date with the situation and discuss with the landlord whether to remain with Greyhound or to switch to another private company.

All of these costs require careful consideration before renting a property. Is it worth renting?

How to advertise property for rent


Image credit ThisparticularGreg

How to advertise property for rent

An interesting and effective advertisement will have two components – pictures and a description.

1. Advertise property for rent using images

As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, so you better make sure those pictures are up to Shakespeare and Tolkien standards! Obviously, there should be at least one picture of each room, and these pictures should be of a good size and quality. We recommend taking more than one photo of each room to capture the necessary detail, but be sure there’s no clutter and everything is clean before you start. This is especially true for kitchens and bathrooms as these rooms can be deal makers or breakers. Let your creative side shine and experiment with lighting and angles to show the rooms at their best. Photograph the exterior too, preferably on a clear day when the light hits it best. If you really want to impress, make a video too. A simple virtual tour of the property using a digital camera or even a phone brings the property to life. See Why Use YouTube for marketing


Image credit Andrew Mason

2. Advertise property for rent using good property description

Keep the description short but detailed and without deceptive language. Most people are quite savvy these days and will see through descriptions like ‘cosy kitchen’ and find the real meaning of small, possibly cramped. Just be realistic. Follow the rules of correct grammar and spelling when advertising a property to rent. Don’t forget to proofread the description before you post it! As for what to include in the description, imagine you’re writing it for a first-time renter who doesn’t know what to expect and is unfamiliar with the area the property is in. Place the most attractive points at the beginning and end, as most people read these but scan the middle. Include the following information:


  • Location
  • Rent
  • Lease length
  • How many rooms/bathrooms and their approximate size
  • Furnished/Unfurnished
  • Appliances e.g. washer/dryer
  • Storage
  • Internet
  • Security measures
  • Policy on children, pets and rent allowance
  • Proximity to amenities
  • Special features
  • Letting agent contact information

Combining photographs with a detailed description will ensure your advert is both eye-catching and effective when you advertise property to rent.

By Andreas Riha

Property Viewing – Top 3 Tips

Property Viewing

In social interactions, whether it is a job interview or just meeting new people, we have a desire to give a good first impression. The reasons for this are many, but quite often lead to engaging in some sort of impression management to influence perceptions. The same can be applied to running a successful property viewing. Influencing a situation (in this case, the appearance/functioning of the property) in the right way can be enough to ensure a deal and a new tenant. Follow these guidelines and that important good first impression will be made at your property viewing!


Image Credit – Nosha

#1 Get the basics right

Fixing and cleaning: the bread and butter of managing the property. Property agents can be a good source of information on problems. Are there any major structural issues? Broken roof slates, draughts from windows and doors? Get them fixed, as not only will they improve the appearance of the property, they could also help with the heating bills. Are all fixtures, fittings and appliances in good condition? This means no leaking taps, showers, no burnt-out light bulbs, fully functioning smoke alarm, strong locks and security measures etc. If the walls are looking a bit dull, re-paint them to make them look new.

#2 Cleaning the property

Next, clean the property inside and out. It may seem obvious, but the emphasis here is on thoroughness. Set aside enough time to do a proper job. A couple of hours running around with a vacuum-cleaner and some bathroom sprays are not enough. Take each room in turn and dust, vacuum, sweep and spray everything. Carpets should be washed, as should windows to prevent/remove mould. All appliances need to be cleaned and be free from unpleasant odours. If the property has a garden; cut the grass, de-weed it and plant some low maintenance flowers if possible. A small bit of detail can turn a property into a home!


Image Credit Maartin Takens

#3 Take It to the Next Level

Set the right tone for the showing. Remove all clutter. The lived-in look may emphasise the homely aspect of a property, but it is not appropriate for a showing. For a longer and more relaxed showing have some lit, scented candles or incense in a couple of rooms. Not only will this help everyone involved relax, but it can remove any last minute or unexpected odours. A little soft music can also play with perceptions, but keep it appropriate. Finally, ensure there’s enough lighting. Even if the showing is during the day, increase the lighting levels.


Andreas Riha