Why landlords should choose a letting & management agent

Property Management & Lettings Special- Article taken from Irishexaminer.com 

The rental market in Ireland is proving itself to be one that is the antithesis of boom/bust scenario that we have witnessed in the property sales market of the 1990s/2000s. Instead, it’s a market that has been built up solidly and that is continuing to grow but at a modest rate and without any spikes or troughs in values. 

One agent with over 20 years of experience in the Cork city market puts it thus: “We’re finding that there’s good demand for rental properties, particularly for good-quality property. I don’t know if rental values are on the up; they’re remaining steady in an environment of rising demand.”

“The investor is definitely back in the market, we’re noticing,” says another Cork city agent, who says that yields of between 9% and 16% are too good for those who have money to invest to simply ignore.

An entirely new beast

The property market in Munster and elsewhere is simply not the same as it was and today’s average young working adult is living in a world where a stable rental agreement is something that is important, desirable and perfectly normal.

“Back 15-20 years ago, when couples were settling down in their mid-to-late twenties, they were nearly always looking with the option of buying. The idea of renting was something that was not really encountered by people who were out of their student years and out of their initial years of finding their feet in a job.

“The profile of tenants has completely changed. Many would be renting for five years or more before considering buying and many might be married with children.”

Put another way, there has never been a time like the present one to be in the rental market. It’s a market that’s showing a combination of stability and growth that’s hard to find elsewhere.

Today’s tenant is someone interested in a solid long-term relationship with his/her landlord and who expects a good standard of property in move-in condition. Demand is strong for convenient small apartments in central urban areas but the sort of property that is in even more demand is the three and four-bedroom semi-detached houses, which are getting between €800 and €900 per month in Cork and urban areas.

Taking the stress out

In any financial and legal transaction between two parties, it is desirable to have a middle man. Obligations have to be fulfilled and everything needs to be done according to the letter of the law.

And the law is becoming more complicated and involved all the time. In the case of tenancy agreements, there’s a whole raft of elements that simply weren’t there ten years ago, with more coming down the track. There’s the job of ensuring that the property is listed with the PRTB (Private Residential Tenancies Board) for a start. That’s an important one quite apart from the legal requirement, because the board can also act as intermediaries should any dispute arise. When you’re in a well-organised process such as this, there aren’t normally many problems, but the course of life and that of business never runs smoothly and it’s usually a case of the little things accumulating that can add to the burden of the landlord. There’s the BER (Building Energy Rating) certificate – something that can’t be forgotten. The BER system may have come in for criticism in some circles, but it’s generally accepted at this point as an attempt to ensure good energy standards and transparency. Moreover, it’s a legal requirement and another box amongst a growing list of boxes to be ticked.

Rental agents are happy to tick those boxes. That whole side of the business and how it has evolved is something that comes as second nature to them. They are the ones who are up to date with issues such as the property tax and other obligations that are yet to come.

“Today’s tenants do expect fittings and white goods to be included and all in good working order too,” says one agent involved in both rental management and property sales, underlining the importance of the agent in a well-regulated world where the obligations on the landlord are increasing.

The rental agent, on the other hand, is a professional in the business and all of the above are part and parcel of his/her daily professional routine. By using an agent, therefore, you reduce your own stress levels as well as those of everyone else involved; a win-win situation all round.

Access to a rich seam

The other great advantage of using a letting agent for anyone landlord or potential landlord is the access it gives you to a bank of clients.

For someone looking to find their market of potential tenants, there is simply no better way of getting immediate access to such a considerable chunk of that specific target market.

By engaging a letting agent, the market is brought to you on a plate. The Powell agency in Cork city, for example, has a bank of clients/tenants that’s somewhere in the region of 1,500 – a figure that would not be uncommon. It’s the kind of figure that would be difficult to generate by a landlord operating on their own, even with a wealth of computer marketing skills or any kind of marketing skills behind him.

Selecting the right tenant for you

Screening the applicants is a job that’s every bit as important as agreeing the rental amount and how to pay it. If the tenant is the right one – i.e. someone who has a relatively long-term interest in the location and accommodation type of your property – they are naturally motivated to taking good care of your property and of the relationship with his/her landlord.

This vital function is, again, one that is at the fingertips of those who are in the business and who have built up a level of knowledge and expertise that only they can truly provide.

It’s very important that you’re very diligent with regard to checking references.

Powell using global view to maximum effect in growing sector

Powell Property on the South Mall in Cork city is a company involved in all aspects of the property market, from sales to lettings and property management.

This all-round experience, they say, means that they’re in a position to understand the overall dynamics of the market as well as anyone out there and understand what landlord tenants want from a management service, for example: “Traditionally, we noticed that a lot of landlords might have four or five rental properties,” says principal Michael Powell.

“They would have rents coming in on different days. They’d be trawling through bank statements to see what rental income they had, what their expenses were. We cut all that hassle out and we give them a full ledger report on any income and expenditure for the year, and of course our management fees are completely tax-deductible as well. So from the income tax point of view, it’s very beneficial as well for a landlord or an investor to employ an agent.

“We would also send out a renewal notice 31 days before the lease is due to expire,” says Michael, referring to an aspect of property management that not all agents might carry out quite as thoroughly.

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Saturday, August 18, 2012

How much does it cost to lodge rents to your bank

Bank charges may affect your revenue

Is your letting agency collecting monthly rental payments? Are you aware of what your bank charges on cash deposits are?

It is eating into your profit margins. Even if you are managing only 10 units with a rental of 1,000 per month per unit, it’s going to cost your agency a whopping €600 per year. Below is an infographic of what Irish banks are charging their business customers for dealing with cash.


So you want to streamline the rent collection service you are offering within your agency? Read this blog.

Stop this headache, administration nightmare and cost by moving your agency to Rentview.

Letting Agency Software

As always we would love to hear your feedback.

Please feel free to Tweet, Share, Like and everything else that makes us social 😉

by Andreas Riha

Cloud computing systems – the answer is in the cloud!

Cloud computing systems – benefits to agents

Included  below is a short video explaining what the term ‘cloud computing system’ means is and and how it can help your business. A great quote from the video which sums up the term cloud computing is below:

A simple and more efficient way of buying and using technology‘. I will comment below on how it can specifically help your agency.

youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZJ6yCz2lKs

So in short, the benefits include:

  • cutting out a lot of the work previously done in securing software systems for your business like the servers
  • backing up data
  • licences being paid up front and its limitations.

Through the use of an in-house cloud based system an agency can manage all its clients information in one easy to access location- from tenant references to landlord accounts and maintenance invoices you only need a wifi connection and your login! Great right?

Services are delivered via the internet whether its accounts software or a customer relationship management  system or an overall enterprise software package. A letting agent can also pick and choose to what suits them with most SAAS (software as a service) providers will only charge you for a package that suits you and on a monthly subscription basis.

The speed at which you can operate your day to day running of the agency will drastically increase as you begin to automate re-occurring services or move them to the cloud rather than hard data. That’s it in a nutshell, the ability to transform your agency!

by Rentview

Property inventory report

Following on from last week’s Video Blog (Rental property inventories and why agents should provide them) I now wanted to show you how easy and quick creating a Rentview inventory actually is. Here I go through how easy creating a property inventory report is.

Rentview inventory reports are a great way of creating a transparent renting experience for both clients (landlord & tenant) for a letting agency. By creating a property inventory report at the start of a lease, an agent can now improve the offering to the landlord and tenant. It will also reduce the possibility of disputes at the end of a lease term regarding the condition of a property. 

by Andreas Riha

Property News : The Friday Wrap Up

Welcome to the new Friday wrap where we we bring you the top stories in the property industry from around Ireland and the rest of the world.

Monday On Monday Ulster Bank settled a case with property developer and owner of the Harcourt building in Dublin David Agar, its speculated up to €30 Million in loans were written off as well as €1M legal fees paid. Monday also saw NAMA launch a new website for selling its properties throughout Ireland and the UK (See the Image below),Full story here. Wrapping up the top stories from Monday we have Tom McFeely the man responsible for the disaster story of priory hall this year being declared bankrupt in Ireland and not the solely the UK, read more here. 

Tuesday 31st June 2012 

  • Yahoo Homes  had a great post on Tuesday noting the top ways to make your home look bigger, Jeffrey Blum a designer from NY has some truly unique & interesting way of making your apartment look bigger & better
  • Tuesday also brought some welcome news on property disputes in the UK as Letting Agent Today reported that the Tenancy Deposit Scheme’s adjudication team are resolving most disputes in just 16 days! As Rentview co-founder said it best-take note PRTB!
  • The last nugget from Tuesday came from Conor Pope of the Irish Times as he reported the worry spreading throughout the renting community as banks look to collect rents directly from tenants.
  • Wednesday had a great start to the day as our team learned we had been nominated  in the category of ‘Most Insightful and Intriguing Internet Innovation’ at the Net Visionary Awards 2012 , voting s set to open in the near future so stay tuned and be sure to support Ireland’s leading provider of Letting Agent software
  • Simon Carswell of Irish Times reported yesterday that 20% of Irish mortgages are set to default on their loan repayments with the trend looking to continue into the future according to credit rating agency Fitch.image

So did we miss anything? What do you think were the major headlines in property this week?

Please feel free to Tweet, Share, Like and everything else that makes us social 😉

Rental property inventories and why agents should provide them

A property inventory is a crucial tool in the property manager’s tool belt for all let and manage residential units. Its also a great way to create an additional revenue stream for your let-only clients.

Why a property manager should provide rental inventories from Rentview on Vimeo.

Historically, the inventories provided by the majority of agents were written reports, they were time-consuming to compile and really only protected against the theft of an item.

If a dispute arose at the end of a tenancy about the condition of a said item, it normally would result in one of the agent’s clients being unhappy. As both landlords and tenants are clients of the agent, it is essential to protect both parties against disputes.

Now, through the Rentview Inventory App, you can provide that transparent inventory easily. This is proven to be a great way to improve customer service and reduce end of tenancy disputes. 

As always we would love to hear your feedback.

Please feel free to Tweet, Share, Like and everything else that makes us social 😉

by Andreas Riha

Internet Marketing for Letting Agents

Hi again and welcome to the second installment of internet marketing tips for letting and estate agents. Last week I discussed all things Pay per click and weighed up the pros and cons of investing your marketing dollar into paid search advertising. This week I planned on continuing discussion on search but after the last blog was covered by Agent Media over in the UK I came across a great post on how to use Facebook for agencies and wanted to delve into this area further as I have read a LOT of literature on the topic of social networks.
Image courtesy of Mashable
The blog mentions that the majority of company pages fail as they don’t understand or know what to do on the page and this is a point reinforced from a Digital Marketing talk I attended in April from Avril Fagan the head of digital at Sage Ireland. When it came to social media and social network sites such as Facebook the question was asked should a brand do it or not? There is no right or wrong answer according to Avril but the important thing to note is if your going to do it , do it right and commit to it or as she described ‘once your in there is no going back!’. And that’s where this list can really help letting & estate agents setting up and maintaining their Facebook page.The list provided in the blog above covers everything you need to or can do when setting up your Facebook. Below I want to discuss in general how an agency might use Facebook to maximise your return on investment.
Image courtesy of Alltopstartups.com 

If we take a second to think of why people use social network sites like Facebook we will quickly learn why you cant solely use it to promote your agency and its properties or services. People are there to build social relationships with others, so for a company or a brand to come in and attempt to directly advertise or connect with customers it can be difficult. The two main uses I identified from reading publications on the use of social networks like Facebook are customer service (information exchange, discussion, communication and participation) and Viral media opportunities which are actually closely linked to one another.       

So discussion is one of the main marketing benefits you can take from setting up a Facebook page for your agency, the more you engage the more people will find your page as they see there friends and colleagues have commented or shared items from your agency page. As Ian mentioned in the blog posting relevant questions and photos will encourage such activity- how to come up with this content is another days discussion but understanding the benefits of doing so is important. If your agency is showing up in a followers news feed (Where their friends see your brand) due to a like/comment/share on content from your page like a photo or video it adds credibility to the content as it is not directly from you. Research has shown that receivers of information related to a company are much more accepting when coming from a friend.


Once you build that social relationship with your followers it will become easier and easier to spread your content virally. Just look at Paddy Power above, although its completely different industry, they rarely ever advertise their services or odds on their Facebook. Instead it is full of humorous images and interesting statuses, quizzes, videos that people like and share every day, generating a huge buzz and a growing reach. So weather it is landlords, tenants or other property professionals your engaging with this is the type of strategy I think you should be aiming for, although it certainly isn’t easy to do!

Thats all for today, plenty more to get through with this topic so look out for more next week, dont forget you can click ‘like’ below to share onto Facebook or Twitter and let us know what you think.

by Rentview

Letting agency software