If you’re a property investor, in one way or another you’ll need a letting agent or property manager. You can go for a traditional high street agent or browse the internet to discover the wonderful world of online letting agents and their low fees.
If you watch TV, you’ll see a host of adverts showing how crazy you’d be if you didn’t go for an online letting agent or property manager.
Let’s be honest, online letting agent fees will be cheaper and you will save money.
So the issue really comes down to, which online letting agent should you choose?
Below we’re going to cover 2 particular online letting agents, Upad & OpenRent.
Both companies are based in London. They offer similar letting agent and property manager services such as tenant finding, references, rent collection, certificates, inventory keeping and so on.
OpenRent does have a larger portfolio, managing 5 times the number of lettings of Upad (50,000 vs 10,000).
While Upad does have longer listing times of an average of 6 weeks, compared to OpenRents 4 weeks, however it does have a higher average of rental incomes obtained, £1,300 vs £1,100, therefore waiting 2 weeks longer is a no brainer!
It goes without saying, both companies (and really all online letting agents) offer listings on the letting portals, Right Move, Zoopla and Prime Location.
The fees of both online letting agents differ.
Upad has 3 pricing packages, starting at £149, £298 and then a 3rd option of no upfront fees with a £499 fee payable on a successful letting of a property.
There are a wide range add-ons you could pay while letting out your property via Upad.
These range from £99 to £150 across enhanced advertising features such as premium listings, floorplans and additional photography.
OpenRent has its most popular service priced at £49 as a one off fee. However very similar to Upad, there are a host of add on services this online letting agent offers.
ONLINE LETTING AGENT FEE CALCULATOR TOOL
The below is a calculator tool for online letting agents.
You can work out what the costs would be for both the agents and compare fees.
In addition, add in your expected monthly rent and we will show you the impact of the fees on your first rental income.
Online Agent Calculator
So lets say you went for the like for like packages, tenant finding & setup with all the same extras (excluding rent protection which OpenRent doesn’t offer) and your rental income is £1,000 a month.
In this example, with Upad you would be left with -£224 rent in your first month, compared to £244 if you went with OpenRent.
That’s a difference of £468.
The total letting agent fees with Upad will be £1,213 and with OpenRent you’ll be charged £753 in letting agent fees.
WHY IS UPAD SO MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE?
They say it’s down to customer service. They even compared themselves to OpenRent on their own site:
“OpenRent have a customer service line but you’ll have trouble finding it as they don’t promote the number on their website, they mostly communicate via email. This can be frustrating if you want to sort something quickly by speaking to someone directly. “
“Some criticisms have included the downsides of a fully automated system, which can lead to some properties not being advertised, or leaving landlords confused about the progress of a service, plus delays in an advert going live.”
Well, the price is virtually double and both online letting agents have great scores on Trust Pilot.
If you’re looking for an online agent, then you’re probably looking for a cost effective deal.
If customer services was your highest priority, then you should also consider traditional, high street letting agents & property managers.
This will be much more costly, however yo can step into their local office and have a face to face chat about issues (as opposed to dealing with call centres and raising support tickets through an online portal).
RENTROUND – LETTING AGENT COMPARISON TOOL
Rentround helps you easily compare both online & high street letting agents & property managers.
It’s free and easy to use, simply start by entering your postcode.
After you’ve ran the search you’ll see letting agent fees & ratings, as well as what services they offer and how far they are based from your property.