A service claiming to be the UK’s first fully digital property management agency launches today.
Called NoAgent.co.uk it says it will disrupt the lettings sector.
Despite its name, it is listing on Rightmove and Zoopla, which only allow agents. However, while Rightmove has clearly accepted that is an agent that offers letting agency services, it is not allowed it to advertise as “No Agent” and it will be listing properties under the name “NA Technologies”.
No Agent, operating from a 24-hour call centre, says it will allow landlords to save up to £1,600 a year in letting agent fees.
It charges tenants no fees.
Landlords pay a flat fee of £29 per property per month outside London, and £39 inside the capital.
Included in that price is listing on portals including Rightmove and Zoopla.
It explains: “No Agent provides free advertising on the UK’s major property portals (eg. Rightmove, Zoopla), granting access to a much wider audience without using local letting agencies.”
Landlords manage their property via a real-time dashboard, with all admin handled online or via the 24-hour call centre, including viewings, referencing and credit checks, contracts, move in, compliance reminders, management of repairs and deposit and rent collection.
Landlords also have access to a legal helpline and to a property manager.
No Agent has appointed a former CEO of Propertyfinder as its chairman.
Gillian Kent, who headed up Propertyfinder before it was sold to Zoopla, said: “Despite the impact of the digital revolution, property services haven’t fundamentally changed.
“No Agent is the only service that completely automates a range of essential tasks such as marketing, bookings, reference checks, maintenance and compliance.
“Strategically what we’re doing is empowering landlords to fully manage all aspects of the letting of their property – and save money as a direct result. Agencies currently earn £115m a year for doing these sorts of tasks.”
“The use of technology throughout the process allows No Agent to offer industry-leading prices as well as access to round-the-clock support. The process saves money, time and increases transparency.
“The average monthly rent outside of London is now £779. So when you add on standard agency charges like a month’s rent together with monthly management fees of up to 15%, the first-year cost for a landlord is close to £2,000.
“Using No Agent would save them just shy of £1,600.
“Tenants will also be better off as we don’t charge for services like drawing up tenancy agreements and credit checks.
“However, letting agencies now typically charge tenants £337 in fees, and many in London are forced to pay over £400.”
We asked No Agent about its ability to list on Rightmove and Zoopla.
A spokesperson said: “The answer is that they’ve developed close relationships with both. Both platforms recognise No Agent is a better way of letting for tenants and landlords so it’s very much a natural fit.”
We also asked both Rightmove and Zoopla if they would like to comment.
On its website, No Agent says: “Say goodbye to agents.”
Yesterday evening, Jason Bushby, commercial director of agency at Rightmove, told EYE: “New joiners go through our vetting process including they operate as an agent and belong to the appropriate redress schemes.
“How agents advertise themselves on Rightmove must not mislead consumers and we have had ongoing contact about the name and requirements around this. They made the appropriate changes on Rightmove, and do not advertise as No Agent.”
Instead, he said, the firm is advertising as NA Technologies.
We did not hear back from Zoopla, but according to this wording found via the portal, the firm is:
- A refreshing new way to manage your property. Say goodbye to traditional letting agents. Save time, money & hassle.
- No Agent is an online property management platform that makes up for where human interaction fails. With 24/7 customer support – online, over the phone and by text – we offer an unrivalled end-to-end customer experience.
- We invite you to join us on our mission as we revolutionise a dated, under-serviced and over-priced sector.