Online letting agent introduces new – and lower – charges for landlords ahead of fees ban

An online letting agent has completely dropped tenants’ fees and slashed fees to landlords, ahead of the fees ban.

It says that better technology, with more automation of tasks, has made this possible.

MakeUrMove previously charged tenants £96 for referencing. It has also reduced average fees to landlords by over £50 per year.

Landlords will now pay £12 as a monthly subscription, including advertising on Rightmove and Zoopla, tenant referencing, rent collection, legal eviction services, property licence checking, and documents and renewals.

At £144 per annum, it actually works out to less than the average landlord spend of £200 a year until now.

The new subscription will also include optional bolt-ons at extra charge, including guaranteed rent for up to six months, and gas safety certificates.

Alexandra Morris, managing director at MakeUrMove, said the firm has put considerable effort into technology and increased automation.

She said: “Our new subscription package costs landlords less than the average previous spend, and contains – we think – everything a landlord needs from a letting agent.

“We have spent months looking at how to achieve this, and have also acted on the assumption that there will be longer tenancies in future, and that landlords will need ongoing support rather than one-off services.

“The Tenant Fees Bill is going to affect the whole property industry. The most innovative agents will look to technology to reduce costs.

“We’re at the forefront of this as the first agent to come out and support the tenant fees ban.

“As a tech platform, we’re constantly developing and will be adding new features as standard to our package. We want to be a landlord platform rather than a letting platform.

“Last year we conducted some research that suggested that 25% of landlords and 85% of tenants didn’t understand the upcoming ban, so it’s now our responsibility to prepare landlords.

“We’re confident that our new subscription model will do this.”

The £12 per month subscription is being offered alongside a free basic package, which will include advertising on the MakeUrMove site and one downloadable tenancy agreement.

There is also a pay-as-you-go package offered to landlords at a one-off cost of £96, which will also include tenancy documents and deposit lodging, rent collection for 12 months and advertising on the major property portals.

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20 Comments

  1. smile please

    There we have it boys and girls the race to the bottom has been won.

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    1. brownsea

      As what has been said before, kill of the professional person who can speak directly, hours on the phone to talk to a human being.

      So someone in Scotland knows about a property in Cornwall, location etc.

      Is not local knowledge and expertise worth its weight in gold.

      20+ years in the profession and i am now being made redundant by online!!!!

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      1. smile please

        I would not worry it’s an unsustainable offering.

        Especially with yet more regulation coming in.

        All it takes is one large claim against them and they will be gone (if they last that long).

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    2. AlexMorris

      I believe you have misunderstood the service and have made some fairly big assumptions.

      Landlords themselves know their own property and local area, most have done significant research before purchasing their buy to let properties. The platform gives landlords the tools to do the work they do when they are hands on, with more than 30% of landlords not using an agent at all there is a need for this tool, and there will always be a need for local high street letting agents. Both can fit well side by side as they appeal to different types of landlords. The online market will never be sufficient for the landlord that wants a local representative, it may though be able to support the local representative.

      As per increased regulation that is exactly what the objective is, help landlords to understand their obligations and stay informed without costing the earth.

      Maybe it is time that high street stopped viewing online and technology advancement as the enemy and recognises what benefit it can bring. The next step would be embracing it and asking how can we work together to deliver the best service to landlords and tenants.

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      1. ArthurHouse02

        “The high street” does not view online and technology as the enemy, it is merely viewed as a misrepresentation of what professional estate/letting agents actually do. If you really believed you were offering a superior service that a landlord would benefit from, you would be charging a reasonable price for it. You are not confident that your offering is sufficiently competitive hence you are undercutting everyone possible in the hope of hooking landlords in.

        I pity the landlord that gets convinced by this and i pity yourself if you really think this offering provides a good enough service.

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      2. smile please

        Alex, you / they will not be trading in 3 years. Emoov and Tepilo had an 800k burn rate per month.

        Unless it’s a little hobby someone looking to clear a grand a month it will not be around. Trust me.

        £12.00 per month, you know how much the RM fees will be for just 50 odd properties?

        The ‘clients’ you are looking to market to are penny pinches. If you are relying on selling GSC EPC Referencing you will be bang out of luck as they will shop around for cheaper.

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        1. AlexMorris

          We have been doing this for 11 years so yes we do know how much RM charges.

          I don’t think the landlords using our service would be particularly impressed with being called ‘penny pinches’ either. They may actually be spending more than they did before – because they have never paid agency fees and neither have their tenants.

          @ArtherHouse02 We have never claimed to provide a superior service, instead we provide a tool for landlords themselves with the support of fully qualified agents. We have the same suppliers and the same expertise and the same qualifications as high street agents and the same objectives…we are all trying to support landlords and make things fairer for tenants – right?

           

           

           

           

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  2. KevKFH

    Join the queue of unsustainable business models…

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  3. Jrsteeve

    Another crowd funding ‘millionaire’ in the making no doubt.

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  4. letstalk

    We removed the physical person from the process, took out any customer service, automated the lot and dropped our fee… you get what you pay for.

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  5. WiltsAgent

    A tech platform, in other words someone sat in their bedroom with a laptop and half a dozen empty coffee cups.

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  6. jeremy1960

    Said it before and will keep saying it. You either offer good service at reasonable fee or poor service at a low fee. It is not possible to offer high standard of service at a budget fee.

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    1. AlexMorris

      How do you determine a reasonable fee over a budget fee and is the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ really linkd to the price?
      Say a landlord wants to find a tenant quickly, they want that tenant to pay the rent on time and look after their property, they want to be compliant and professional – what is the reasonable fee for this and how do you determine the service to be good?

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      1. Woodentop

        Unless you offer leg work, you are do a landlord and the industry a disservice if you try and claim a good professional service. All I seem to hear is you are offering “your service” for less for DIY landlords (who often get it all wrong). A professional service cannot be done on-line, period. It never ceases to amaze me how naïve some people are at what “referencing” involves and why. There are bucket loads of landlords who been on the receveiving end and court registers over flowing from having just ticked the box’s before the tenancy starts.

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        1. AlexMorris

          How do high street agents carry out references in any different a way to onliners?
          Most use exactly the same reference agencies and carry out the exact same checks – they also tick boxes. 
          Plenty of agents ‘get it wrong’ too and are responsible for just as many of those overflowing courts that you speak. As I said aren’t we all trying to do the same thing…help landlords get it right?
           

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          1. Woodentop

            You aren’t helping the landlord get it right by any stretch of the imagination. Clearly you do not know what correct referencing involves by your reply. You are selling your service based on limited referencing ability and as some agents just do that, its OK for you.

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            1. AlexMorris

              Actually I asked you a question and that does not clearly mean I don’t know what correct referencing involves.

              I am confident that we get it right – 11 years of experience, partnering with the best in the industry, robust processes and our figures speak for themselves when it comes to defaults, claims, arrears rates and average tenancy length. I was asking you what the high street agent does that is so much different, you obviously have no answer.

              The fact is as pointed out above the courts are overflowing with cases and over 60% of tenancies are set up through a high street agency…the online market share is less than 10%…who is getting it wrong?

              The industry as a whole is far from perfect, agencies make as much from tenant revenue as they do from landlord revenue – most of the time they aren’t reasonable fees and what ‘good service’ do the tenants get? High street agencies get it wrong just as often as private landlords and onliners, lettings is lacking in regulation as are the agencies that operate within it. There are stories almost weekly of agents being prosecuted, disappearing with clients money, leaving their clients non compliant etc.

              It is a broken system and in need of radical change, good quality agents and online services can absolutely co-exist and work together to create a better service to landlords and tenants alike whilst stamping out bad practice and rogue operators.

              In my opinion that is helping landlords to get it right by any stretch of imagination.

               

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              1. Woodentop

                I do not disagree that there are agents, landlords and on-liners who are only in it for the money and actually offer a very poor service. The good ones are those that do it themselves properly. I do not hear anything that has improved the quality of referencing from you, just a sales pitch and offering nothing more than what is already available, most do, cross the t’s and dot the i’s and take a cut. You don’t physically assess a tenant which is the correct approach. It is becoming questionable that you do not undertand how referencing should be done, but you believe you do. If you wish to win over agents and landlords, you need to convince us.

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  7. KByfield04

    £1.2m loss in latest accounts files Sept, £900k loss the year before then £563k oss, £469k loss…..- established since 2008, never made profit ummmm shouldn’t all this better technology help them find some money!? Clock will be ticking on this and many others this year!

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    1. smile please

      Perfect summary.

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