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Real Estate

Online Letting Agents vs High Street: Whom to Choose in 2024?

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Letting Agents- The professionals who act as the linchpin that connects landlords with prospective tenants. As a global citizen, you would have surely contacted a letting agent at least once in your lifetime. If not in the past, then, who knows, you will be making deals with letting agents in the future. Okay, Let’s come back to the topic. So, what do you know about letting agents?  The professionals, also known as real estate agents, rental agents, or property management agents, facilitate the rental of residential or commercial properties on behalf of property owners and landlords. You can think of them as – intermediaries between property owners & tenants. Thus, we can say that letting agents is an important part of the rental market. Their role cannot be overstated. However, the rental market has undergone a transformative shift in recent years. With the emergence of highly advanced internet and technology, many online platforms have risen, posing a challenge to conventional high-street agents. As a result, this has led to the rise of pertinent debate in 2024: Online Letting Agents vs. Traditional High-Street Counterparts Due to this debate, do you know who is suffering? Yes, your guess is right. It’s property owners and landlords since they have to make an informed choice between online letting agents and traditional high-street counterparts. But there’s no need to worry about our dear property owners. This guide will shed light on this debate to help you make an informed choice at the end. Before delving into other things, let’s understand a little about online letting agents & high-street letting agents.

Understanding Both Types of Letting Agents (Online & High-Street)

Who are Online Letting Agents? 

As the term suggests, ‘Online Letting Agents’ are professional property management agents who operate online. The majority of their process is meant to operate from their website. From designing a 3D VR Tour of your property to including your property in their listing, they only offer digital services.

Who are High-Street Letting Agents? 

High-street letting agents are also known as local letting agents. You might be wondering why people address them with complicated names like High-Street Letting Agents when they can be called ‘Local Letting Agents.’ Well, there’s a valid reason for that. These professionals find tenants for your property only from the nearby street or area where you live. For example, you live in Harrow, UK, on Elm Street. You decide to hire one of the renowned high-street letting agents in Harrow named Sarah. Since Sarah specializes in finding tenants within the immediate vicinity, she will find any identified tenant who lives in the area surrounding Elm Street. 

Comparing Online & High-Street Letting Agents

1. Cost and Pricing

Cost is a primary factor when choosing between online & high-street letting agents. Like, who wouldn’t like to save money in the era of inflation?

Online Letting Agents:

The majority of online letting agents have fixed prices with no commission. On average, they charge between £300 to £550 for a rental property. This price includes everything: tenant find, property listings on Zoopla, maintenance coordination, advertising & more.

High-Street Letting Agents:

High-street letting agents may come forward a little costly. If you’re looking for a tenant via a high-street property agent for £200,00 worth of space, they will charge around £4,000 on average.

2. Accessibility & Communication

Without proper communication between tenants, intermediaries (property agents), and property owners, no deal in the real estate industry can be successful. So, convenient communication is a necessary factor.

Online Letting Agents:

They have convenient communication modes for both landlords and tenants. Since we’re living in a digital world, online realtors offer effective communication between both sides through Emails and WhatsApp messages. Moreover, the majority of them provide emergency answers to customer queries 24/7.

High-Street Letting Agents:

Since high-street real estate agents live near property owners’ houses, face-to-face interactions are easy. They can offer you personalized attention by visiting your property and making deals.

3. Technology Integration 

Whether you support technology or are against it, we all can agree that technology has made our lives easy by targeting various problems, including finding a reliable tenant.

Online Letting Agents:

From listing the property to making final deals ready, the process of the business of online realtors depends entirely on technology. They use highly advanced property listing websites like Zoopla & Rightmove, tools like Matterport to make virtual tours, and property management software like Buildium & AppFolio. Thus, they offer efficient and seamless solutions.

High-Street Letting Agents: 

They work according to conventional methods and approaches. However, witnessing the transformative shift towards online realtors, high-street agents have also started to adopt CRM tools and advertising platforms.

4. Local Market Expertise and Presence

A realtor should have in-depth knowledge about your area and location to find a reliable tenant.

Online Letting Agents: 

Around 70% of online realtors might not have detailed information about local market trends and tenants. Since the real estate industry advancements are at their peak, you can’t underestimate the reach of online letting agents.

High-Street Letting Agents: 

As written before, high-street realtors are the ones who have the ability & experience to find tenants in the same street where the property is located. Thus, it is very obvious they contain brief knowledge about the local property market. Moreover, they might have strong connections in a specific location.

High-Street or Online Letting Agents: Which is the Better Option? 

After discussing everything about online and high-street relators, let’s address your frequently asked question, which you might be waiting on from the start- choosing an online letting agent or a high-street one. Let’s give this answer in simple and clear words. If you want to find a trustworthy tenant at an affordable rate from any city or gender, choose online letting agents. However, if you believe in conventional thinking that only individuals from nearby streets should be tenants (which isn’t wrong), close your eyes and contact a high-street realtor.
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