This month’s ‘Agency of the Month’ feature falls to London and to an Agency that goes by the name of LetBritain.
LetBritain is an online Letting Agency which is driven by an ethos to make renting “faster, easier and cheaper for landlords and tenants.”
Agent Wow was delighted to catch up with this forward-looking online Letting Agency to learn a little more about its services, team members, challenges, marketing techniques and where they think proptech is heading…
AW: Where is LetBritain based?
Let Britain: We are based in London but cover all of England and Wales.
AW: How long have you been in business?
LetBritain: LetBritain was founded in 2013. Since then we have improved our technology, enhanced the user experience, and listed more and more properties on our website, which has enabled us to become an attractive alternative to traditional lettings agents for property owners and renters alike.
AW: What are your main activities?
LetBritain: We operate solely in the lettings industry. We bring landlords and tenants together via an entirely online process, making it quick and easy for properties to be rented out.
We assist landlords in listing properties on our website, including everything from pictures and floorplans through to information about the property and the costs. They can do this all without speaking to another person, should they so wish (we do also have advisors on hand to assist every step of the way) – and all LetBritain does is to charge a competitive fixed price, meaning landlords do not have to pay commission from their rental income.
Meanwhile, for tenants we take the pain out of what has traditionally been a very laborious process. They can view potential properties and see all the details they need on the LetBritain website – they can then complete all the necessary paperwork and payments online, which saves them the hassle of going back and forth to the lettings agent’s branch to submit forms, deposits and guarantor information.
In short, we make lettings painless by embracing technology that we already use in virtually every other part of our lives but, for some reason, has so far failed to penetrate the somewhat archaic rental industry.
AW: Who are your main team members?
LetBritain: While priding ourselves on being a virtual online lettings agent, unlike many competitors who offer far more of a hybrid solution (combining online and offline services), we do still of course have an expert team overseeing every step of the process.
The team is headed up by our founder and CEO Fareed Nabir, who has previously created and run various successful businesses, and is a seasoned veteran of real estate sector. We also have a number of developers and a tech team that help make our online platform as reliable and easy-to-use as possible. And then, of course, we have our support team to help landlords and tenants should they have any questions or encounter any hurdles while trying to complete the online rental process. We understand that while digital solutions may be the future, the importance of practical and responsive support cannot be overlooked. That is what makes LetBritain stand out from its competitors.
AW: What are the biggest challenges your agency is faced with?
LetBritain: In the early days of the business we invested a huge amount of resource into developing our tech proposition, ensuring we have an online platform that anyone can use with minimal fuss. At the time, the property market was notably passive in their willingness to embrace technology, and part of our challenge was motivating the industry to adopt an open-minded approach to online solutions.
Progress has been made, but our goal is to continue to raise market awareness of virtual online lettings. For years, people have been used to go into a physical store, submitting their details to an agent and then going through the time-consuming process of securing or renting out a property. The rise of proptech has changed all this – there are modern solutions available that make the rental process so much faster and smoother; we just need to make people aware of this fact, and then assist them in this new method of working.
AW: What do you do differently?
LetBritain: Many Estate Agents today claim to be “online”. In reality, very few of them are; they may list properties on their website, but thereafter much of the process takes place offline, requiring clients to travel to an office and submit physical forms. This is something commonly seen with high street letting agencies, listing properties online but not offering a streamlined digital solution that works to the advantage of time poor renters.
LetBritain is 100% online – the entire process can take place through the computer, which makes renting (or renting out) a property quicker, easier and cheaper.
AW: Do you use any innovative/property technology in your business processes/operations?
LetBritain: We would classify ourselves as a proptech company. Our business is built on technology that we have developed and honed over a number of years to enable us to provide an innovative, new means of completing lettings. We wanted to bring the technological efficiencies we are so used to in our lives today into the property market – a sector that has lingered behind when it comes to embracing new tech. Looking to the future, we are looking to export our online model to markets around the world, transforming LetBritain into a truly global brand.
AW: Do you employ any marketing techniques?
LetBritain’s marketing efforts are built around a strategy of researching the sector to uncover the sentiments of landlords and tenants. We find out their pains, challenges and opinions, which helps us develop our services to meet their needs – this research also informs the blogs we produce, our social media output and means that we are regularly featured in the press across both national and trade titles.
For us, it is all about improving awareness and education around the online lettings market, making sure people know there is a new, better way of doing things.
AW: What would you like to see happen/change in the industry or arrive on the proptech scene?
The proptech industry is growing at a tremendous pace in the UK and LetBritain is excited to be part of this burgeoning sector. What we would most like to see in the months and years ahead is greater Government support for the market, encouraging further innovation and boosting awareness among landlords and tenants of the new solutions that are available to tackle many of the issues that are prevalent in the property space.
The second is continuing investment into the proptech scene to help businesses bring new products and services to market – this will help the industry as a whole by making sure businesses and consumers involved in the buying or renting of property receive the best experience possible.
Thanks for LetBritain for taking the time to participate in our ‘Agency of the Month’ feature. Check out our site for forthcoming features on some of the best innovators in the property industry.