Op-ed: Is The Rental Market In Need Of A Tech Upgrade?

Written by Anthony Kyriacou, CEO & Founder at krispyhouse.com


The UK’s property rental market is struggling. Certainly, the shortfall in available properties to cope with rising demand is an issue. Not only is this situation increasing the administrative burden that agents face in responding to such high demand, but it’s also heightening the pressure on renters to communicate swiftly in order to beat the competition.

Outdated technology, however, is holding both sides back. In a market where speed is of the essence, the rental sector has some clear infrastructural flaws, particularly regarding communication – but next generation platforms, such as krispyhouse.com, are delivering innovative solutions to address this. 


Rental market in need of a tech upgrade


Technology is developing at a rapid pace, with recent groundbreaking advancements in AI leaving businesses struggling to keep abreast of the significant opportunities presented to them. In recent years, proptech has made headway in reducing some of the sector’s administrative pressures through advancements in tools that facilitate virtual viewings, onboarding, payments, inventory and maintenance.

Within this landscape of innovation, the UK’s property rental market is lagging behind, yet it is here that its impact is most required. Demand for rental accommodation is 33 percent higher than the recorded five-year average and estate agents are now receiving 11 enquiries per rental property, according to Rightmove. Yet the rental sector lacks the streamlined communications it needs to effectively manage this soaring demand.


Communication is the Achilles’ heel


Technology is thoroughly embedded in our lives and most consumers rely on a range of apps to streamline how they manage the different areas of their lives – from paying bills to communicating, travelling and even dating. Not only are apps fast, efficient and bespoke, they also help segment communications, ensuring that messages don’t get jumbled up or lost amongst reams of disparate texts and emails.

In contrast, one reason why navigating Britain’s rental market can still be such a fraught experience is that none of the go-to platforms, such as Rightmove and Zoopla, have built-in messaging, leaving communication between prospective tenants, letting agents and landlords reliant on calls, texts and emails. In the current market, the sheer volume of communication presents a challenge for all sides, leaving parties vulnerable to missing out on opportunities. 



Next generation tech solutions are needed


The most successful businesses are those that anticipate and respond to their market’s needs. The traditional chaotic communication practices of the mainstream rental sector are unappealing to its core users – which presents a clear opportunity to provide a new tech-driven approach that can satisfy this market’s behavioural needs. 

When it comes to the rental market, the most common age group of private renters in England is 25-34. This group is also typically in employment and so will find it challenging to make themselves available to return a high volume of agents’ calls and emails during working hours. 

Instead, this generation is more comfortable with segmented, WhatsApp-style communications and platforms that enable quick pairings and streamlined, instant communications. Furthermore, these consumers now expect apps to deliver a clear, contemporary design and smart user experience.

In contrast to the conventional ‘tsunami’ of texts, emails and phone calls, which sees parties having to juggle various disconnected channels of communication, a platform such as krispyhouse.com provides an innovative solution to fill this technological gap. Specifically, krispyhouse.com offers a centralised “WhatsApp-style” functionality to the rental sector that is designed to better connect agents, tenants and landlords. 

The platform enables users to communicate in-app through instant direct messaging, and voice and video calls, and also notifies renters of newly available properties based on their specific requirements. It also delivers further efficiencies by providing letting agents with an integrated CRM system, a prospecting tool and unlimited advertising – supporting the sector by upscaling its technology.


A win for all parties


It’s not only renters who are set to benefit from proptech innovations. Ineffective communications prevent tenants from securing rental accommodation, but they also raise costs for estate agents and place a bottleneck on the pipeline of transactions, which affects landlords. Pressure on the rental market is likely to increase from the impact of the Renters Reform Bill, which may see more landlords leaving the market due to rising costs – further reducing the pool of available properties.

As the administrative task of navigating high rental demand grows, the need for more effective communications becomes more urgent. By providing innovative, integrated proptech to streamline communications combined with the new ‘match’ capabilities provided by platforms such as krispyhouse.com, landlords are more likely to be paired with suitable tenants and agents are likely to earn their commission more easily. A win for all parties involved.