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'Tenant's agent' service fills niche in real estate industry

15 August 2014 Elyse Perrau

A property advisory firm is offering a unique 'tenant's agent' service, which taps into the market of prospective tenants looking to rent a property.

Cohen Handler recently spotted the opportunity to help tenants on the “difficult and frustrating” journey of renting a property.

Cohen Handler senior property manager Jayne Nancarrow said it is probably something she has been doing for free for 15 years.

“It is one of those things where you have people turn up to the open for inspections and they are not successful, so what I used to do is develop a database of people who were looking and what they were looking for,” she told Residential Property Manager.


“Then when I had a property that became available, before I even advertised I would go to that database of people and would try and match the property with people who were looking for it in the market in a price bracket.

“In that respect you were saving the money for advertising for the owner, you were also creating an add-on service, you were helping the tenants potentially find a property, and you were getting your properties leased sooner,” she added.

Ms Nancarrow said that is when she saw the business opportunity to not only be a buyer's agent but also a tenant's agent.

“I saw an opportunity for us to offer a unique service that wasn’t really in the market at the moment - I think there are probably versions of this out there but they don’t offer it as a service offering,” she said.

“I think the truth is, the real reason people come and use this service is they are finding it too hard themselves.

“The people who need the service have either been looking for a long time, have got complications around why they can’t see a property - they are based in another state or country, they are working really long hours so can’t get to the opens, they don’t understand the process, and they don’t know what is good value for money,” she added.

Ms Nancarrow said it is very “European and New York” to have this kind of service.

“Going forward I see a huge market for this because people are mostly time poor, and really they are spending all their nights and the weekends trawling for properties and they don’t know if they are good value,” she said.

“For a fee, and we charge a non-negotiable, upfront retainer and charge the balance on completion, we do all the running around for them.

“So we get their application in line, all their references together and we get all the information required to have a successful application for a property.

“Every one of the clients that has come to us I have placed,” she added. 

'Tenant's agent' service fills niche in real estate industry
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