The personalised expertise offered by property managers is set to be tested by the arrival of an online challenger.
A rental platform called Nestpick has taken aim at the property management industry after launching in Australia. It is marketing itself as “the easiest way for landlords … to monetise their real estate”.
The site uses a team of photographers to verify listings and post accurate photos while holding a deposit until moving day to avoid scamming risks.
However, Loretta Morgan from Jam Property said this sort of online rival won’t pose a threat because people still want personalised service.
“My clients like to deal with one key person and build a real relationship,” she told Residential Property Manager.
“They’re more loyal when they have that relationship in place, so I don’t think this will have an effect on me.”
According to Ms Morgan, traditional property management still offers benefits and services that can’t be replicated through online channels.
“When we’re going to let a property, we’re there to answer and troubleshoot any questions. We’re there to filter out tenants and do a pre-interview process.”
To remain at the forefront of the industry and challenge these new online competitors, Ms Morgan says creating a good website with readily available information and support is critical.
“People need to come up with innovative ways to communicate promptly and completely,” she said.
“Keeping abreast of having online information readily available is a must, but on the back end, offering personalised service still needs to apply.”
Nestpick co-founder Patricia Moubarak said, “For far too long, rental agencies and brokers were controlling the rental market and dictating how we rent worldwide. We have been challenging the status quo in Europe and we are happy to extend our model to Australia”.
Company spokesperson Vivianne Ianagui told Residential Property Manager that the site offers insurance to tenants to ensure client satisfaction.
“If a verified nest for some reason doesn't match with the pictures, we pay for three days in a hotel and, in parallel, our customer happiness team work to find a new flat,” she said.
“As a next step we’re currently working on a new development for ratings and reviews.”