Our transition from a physical to a virtual style of business is accelerating at pace, with renting a key area that’s being digitalized for the better. Renters may enjoy a faster lettings process thanks to the following digital initiatives.
Open Banking based Instant Screening: - Traditional referencing companies are invasive and require tenants to share their payslips and bank statements as proof of income and employment. With apps like Canopy, renters can build an instant digital rental and financial profile, verify their income and rental affordability - all from the safety and security of their mobile devices. Which can then be shared with your new letting manager or landlord each time you move (instead of starting from scratch each time you move).
Virtual viewings: seeing a property doesn’t have to mean being there in person, as virtual viewings have confirmed. Taking the format of 360˚ tours, recorded footage and live video calls, renters can enjoy immersive, engaging viewing experiences from wherever they are. While we slowly return to physical visits, virtual viewings look set to stay – as a short-listing tool that saves carrying out wasted journeys to unsuitable properties, and as part of the decision-making process for relocators and international moves.
Digital ID checks: proving who you are is an integral part of renting or letting out a property but there’s no need to visit a branch with original ID documents. Free renting-compatible apps, such as Canopy, Yoti, create a super-secure way of storing your scanned photographic ID on a mobile device – biometrically-matched, PIN protected and encrypted so only the owner can unlock the data.
Video negotiations: if life is too busy to keep popping into a lettings office, no problem. Agents and property managers have embraced video calling, discovering that it’s a more personal way of communicating than email or voice call. If you’re time poor or want to avoid anything face-to-face, ask to conduct negotiations via Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Skype.
Electronic signatures: there really is no need to go into a branch to sign on the dotted line as the lettings industry is quickly adopting digital signatures. Electronic communication allows tenancy agreements, references and inventories to be signed remotely with a tap of the screen, rather than a pen, with the signed document electronically sent back and stored safely in the cloud.
Electronic administration: renting a property used to be blighted by stacks of paperwork to read and retain but there’s now fast on-boarding of electronic delivery. Almost every lettings-related document, agreement and guide can be sent via email, with inventory, mid-term inspection, check in and check out process now digitalized. There are even ‘self service’ options that allow renters and landlords to fill in their own reports without a physical property visit from an agent.
Online repair reporting: online reporting systems are a great way of reporting faults without having a property manager or trade come out to take a look. Fixlo, for example, asks renters to identify issues by clicking on a series of pictures via an app, with the facility to upload images and videos to help isolate the problem. This early online diagnosis means 92% of issues reported using Fixflo are resolved after one trade visit, with 18% of renters able to self-fix using the guidance automatically given, without professional intervention.
All of the above are complemented by Canopy’s digital RentPassport™ which helps Renters build a portable rental and financial profile, securely from the safety of their mobile devices.
Renters can access a range of financial wellness products from Canopy including Canopy Deposit Insurance, which replaces cash deposits and Canopy Rent Tracking which helps Renters improve their Experian credit score. A stronger credit score improves access to a range of financial products and services.