15 May 2018 | Harriet Garner
The UK renting population is unanimously concerned by the rising cost of living. This is hardly surprising given that rents are rising and commonly do not match up with wage growth. Most impacted by this are those renting in London. On average, its estimated that a Londoner should expect to spend 49% of their annual salary on rent.
On top of this, the private rented sector is plagued by rogue agents and landlords that have given the sector a bad name. Long have renters been expected to part with their hard-earned cash in exchange for substandard accommodation and poor service.
But the days of those types of providers are numbered. The arrival of providers committed to customer-centric service levels alongside the impending legislation placing more power in the hands of renters means that those who do not innovate will find themselves at a disadvantage.
One agent who has been bucking the negative trends surrounding the PRS is Pisoria. From the very start of the agency, Alex Dehayen wanted to create a different kind of lettings business.
“The long-term view for Pisoria has always been to create an agency that renters want to rent from, as opposed to wanting a property that we happen to be letting.”
Providing London renters with quality accommodation that doesn’t have an extortionate price tag is just one of the ways that Pisoria has gone about achieving this aim. On top of this, they look to provide real value to their renters by helping them counter affordability concerns.
“London is one of the best places to live, but it is also very expensive. We recognised this as a key concern for our renters and wanted to do something to help them out,” explains Alex,
“We partnered with Vaboo to create a perks and engagement platform that could help our renters save money on the things that matter to them most. Although an additional cost to us, we saw the value it added to our existing services and since launching the platform last year, we’ve received some excellent renter feedback about the savings they’ve been able to make.”
“Adding value wherever possible to our services has certainly been a benefit to our business; in the last year we’ve grown by 50%, which we see as a sure sign that we’re doing something right.”
Innovate or face the consequences
As Jonathan Stein, CEO and Founder of Vaboo explains, “We have been working alongside the most progressive rented accommodation providers for some time now and have seen some fantastic results. It is clear that renter-centric service is the future of the private rented sector and those who do not sit up and pay attention will lose out.”
The future is bright for the private rented sector. The number of renters is growing exponentially year on year presenting ample opportunity for accommodation providers. But in this changing environment, complacency is no longer an option. Instead, smart providers who place renter-centricity at the core of their business will see an increase in reputation, sentiment towards their service and ultimately growth.