“ Online Letting Agent „
I arranged to view a property for rent, they sent me 3 text messages and 2 emails about the appointment - i.e overkill. I had to provide an email address otherwise they would not allow me to view the property! The property listing I found sounded good but there were no photos (doh), when I viewed the property it was rubbish. Then I had to opt out of their email in order to stop spam like deals on broadband. MurM appears to be all about marketing, suggest you use RightMove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation instead.
This is a review of a website called makeurmove which we discovered purely by accident when attempting to market the house we own but don't live in this was due to the tenants we had in (who were marvellous) moving out when they relocated. The house is gorgeous and really sells itself when you see it as we used to live there and spent a lot of money on it whilst in situ.
If at first you don't succeed....
We had a failed attempt at advertising in the local weekly paper which has a huge property guide and is very much the place you would expect to look, this included a small slot on their website but it only resulted in a bunch of time wasters, who either couldn't afford the rent or were just being nosey or even worse, seemed to want to chatter on the phone but not view the house! This failed attempt only advertised the property for one week and cost us around £80.
At first we were dispirited, we knew we were not asking for the full rental price we could because we'd rather have the right people in the house. We were also reluctant to pay an agency to manage the property as it's a huge percentage to just give away. We tried the other routes of asking friends, colleagues and well-connected people to pass the word about the house but again drew a blank.
Having the house empty would be financially difficult for us in the long run so it was a priority to get new people moved in as soon as possible once the current tenants moved out. Luckily, we then stumbled on Makeurmove which seemed to have the solution we were looking for. They basically help you organise your listing and you pick from their services what you need and only pay for that.
Makeurmove have four levels of marketing for landlords. The first package charges the tenant for everything and is free to the landlord. We didn't think this was fair so opted for the second level which was a one off charge to advertise your property on all the major moving websites for a set fee and you managed the visits and checks on your potential tenants, the set fee was guaranteed until you found your tenant too so it could stay on the website for as long as it needed to. Third level is a premium let where the process of finding a tenant is wholly managed by them. The fourth level was where they managed everything and acted as an agent and charged a percentage.
How it works
I can only comment on the level two process described above but I have to say I was very impressed and it was really professionally led by the website. They guided you through describing the property and adding photos (we only used one photo of the outside of the house as we were not able to access the house at the stage of marketing the property as we didn't think it fair on our tenants who were still living there and as it is let unfurnished it would be taking photos of their belongings which is unfair). Fortunately, the outside photo depicts a large new build which sells the house anyway so it didn't matter that we had no interior shots but we will be more prepared for next time! Once the site advertised the property, all communication was made by email and text and you could say up front when would be suitable viewing times. We block booked the viewing times as I could be at the property any time, any day to suit the tenant and we wanted to be as accessible as possible. Obviously I had to give the tenants in the house adequate warning that I would be requiring access to their home so I did try and give a bit of notice to them. Once you got a text with a suggested viewing time, you can respond with accept, decline or rearrange to confirm or cancel the viewing. The name and phone number of the potential tenant was also given in the text. The site were very quick in issuing confirmation messages via text so you were informed at all times.
The site also offered extra support packages that you could pay for including a professional photographer to come and take pictures of your house that would be your copyright, you could also access documents like contracts and other paperwork for a small fee, all enabling landlords to work professionally with their tenants. There were standards that comply with law such as the energy efficiency certificates you are required to have for your house - all these could be arranged through the website for a fee. They were also keen to promote their promotional space which cost around £30 to put your advert in a prominent place on the right websites.
As we suspected, the first people who viewed the house who could realistically afford the rental price, wanted it. It really was so easy we were delighted and all for one fee unlike the local paper who were happy to charge per week whilst you fended off the local weirdos ringing you at all hours.
We paid a one off fee of £49 (+VAT) to advertise our property with makeurmove who then feed into google, zoopla, rightmove, finda property, up my street and many many other websites. Obviously you can spend more (or less!) but this suited us fine and will also become part of our tax return next year!
I am pleased with the service this website gave us. They did pester a little to upgrade to a promotional slot (which we declined) and they also do a bit of cross selling to the tenants trying to get them to buy joint broadband and telephone packages, knowing they would soon be moving house I suppose! They contacted me (via email) to try and review the listing as they felt it was not getting enough interest - or as much as they would expect but by then we had found our tenants so we were happy to let it lie low on the site (in case the letting fell through so we did not have to pay the fee again). They were able to disable viewings in this case so we didn't disappoint potential tenants. On the couple of occasions I had to telephone makeurmove I spoke to very pleasant staff who were helpful and efficient and actually did what they said they were going to do which made a refreshing change after the bungling experience of the staff at the local newspaper property section. They emailed professional and interesting newsletters from the site which made it feel like more of a community experience for landlords. The site run their own checks on landlords before the listing goes live to ensure you actually own the property and have fulfilled legal obligations on the house.
Make Ur Move does sound a bit 'texty' to me and I realise that they have to have a catchy name that doesn't resemble other property websites but it is memorable. We were happy to hand over our money to have our vacant property swiftly advertised and filled. Obviously we took the responsibility of running our own credit checks and reference checks on the tenants with a view to finding the right people to live in our much loved ex home. I can recommend this service as a way of getting round the seemingly awkward problem of not using an agency when you are a private landlord. As long as you stay within the law on the property checks and certificates and contracts you can let the house yourself.