A study of lettings agents has estimated that inefficient software is costing the industry as much as £300 million every year.
The study, carried out by VTUK, found that using limited software can cost as much £30,000 a year, when compared with a full-service programme.
The study also found that those agencies using limited software spent an average of 32 hours a week carrying out simple administrative tasks that an automated programme could carry out for them.
VTUK, the UK’s leading independent property software provider, believes as many as 10,000 agencies do not have efficient software.
Peter Grant, Managing Director of VTUK, said: “This study should act as a wake-up call to some in the lettings industry. For all the belt-tightening the industry has undertaken, these inefficiencies are costing £300 million – money which ultimately comes out of agents’ pockets.
“From the lettings agents perspective, the slowdown in sales in the past 18 months has brought new opportunities, but with increased competition there has never been a more important time to keep costs down. Despite this, though, the study shows many agents are missing one of the simplest ways to save money – cutting the amount of time wasted on basic admin work. Efficient software could save more than 32 hours a week – time which could be spent driving the business forward and increasing revenues.
“That’s why VTUK’s starting point with a new client is to provide a full business analysis. We highlight critical issues which will need addressing immediately, such as legislative non-compliance, we look at how the agency can save time through our Gemini software, and we explore how that time can be spent to better grow the business.”
The study highlighted the top five areas in which property software should be saving lettings agencies time and money:
1. Not keeping track of overdue rents – just five problematic tenants can cost an agency as much as £4,200 a year
2. Manually uploading property details to websites – this may only take ten minutes per property, but that can soon add up, with an estimated annual cost of £410
3. Unreliable software slows down staff - half an hour a day could cost an agency with three members of staff more than £2,130 a year
4. Not only does reconciling accounts manually have a risk of human error, but that loss of two days a month could be costing the agency £4,180 a year
5. Missing the opportunities of repeat business from Let Only landlords, due to poor diary management could be costing an agency anything from £700 to £14,000 every year. What’s more, that revenue is going in competitors’ pockets
VTUK‘s Gemini software provides a comprehensive service for lettings agents throughout the marketing, pre-booking and move-in stages, as well as offering an on-going property management tool. It is used to manage around 400,000 properties nationwide.