Updated: 4 days ago
I'm very excited to say that we had a huge amount of interest when I listed Project Alice on OpenRent last week. It was a great success!
We had three families who wanted to rent the house, and I chose a lovely family with a dog who are going to move in next week.
This was the first time I have let a house myself, and I was surprised that it was actually considerably easier than going through an agent.
I chose the £49 flat fee Rent Now plus Ultimate Advertising package, which includes advertising on all the portals eg Rightmove and Zoopla, the tenancy contract preparation and signature, deposit receipt and registration on My Deposits, and first month rent receipt. I did my own photography, own floorplan and own video (link to Youtube). You can also buy these as optional extras, along with the inventory and referencing checks.
For comparison, I paid £2,100 to a Countrywide branch last year for a rent that was £350 pcm less, plus huge amounts of aggravation and chasing on my part! I said never again, and having now experienced OpenRent, I will never go back to a high street letting agency.
What was my approach?
First of all, all of the contact from potential renters is via the OpenRent website, and I'd get a notification when someone left a message, saying they wanted to view the house. The OpenRent interface is easy to use, and I was able to weed out time-wasters by asking a few questions to check affordability.
For the next step, I called each applicant and asked lots of questions to see if they seemed suitable (esp affordability) and genuinely motivated to move soon, and I then invited them to view the property.
I had one no-show, 4 viewings over 3 days, and 3 confirmed potential renters. Perfect.
It was hard making the choice between 3 very suitable families, so I chose the one whose need to move was more urgent from a time perspective.
From listing to signed AST, and deposit paid and registered, it was six days, which beats every single letting I've had previously through letting agencies!
Why was it easier than going through an agent?
It actually saved a lot of aggravation, chasing the agents, checking they'd done everything (when inevitably they hadn't). Everything was done right first time.
The tech behind the website is done very well. Almost instantaneously. It's very intuitive to use.
I enjoyed doing the viewings myself, and was able to answer all the questions, instead of having to brief the lead agent, who invariably wouldn't brief the junior doing the viewings on the Saturday (this happened in 3 of the 4 previous lettings via an agent), and then needing follow-up from me.
I heard the feedback from potential renters myself - no having to chase the agents for feedback, or getting it diluted or misremembered.
I self-manage, and liked meeting the prospective renters, to start the relationship from day 1. I was able to see their reaction when I mentioned having to mow the lawn, rather than having it filtered through the person who did the
I didn't need to call the agent (not always easy to get through) to chase for the admin side - OpenRent take care of it all. I uploaded the EPC, Gas Safety Certificate, EICR, Insurance. I could see the renter had received the deposit information and the how to rent document just by looking on the website - no need to check (in a previous one, the tenant never received the deposit information until I chased, well after the 30 period).
I'm not sponsored for this post, and it is my genuine experience. I have been blown away by how good it has been, and feel a mug for having paid over £2k to let similar houses before. Here is a referral link that will give you a free trial, and me the standard referral discount off my next listing: OpenRent referral link
Let me know what you think? Have you used OpenRent of QuickLister before? Was your experience as good as mine? Also, let me know in the comments if you have any questions.
Finally, take a look at the video tour I prepared for Project Alice, which is still on my Instagram account: