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PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’: Lendlord | Meet Parker | Bective

Lendlord reveals profile of typical PRS landlord and more 

According to a recent analysis commissioned by Aviram Shahar, CEO of Lendlord, the average landlord in the PRS might not be who you think they are. 

The report states: “At the end of the first quarter of  2021, there were nearly five-million properties in the private rented sector, in the UK, which is nearly one in five of all households. And the sector has a value approaching nearly £1.4 trillion in value.”

But the key takeaway here is that over 60% of landlords only own one rental property. 8% own five or more properties. This, as detailed in the report, “reinforces the widely held contention that many landlords are accidental ones.”

The report also shows that although low in number, that 8% actually has control of over 36% of all private rentals.

“The combined taxation of Landlords, the imposition of the 3% stamp duty, and other regulations has seen the creep of the institutional landlord into this sector,” commented Shahar.

Aviram Shahar, CEO of Lendlord

Lendlord’s report also showed that the number of properties let out in the sector had contracted by 3%, which may support the concept that landlords were looking to divest themselves of their assets.

Regarding demographics, Aviram Shahar said: “It may come as a surprise, but our report showed us that the majority of landlords are aged fifty 57 and above, with a significant number using the rental income as a form of pension provision. So the profile of a typical Landlord in the UK is a late baby boomer on the cusp of retirement.”

The type of landlord who had just one single property, only generated gross average rents of £898 a month outside of London. 

One of the other surprises to come out of the data was the number of new landlords now using company structures to hold buy-to-let property. This year has seen a big move towards this type of arrangement.

The biggest reveal in the private landlords deep dive was that nearly 50% of landlords who were asked had only a vague idea of tax changes, specifically the new HMRC initiatives for Landlords which come into play in April 2024.

“Landlords are typically, cautious, knowledgeable and seek out information, but also they operate in a very piecemeal and pragmatic way, dealing with change at the time, rather than planning ahead.”

Conversely, the report says, institutional landlords with largwer portfolios have specialist advisers. 

“In many ways we are at a tipping point, the government has just put on hold the white paper into the future of the letting industry, and whichever way it goes private landlords are increasingly going to be needing to have more oversight and a better grasp of their obligations, if they own one property or a multi-million-pound portfolio.”

Lendlord is a free app and platform that provides landlords with ongoing metrics on their portfolio health, historical trends and smart suggestions on potential mortgage savings and costs, upcoming due dates and more, all in one place.

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Meet Parker chatbot can now discuss green mortgages

AI technology provider Meet Parker is pleased to announce that Parker, their AI mortgage chatbot, has taught itself how to engage with clients and brokers about green mortgages.

Parker can now recognise various permeations, sayings and terminology linked to the topic of green mortgages, conversing with the user in order to help educate and better understand this area.

With Parker enabled on a website or social media, clients or intermediaries can now ask Parker questions about green mortgages. No matter how simple, complicated, or random the question, Parker can analyse the conversation flow and knows how best to respond to the chat.

Managing Director, Phil Bailey said: “With the interest in Green Mortgages on the rise, it was only a matter of time before we began to have lenders and brokers both asking if Parker can pick up and respond to these types of queries. Triage and make first contact with those that require help in this area of lending.

“Parker is more than capable of handling not just the out of the box Green Mortgage questions, but many of the variations that could be asked. Parker has been learning the different sayings, terminology, acronyms and phrases a client or Intermediary may ask.

“This could be a simple “What’s a green mortgage?” through to something a little quirkier and “How do I apply for a hippie mortgage?”. Everyone has their own unique way of saying or asking for something, Parker is designed to breakdown those barriers and no matter how strange, direct or randomly worded the question – Parker knows how to response or when to escalate to a real-person.

“We gave Parker the outline of a Green Mortgage, product and criteria. Then, with the help of his AI, has taught himself the best responses for each scenario and the various ways someone could ask for help on this subject.

“There is a smarter way to assist both client and intermediary channels, much if this is through the use of AI. Parker is designed to be first contact with your customers from the moment they locate your brand. Using intelligent chatbots to increase customer engagement, extend your business, tone of voice and services through the use of AI and chat”

Central London agency shows PRS tenant demand is up

Data from central London estate agency Bective has shown how tenant demand has returned to the capital’s rental market as the pandemic freeze continues to thaw. 

Bective’s analysis of new lettings applicants shows that in the six months between October 2020 and March 2021, the number of new applicants climbed by 34% when compared to the previous six months (April 2020 to September 2020).

However, in the last six months alone, the level of tenant applications for London rental properties has more than doubled, up by 104% versus the previous six months (October 2020 to March 2021) and 173% when compared to the peak of the pandemic last year (April 2020 to September 2020). 

The proportion of London rental properties listed on the market that have seen a let agreed now sits at 39% in the last six months, up from 36% between October 2020 and March 2021 and 33% between April 2020 to September 2020. 

What’s more, the number of rental properties as a proportion of all stock listed online (sales and rentals) has also started to drop following a surplus of properties clogging the market due to evaporating demand. 

Bective’s Head of Lettings and Property Management, Thomas Dainty, commented: “It’s fair to say that the green shoots of rental market positivity that had started to spring at the back end of last year have now blossomed quite considerably and we’re now seeing the London rental market start to build a real head of steam. 

“Not only are we seeing a strong uplift in the number of those enquiring, but these enquiries are also converting which is something we simply weren’t seeing during peak periods of pandemic uncertainty. 

“We’ve already started to see rental values climb considerably for homes providing more space and the most suitable units have been subject to multiple bids, with the rent achieved up by some 10% on last year already.”

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Andrew Stanton Founder & Editor of 'PROPTECH-X' where his insights, connections, analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are based on writing 1.3M words annually. Plus meeting 1,000 Proptech founders, critiquing 400 decks and having had 130 clients as CEO of 'PROPTECH-PR', a consultancy for Proptech founders seeking growth and exit strategies. He also acts as an advisory for major global real estate companies on sales, acquisitions, market positioning & operations. With 100K followers & readers, he is the 'Proptech Realestate Influencer.'