LettsPay partners with The Guild to provide Members with automated accounting tool
Due to the increasing uncertainty of the banking sectors stance on allowing agents to have undesignated client accounts for their lettings business, The Guild of Property Professionals has partnered with LettsPay, an automated client accounting engine to provide Members with a rental payment tool that will make reconciling tenant payments and compliance much easier.
Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, comments, “Following discussions with our Member agents, we wanted to find the best solution in the market that would meet all their requirements, LettsPay was that solution. As the first automated end-to-end client accounting engine to utilise digital accounts, LettsPay has the potential to revolutionise the lettings sector when it comes to rental collection and landlord payments. The automated lettings management platform is an innovative proptech tool that will assist our Members to overcome certain challenges within the sector, while increasing their potential revenue, saving costs and remaining compliant.”
According to Garrett Foxon, Founder of LettsPay, the engine has specifically been designed for the rental sector, automating as much of the rent collection and payment process as possible. “Using the latest finance technology, LettsPay creates separate accounts for landlords, with their own sort code and account number. The engine also automatically notifies tenants when it is time to pay their account. When payment is received, LettsPay allocates the funds, which means all the letting agent would need to do is create and approve the pay out to the landlord. The system will communicate to the tenant that the payment has been received and it will produce an automatic statement for the landlord. The automation of the process will save agents time and will make it far easier to manage a larger portfolio of clients. The engine is also able to manage payments to contractors, deposit accounts and HMRC for NRL tax,” he says.
Foxon adds that the automation will allow lettings agents to accommodate more landlords within their portfolio without needing to increase their headcount. “If much of the process is automated, agents will be able to focus on the activities that generate revenue for their business rather than doing necessary but time-consuming admin tasks,” he comments. “Another advantage of the engine is that agents can pay their landlords from anywhere via a smart device, which means they no longer have to wait to get back to their office if they at viewings. Landlords and suppliers are paid immediately from the engine using an easy three-step process.”
According to Foxon, the engine is another selling point that agents can use when prospecting for more clients, as landlords love the security of having their own designated client account. “The fact that landlords are paid immediately and are notified of the payment is another selling point. Through LetttsPay, agents will also be able to provide landlords with statements, which can be generated for any date range they desire,” he adds.
Apart from the revenue generating advantages of the engine, a huge additional benefit is that is helps agents to remain compliant. Lettings agencies must be part of the Client Money Protection (CMP) Scheme to trade. LettsPay will help landlords and letting agents ensure they adhere to CMP and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations.
Paul Offley, Compliance Officer at The Guild, says: “LettsPay will eradicate the logistical issue of Members having to deal with updating banking details when undesignated client accounts are closed. The designated accounts per landlord will make it far easier to keep track of transactions and lettings agents will be able to provide a full reconciliation and audit trail of all payments between tenants and landlords, making compliance far easier.”
Bridge Investment Group announces expansion into PropTech
Bridge Investment Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: BRDG) (“Bridge” or the “Company”) announced the launch of its newest strategy, Bridge Ventures, and the hiring of Jeremy Ford as Chief Investment Officer of Bridge Ventures.
While the real estate industry has increased its adoption of technology solutions in the post-Pandemic era, US investment and innovation in the sector still lags that of other industries (e.g., financial services, health care, and education) as a percent of its share of US GDP. The growth of eCommerce, remote workplaces, ESG adoption, and the digitalization of real estate all contribute to this increased adoption as the PropTech market evolves. Bridge Ventures will focus on both early- and later-stage PropTech companies and expects to pursue investments in industry-leading PropTech funds.
“We are extremely well-positioned to leverage our platform and extensive industry relationships to access and invest in PropTech companies and utilize their solutions,” explains Jeremy Ford, Chief Investment Officer of Bridge Ventures. “We see tremendous opportunities to deploy and scale new technologies through direct utilization in the Bridge portfolio, which we anticipate will serve as a catalyst for market adoption and value creation.”
Ford joins Bridge Investment Group from REEF Technology, where he was Head of Property Strategy. Before REEF Technology, he held roles at BLG Capital Limited and The Carlyle Group. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, a Master of Business Administration from the Robert Emmett McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University and was a Fulbright Scholar in Spain.
“We are excited to have Jeremy Ford join Bridge as Chief Investment Officer of Bridge Ventures,” says Robert Morse, executive chairman of Bridge. “His 17-year tenure in the real estate industry brings valuable experience and leadership to the Bridge Ventures team as the Company expands into the PropTech world.”
Andrew Stanton is the founder of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.