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Rental Property Management Revisited
HouseME in 2017 rolled out rental property management assistance for the first time. With an overwhelming response, more than 75% of our clients opted-in for such services; which included photography, hosting of viewings, key handovers and emergency call-out response and more. It was so popular in fact, that HouseME struggled to maintain the highest quality service across the country, and resultantly pulled the services off the market for a period of consolidation.
June 2019 sees these services relaunched under the name HouseME Assist.
Hello Hassle-Free Renting!
HouseME Assist is designed for landlords who don’t want to manage their own rental property. Which is roughly 25% of the South African rental property market.
HouseME Assist includes:
- Hosting of viewings
- Ingoing inspection report
- Emergency call-out services
- Key handovers to the new tenant
Photography remains one of the most impactful influences to a tenant’s decision of whether or not to rent a unit. A recent survey run by HouseME indicates that 96% of all property seekers use photos to determine whether or not they’ll even attend a viewing! With this sort of insight, it’s clear to us that we ought to help landlords with the very best visual depiction of their properties possible.
Viewings are another service that we offer within the HouseME Assist package. This caters for landlords who manage remotely from a different location, or are simply unavailable for regular times to meet with prospective tenants. Almost 100% of properties are tenanted only after a viewing has taken place, so without this necessary cog in the machine, finding an occupant is tough going. HouseME strives to make renting easy – so it’s a great solve for landlords and tenants alike, to have a dedicated Helper serving viewings for a property and assisting tenants in applying for it. The HouseME Helper is also available to assist the tenant in moving into the property by providing him or her access via keys and remotes.
Ingoing inspection reports are critical in order to negotiate for any claims back on a deposit. A security deposit is used to protect a landlord against unpaid rent, utilities or damages – and if the state of the property is not properly documented at the beginning of the lease, no damages can be claimed from the tenant at the end of it. HouseME’s inspection reports are detailed and include photographs to ensure there is no margin for error and facilitate transparency and trust for all parties.
Emergency maintenance service on demand is also available for all HouseME Assist landlords: if there is a plumbing, electrical or carpentry emergency, within hours a 24/7 team will be on premises, secure the unit against further damage, and file a report for your approval as landlord to complete the fix. If, in the case of many such situations, the entire fix is less than R2,000, this work will be done immediately and you will simply have a detailed line-item in your rental statement that month.
How It Works
HouseME now offers HouseME Assist in parts of the Western Cape, and is currently working to expand it up to Gauteng. For just R4900 a landlord will receive all key elements of a traditional estate agency’s procurement services: which are charged typically at a full month’s rent! HouseME is contributing to the gig economy by training up Helpers across the country, upskilling and rating them and providing them with a way to earn a living. It’s another way the company stays disruptive! HouseME uses a hybrid of humans and technology to keep innovating, in every way.
Are You Managing Your Own Rental Property?
HouseME Assist is designed for landlords who don’t want to manage their own rental properties. Which is roughly 25% of the market. So what about the other 75%? How can we help you without the Assist package?
3 Tips for Residential Landlords:
Here are our top three pieces of advice for landlords who choose to manage their own rental properties.
- Screen your tenants
Don’t let anyone rent with you without conducting a thorough credit-, verification, employment, affordability- and bank statement-check. If this is not done properly, it is likely to result in problems later, such as late or non-payments, property damages and unwelcome breaking of your carefully-set rules. HouseME’s Home package offers exactly this screening service.
- Use an updated, written lease
Using a lease that is non-CPA compliant can result in early tenant cancellation without recourse, or even a situation wherein the tenant sues for improperly managed amenities. Keep the language simple, and use an online website such as HouseME for proof of acceptance, or get the lease physically signed to keep yourself safe.
- Make sure you have risk cover
Not all risks can be mitigated for, but happily most in your rental property can be. Take out HouseME’s Eviction Coverage or Rental Guarantee for peace of mind in collecting rent or protecting against legal action. Another great idea is to consider building insurance, to cover any possible losses against fires, storms or vandalism.
Keep coming back for more tips to manage your rental property and switch over to the Assist Package if renting out your properties and rental property management has been a chore for you to date!
Ben Shaw and Kyle Bradley are Co-founders of Proptech Company, HouseME, Winner of Seedstars World’s Best Start-Up Company in Cape Town.
To Sign up with HouseME as a Landlord or Tenant, Click Here.
Header Image: Tom Fisk
Photo by rawpixel.com
Photo by Jimmy Jimmy
Photo by Milly Eaton