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What is the difference between
Online Letting Agents and High-Street Letting Agents? 


You have a Buy-to-Let property and you would like to use letting agents’ services to either market or manage the rental property on your behalf. You have done some research and have found that there are online letting agents and high-street letting agents offering their support.


What are the differences and are they beneficial to you? 

First, let’s start with what they both have in common. Most letting agents offer the following services for buy-to-let properties, regardless of whether they operate online or offline.

  • Let Only & Tenant Find Services – this service includes conducting viewings, tenant referencing, setting up a tenancy agreement, taking a tenant deposit.
  • Property Management Services – In addition to the Let Only & Tenant Find service, the letting agent collects the rent, arranges any maintenance requests, and deals with the ongoing day-to-day tenant queries to name a few.

Are there any cost differences?

Cost is a huge factor when choosing a letting agent and we know that Landlords want to keep their costs as low as possible. Considering the above services, we have compared the average cost differences between an online and high-street agency.

High-Street Agents Services & Fees
Full Management Service Fee: 12%-15% of the monthly rental income each month & Marketing Set-Up Fee of £210
Let Only & Tenant Find Fee: 50% of the first months’ rental income (minimum fee: £250-350)

Online Agents Service & Fees
Full Management Service Fee: 5%-10% of the monthly rental income each month & Marketing Set-Up Fees: Between £0-£150
Let Only & Tenant Find Fee: 50-70% of the first months’ rental income

an image of a toy house with coins stacked up in front of it with a pair of hands either side of the toy houseSavings Example: 

High Street Agent: Rental Income: £1000pcm x 12% for 12 months + £299 Set up Fee = £1739
Online Agent: Rental Income: £1000pcm x 8% for 12 months + £0 Fees = £960
Total saving minimum: £779 per year!! 

Why are online agents cheaper?

By not having a high-street presence it means low overheads (no rent payments, utility expenses, or travel costs) so that saving is passed on to Landlord clients through reduced fees and fee-free offers.

When it comes to marketing a property – a high-street agency has an extra advantage of window advertising viewed by locals (attracting walk-ins) as well as advertising via online portals such as RightMove, On The Market, or Zoopla. An online agent will purely advertise through online property portals, which means cheaper costs (no paper-waste), and they can advertise your property and attract tenants wherever it is in the UK.

Why would a Landlord pick an online agent?

If you have a full-time job, family commitments, live in a busy city, or live abroad – An online agency will save property owners time and money by conducting virtual meetings, telephone calls, and a local property manager will meet the Landlord at the rental property to conduct a full rent appraisal report, inventory report and conduct viewings for prospective tenants. You can sign and return paperwork online in your own time saving frustration and unnecessary travel costs.

a face mask sitting on a laptop keyboard and a coffee cupDid the pandemic change how we view online businesses in general? 

Some companies are now proudly boasting they have been using virtual meetings for years. However, for the rest of us, until 2020 if we had attended a virtual meeting it might have involved a few calls with family members over FaceTime, the occasional webinar, or long teleconferences with no video at all…It is fair to say the vast majority of businesses and employees were oblivious to the benefits of virtual meetings until it was thrust upon them by necessity and virtually overnight – Forbes 

What makes an online business appealing is that it no longer matters where you are physically located. As we mentioned earlier, this saves the client time and money as documentation can now be signed electronically, sent via email and a conversation can still be had face-to-face in the comfort of your own home. However, there are downsides to online meetings as you lose the chance to chat in a way that feels much more natural although it seems virtual networking is here to stay.

Want to know more about us?

navy and gold bridge letting logoBridge Letting is a letting agent and property management company with a solid background in rental property and customer service. We cover all aspects of the letting process and provide a full management service to property owners throughout Edinburgh, Dundee, Perth & Fife. 

We are currently offering new clients a great introductory offer. Sign up with us on our full property management package and we will not charge you a fee for the first three months. Thereafter, we charge an ongoing management fee of 8% of the rental income each month.

Landlords, if you would like a no-obligation, free rent appraisal of your rental property please don’t hesitate to contact us today! 

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