“Do you need a shop front?” I am often asked by my landlords. Well this Saturday 2 properties were let to tenant ‘walk ins’ therefore benefiting our landlords where the Internet didn’t.
As mentioned in my last article the housing market in Dunstable and Leighton Buzzard has seen a slight slowdown in the last couple of months in both sales and lettings and when this is happening you cannot rely on the buyers and renters only finding your properties online. We have found that many of the overseas buyers and renters now living in the UK are not aware of the portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla when they are carrying out a search for property. They still rely on walking into a shop on the high street or if they do use the internet they will use sites such as Gumtree.
Our position on Church Street in Dunstable means that we are seen by many of the workers from Amazon and Woodside Industrial Estate as they walk into town and pass by our shop. We also have traffic siting outside our shop for around 2 minutes each time they wait for the traffic lights to change at the main junction and the main bus stop opposite at the entrance to The Quadrant Shopping Centre. All of this gives our landlords properties exposure that cannot be relied upon on the internet only.
This was very much the case on Saturday when 2 of the visitors who popped into our shop were tenants looking for the type of property we currently had available. As the properties were local I could arrange to meet them at the property that day and after a successful viewing at each property they were taken.
The days of advertising properties in newspapers are most likely a thing of the past. Properties available for rent are often gone before the paper is available and the amount of information and photos shown are limited.
The internet and portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla have made access to all the photos and full description of the property easily accessible if you use the internet and are aware of those property portals. They also give you more flexibility about when you search for your property.
We do still find however that tenants and landlords still prefer to be able to come into a shop on the High Street. Here they can meet the Letting/Estate agent who is dealing with the property and discuss anything they wish face to face. This gives them a feeling of security and both tenants and landlords can build a relationship with the agent and can come to the shop to discuss any issues instead of having to pick up the phone to talk to someone who might not know a thing about their property.
Daniel Bourke is the owner of Belvoir Lettings Dunstable and in his previous career in Architecture he was an Associate in a leading London Architectural practice