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Do we really need 'real' letting agents in this internet age?

There are many reasons why letting agents are still thriving in the digital age, here's a few!

If you believed all you heard from many online letting agents you'd probably think us 'traditional' agents are a dying breed. Thankfully reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated (thanks to Mark Twain for that quote).

Firstly, let us clarify what we mean by 'traditional' agents and online companies. As a traditional agent we have an office people can visit, we meet many of the landlords and tenants who we work with and are based in the area we serve.

Most online agents do everything, unsurprisingly, online and can often be based miles away from the areas they are touting for business in.

There are many reasons why good letting agents are still thriving in these digital days. Here are just a few of the reasons why in our opinion good 'traditional' agents are better than the online equivalent.

Vetting tenants (and landlords) is one of the most important and valuable things we do as agency. We've seen plenty of situations where good references have been forthcoming however the tenant has turned out to be unsuitable. By meeting potential tenants, you can learn a lot about them. A face to face meeting can give an insight into their personality in a way which digital correspondence can't.

We've also seen situations where referencing has been very much borderline. Online agents tend to use the 'computer says no' approach and dismiss some applications due to criteria without speaking to the applicant first. A quick phone call can sometimes unearth information that wasn't on the forms and often gives you a feel for the person and whether or not they will make good tenants.

Every tenancy is different and every tenancy is individual. An automated process can never deal with such individuality as by design it's set up to be process rather than people driven.

A good local agent will know each of their landlords and tenants personally, as well as know the property and the area - in detail. They will tailor the tenancy agreement accordingly, and likewise respond to maintenance issues with the benefit of background knowledge.

Another point where good local agents differentiate themselves from online rivals is in terms of their availability. Many online agents run their operations from call centre type set ups and don't have out of hours office systems in place.

We take calls from landlords and tenants in the evenings and weekends in cases of emergency and as you'll only have point of contact with us you will never feel you're problem is being passed from pillar to post.

A good local agent is going to take care of EVERYTHING for the landlord. This frees up a landlord's time and provides reassurance that everything is being handled with maximum efficiency by someone who does this day in, day out and in our case, for the past 20 years and counting.

If you are considering selling or letting your home, we can help! As your local Hackney estate agents based in Dalston we know the area and are here to support you.

Please get in touch on 0207 275 8000 or email - we are here to offer our professional, friendly and expert advice.

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