We value all your feedback and as a result of all your suggestions in 2018 we listened and have worked very hard on developing some brilliant new functionality. So we are now very excited to start 2019 with news of new features which will be coming very soon in Release 21.
These features are:
From 1st Oct 2018, new regulations came into force around the rules that apply to Houses-in-Multiple Occupation or HMOs as they are commonly referred to.
Under the Housing Act 2004 any property occupied by 5 or more people from more than one household, with shared facilities, and comprising three or more storeys, was classed as an HMO. One of the key changes in the revised 2018 regulation is that it effectively removes the number of storeys from the criteria. The effect of this change is that a considerably bigger number of properties now potentially require to be licensed.
The number of properties requiring a license thus doubled overnight, and saw as much as a tenfold increase in some local authority areas. This puts a greater responsibility on letting agents to ensure their properties are licensed appropriately.
Separately from HMO relevant licensing some areas of the UK have mandatory, selective or additional licensing regulations meaning any Landlord may need to register and hold a licence to let their property.
In upcoming PropCo releases version 21.0 we have teamed up with Checkdocs which provide an online service that can identify if a property you have added to PropCo requires a HMO license. It also searches through local authority registers and fetch the license details and automatically store them on PropCo making it far easier for you to comply with the regulation. Enquire today to see if you are at risk!
Zero Deposit Integration
Zero Deposit is a third-party service provider that aims to make the renting process better by creating a simple, affordable alternative to the traditional security deposit. We are excited to announce that we have teamed up with them so you can access their services seamlessly within PropCo. With help of this integration, you can go through the entire process for a zero deposit tenancy all the way from issuing the application form to the tenant to checking the outcomes, as well as tracking applications within PropCo.
The feature that we are perhaps most excited to introduce to you is one that will pave the way for you to communicate with your clients in a way that was either not possible hitherto or technically complex thing to put together for most agents, especially, ones with no in house expertise in latest web technologies. Most communication that you engage in with your clients is probably via the traditional channels like phone, email, or in person and these conversations had to be recorded on PropCo manually, including when you chased the client, how, and what they said. If the communication is about a contract or a legal document then someone has to transfer the information into letter templates and manually edit the relevant bits. All of that takes up precious time that the negotiator could otherwise spend on generating new business or property managers can spend in looking after their landlords and tenants. Wouldn’t it be nice, we thought, if you were able to surface just the right parts of a document you want your clients to fill and sign via an online form and the results reflected onto the document which can be signed electronically. That’s exactly what we have done.
The Webform functionality can be used independent of the context of communication. E.g. when negotiating Terms of Business, tenancy applications, renewals. You can create smart online forms that can be issued as a web link. The forms can even include custom fields that can capture data that is otherwise not stored on PropCo! The recipients of these forms can open them virtually anywhere and on any device. They can be completely blank or have data pre-populated using the information you already have on PropCo and the rest can be filled by the recipient. You can track who has received the form, what they have or haven’t filled at any point, what comments they have added. Once the recipient is happy to proceed, they can submit the form back to the sender who can approve the changes and submit data to PropCo. Additionally, we have enhanced the product to offer you greater flexibility when it comes to electronically signing documents. You would like the recipient to add a comments, fill something in, express choices via buttons or drop downs, or even sign offline with a wet signature? Now you can do all that through the enhancements we have in store for you.
PropCo has teamed up with Homelet, the UK’s largest tenant referencing provider with over 25 years’ experience in the lettings industry, to offer a fully integrated tenant referencing system. The service delivers instant references for prospective tenants saving our customers significant time and money.
Agents can select the type of reference check required, start an application and email the forms to the tenants and/or guarantors, all from within PropCo. Once the tenant has been reference, the report is delivered through PropCo. This eliminates the need for agents to spend time on data entry or duplication of forms and allows them to spend more time out of the office on viewings. It also cuts down the risk of human error, improving the efficiency of the tenant referencing process.
2 Way SMS
PropCo is the first lettings solution in the industry to offer a fully embedded 2-Way messaging service that enables agents to communicate with their clients via text messages. Recipients can reply via text messages and their response is automatically audited against their record on PropCo. Message and the replies are displayed as Conversations much like messaging apps most people are familiar with.
Online Mail Merge
To enhance our SaaS offering, we are introducing new way to generate documents using the online word processor integrated in PropCo. You can say goodbye to the word processor installed locally on your machine and make savings in licensing costs. And, it’s lot faster and efficient because unlike a Word processor that runs on your PC and is limited by it’s processing speed, the Online Mail Merge runs on state of the art infrastructure.