A service which features listings by agents as well as for-sale by owners and private landlords is to offer a free tenant-find service to members of the National Landlords Association.
TheHouseShop said that the new partnership would benefit the NLA’s 70,000 members and associates and save landlords money.
It added that the NLA has already partnered with online letting agents, but that TheHouseShop would be the first to offer a totally free advertising service.
It said that tenants were looking for alternatives to the main ‘agent-only’ portals.
Nick Marr, co-founder of TheHouseShop, said: “Being recognised by the NLA has been a really proud moment for us.
“Landlords are facing tough times at the moment, especially with the buy-to-let tax relief changes that recently came into effect. Profits are being squeezed from all sides, and that’s why we believe that our free tenant-find service is so attractive.
“The NLA is the leading landlord organisation in the UK, and we are delighted to position TheHouseShop alongside such a prominent and established brand.
“This new partnership will allow us to reach thousands more landlords and help them save money on every aspect of the lettings process.”
As part of the deal, TheHouseShop becomes an intermediary to introduce landlords to the NLA.
TheHouseShop rebranded from The Little House Company in 2015 to encourage more agent listings alongside private advertising. (See link below to EYE story in March 2015.)
A spokesperson for TheHouseShop yesterday told EYE: “The site is free to use for agents and all enquiries generated are sent directly to them via email.
“We also offer agents vendor leads generated from the website’s valuation tools and from motivated vendors that require the help of a good agent.
“The entire offering to agencies is provided free of charge. Our model means we will never charge for listing with us. However, featured advertising and valuation leads will ultimately become a paid-for service.
“Our property search is made up from listings created directly by agents, landlords and home owners. We work with a number of other websites and also agency software companies which gives us the unique mix of professional and private listings.
“We do not scrape listings.”
Asked if agents using the site might regard TheHouseShop’s free tenant-find service for landlords as controversial, the spokesperson said: “I think that agents’ attitudes have softened quite a bit recently towards listing alongside and working with platforms that host private landlords/sellers.
“Also, especially with the impending fees ban, I think that many letting agents are shifting focus away from their let-only service and focusing more on comprehensive full management services.
“For many landlords, finding the tenants is relatively easy, it is the ongoing management of the tenancy and property that is much more demanding.
“Letting agents become a very attractive solution to the management problem – even for landlords who have taken a DIY approach to tenant-find.”
Yesterday, EYE looked at listings on The HouseShop in our local town of Fleet, Hampshire, and found agent listings heavily outweighing those of private sellers and landlords.
In sales, we found listings from agents including Countrywide brands Hamptons, Carson & Co and Mann, and haart – one of which seemed to have come from the property portal Home. There did not appear to be any ‘for sale by owner’ listings.
In lettings, there appeared to be just one private landlord listing. Agents advertising properties included independents Honey Lettings, Newlife Lettings, and Mann Countrywide.