PropTech delivers new ways to streamline the property rental industry
iRenting and iBuying, PropTech and FinTech—just a few of the latest buzzwords and terms we hear almost every day, describing the latest path our industry is taking.
Thanks to the latest technologies and forward-thinking minds, what was once a fairly clumsy and work-heavy process, has been replaced by a new data-driven and digitally delivered way to let properties worldwide—and it’s happening under the term of iRenting.
So how have the forward-thinking, entrepreneurial minds of the rental market applied the latest tech, data, and applications to streamline our old-fashioned, human-heavy processes, replacing them with better, faster, simpler, and more secure ways of carrying out the same tasks?
With the latest AI and machine learning technology, of course.
The digital solutions delivering our escape route out of old, dated, and tired processes
PropTech, as you’d guess, involves updating and disrupting the existing property industry with the latest technology. AI, machine learning, data science, and big data predominantly feature, but so do new practical systems such as smart locks with digital keys. iRenting takes all of the new PropTech upgrades and uses them to deliver the best version of property management to its landlords.
In the same way, there are an abundance of new systems to take on board from the FinTech world. Financial Technology has provided better ways of taking, holding, and returning deposits, processing payments, and matching the eCommerce methods we’ve become accustomed to in our everyday online shopping experiences.
Bigger, better, faster, more.
Streamlining any process means taking a long hard look at how each operation functions, the stages where it’s falling short, determining where and how it can be improved. Carry out that process over and over, making improvement on improvement, consequently streamlining your system to the nth degree, leaves you—ideally—with revisions and upgrades radically ready to change the way we carry out business.
In the recent crisis, the business world learned if it was going to survive, it had to change. Enhancing digital processes and remote operations to ensure that life could go on, as close to we knew it without too much disruption, meant bumping up the usual rate of advancement by years.
The latest and best way to ensure an enhanced and enriched user experience—for tenants and landlords
What the industry has delivered is a method of placing tenants in properties with minimal human effort over every action possible.
We’re not saying that there isn’t a place for people in property management, but let’s face it, too often, we’re the part of the system that’s slowing things down. Wherever data-driven solutions and automated actions can replace those interactions, that’s a big step-up in the process for the end-user, saving them precious time and upgrading their experience.
With so many steps in the typical letting process and as a leading force in iRenting, we’ve stripped out the old systems to develop one of the most efficient practices on the market—providing countless advantages to both tenants and landlords. With UpperKey as your iRenter, we’re ideally placed to bring both ends together, seamlessly and almost effortlessly, for everyone.
Tech-driven, digital property management
Let’s get right back to the big question: What exactly is iRenting?
Okay, so how do we do it? We’ve been working on the digital disruption of our industry over the past 10 years. Over that time, we’ve seen incredible growth and efficiency for our tenants, our landlords, and of course, for us.
The system works like this:
Being a landlord or property owner takes a lot of work. If you’re going to place tenants yourself, then you’ve got to market your property, provide viewings, take inventories, agree to terms, sign contracts, manage deposits, organise handovers, maintain décor, organise repairs, deal with complaints… and that’s just the basics.
You can, of course, maximise your income by operating on a short-let basis, which will absolutely bring in those higher rates. However, you’ll have to be vastly more aligned with marketing, as you’re going to need a lot more tenants—we all know that any vacant periods will eat away at your top-line profits.
You’ll also need regular cleaning, turnovers, and maintenance for each new tenant and let. Then there’s the welcome and key handover—every time you change tenants—that could mean six or seven per week. Letting on a nightly basis brings an enormous amount of additional work to weekly or monthly lets.
And that’s before you even consider any disputes, damages, and complaints you’d have to handle. Those long-term, lower-rent lets start to look really good at this point, despite the drop in rental income.
Guaranteed rents without the risks
In an ideal world as a landlord, what you need is a way to garner those higher rates without all the effort. Enter iRenting.
With so many traditional processes automated by artificial intelligence systems, prices and rates calculated using big-data, contracts, deposits and payments all signed and paid for digitally, the time and money the iRenters save can be fed back into the pot and distributed the way they see most fitting.
UpperKey, the original iRenter of the industry, take on all of the work. As a landlord, all you do is sit back and watch the monthly guaranteed rent drop into your account without a hitch.
Better still, UpperKey takes over the upkeep and décor of your apartment. It’s in our best interest to maximise your apartment’s potential, and that means making sure it looks its best at all times.
What do the numbers look like?
Well, the hard work and streamlined system we use delivers great dividends. For example:
Let’s say you’ve got a single-bedroom apartment that typically lets for 1800€/month. Your iRenter has the processes, tenant network, and streamlined systems in place to raise the rental rates from 150€ for a studio apartment to 500€ per night for a 3-bedroom flat, utilising a mix of nightly, weekly, and monthly lets.
Being able to turn over lets far quicker utilising our digital systems and streamlined operations, we maximise occupancy rates to around 97% in most cases. With that, our example property earns an average rate of 160€/night, earning a total income of 4640€/month—that’s a big step up from the original 1800€ initially on the table.
That’s an additional profit of 2840€.
iRenting processes that deliver those rent upgrades
Enhanced, digitally-driven processes allow for faster bookings and speedier service to the tenant. In addition, data-led decisions deliver risk models that allow for typical dispute and damage costs.
Employing the most up-to-date operations-technology over as many tasks as possible cuts costs of both time and money, increasing efficiency, and of course, that all-important top-line.
Advertising and marketing – More AI programming pushes and promotes properties to the best-bet platforms for their property type, location, and expected rate.
Contactless tours and viewings – COVID made this a must, but we’ve been ahead of the curve for quite some time. Digital viewings and tours allow tenants the opportunity to rate the property without physically attending or running the risk of unnecessary contact.
Filling tenancies – We’ve spent over 10 years honing our system and building our network of high-quality, ready-to-go tenants. That kind of experience means we know precisely where to find the readily vetted tenants you need to maintain high occupancy rates.
Automessaging – Guests receive messages throughout their experience: before, during, and after their stay. Each message includes essential information and instruction, from key receipt and activation to regular check-ins at various points of their visit—and finally, for the feedback we find so valuable after checking out.
Digilization of all apartment guidebooks – Every instruction and how-to for each apartment has been filmed to make essential operations as easy for our guests to understand as possible. From how to open the front door to using the washing machine—they’re all neatly stored online and super easy to access—no more rooting around for instruction manuals and trying to read ageing, well-worn pages, and no more Googling how-tos for different brands of white goods. It saves you time, effort and stress, and it keeps our Guest Services team free to help you with the more important things you need.
Automated cleaning and servicing – We have a wide range of established and trusted maintenance, cleaning, laundry, design and decorating contractors in each of our locations, all regulated and booked when a tenant vacates their apartment through our automated system.
Legal and contractual – Operating across Europe for over 10 years and now entering the USA, we understand the unique regulations of each country. We’ve organised our digital systems to accommodate them all.
AI-driven reservations and bookings – Digitally delivered, a tenant can rent an apartment with UpperKey in less than 3 minutes. Under our current system, a tenant can be in a property within 48 hours, but we’re very close to dropping that to only three.
Digital smart locks – If you think that’s fast, that same tenant will receive their digital key—unique to their stay—within the hour. No handover or meet-and-greet required—it’s all handled digitally. It could be on the phone you carry wherever you go if that’s your preference, or on your desktop, laptop, or tablet.
Onboarding new properties – Another area where we’ve excelled is helping our landlords partner with us easier and quicker than ever. We’ve created a digitally developed onboarding system and soon hope to have the capacity to add 100 new properties each month.
More than the average property management service
UpperKey is unique in the way it manages properties. Don’t get our system too confused with most existing property management practices that take their cut as a percentage, including the abundance of Airbnb management businesses.
Our guaranteed rent includes everything.
Most property management outfits still expect you to carry out the upkeep in décor and design if you want to pull in the highest rates. Otherwise, they’ll work with what they’ve got and get what they can from the property as it stands. UpperKey curates and finishes its properties to the highest standards, enhancing the guest experience of every stay, and it’s all part of the service.
When it comes to customer relations, our personal service is always delivered by a friendly, human, helpful face
What we don’t do, however, is leave any concerns you’ve got to our incredible AI and IT. You’ll always have one of our trusted and impeccably trained team members at your service. Your issues may well be controlled and managed by a more efficient logging and delivery service, but never doubt that they aren’t immediately picked up and pursued by one of our energetic and active staff.
We understand that however efficient our digital practices are, there’s nothing on earth that can replace the personal service of our people when it comes to managing the most delicate of decisions and operations.