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  • Buy-to-Let

    Frustrations with OpenRent. Who else?

    Very frustrated with OpenRent right now. I have a property advertised with them but no enquires are coming through due to a technical error. I have confirmed this is a technical error and not simply lack of interest. 

    This has highlighted two major flaws of this company….

    1. Unnecessary intervention. 

    After a certain amount of enquiries, they feel they need to intervene and offer a pre-screening step to potential tenants before any enquiries come through to the Landlord. This isn’t a huge deal on it’s own, however I have an issue with it for the following reasons…

    • I have my own screening process and don’t want the tenant to have to go through 2 lots of screening.
    • I have no choice in this matter. I am paying for this service so would appreciate some control here
    • It is the introduction of this screening step that has caused the technical issue of all enquiries to stop coming through.

    2. Poor communication

    OpenRent do not have a phone number you can simply call up and address any issues. No, you have to submit a form online and wait for someone to respond via email within 1 working day. This is fine for most normal enquiries however this does not deal with urgent cases like mine. 

    When they do eventually respond, I find their responses fluffy at times and they never seem to resolve the query with one email. It normally takes a few more emails to resolve the issue. One of those companies that respond with ‘company policy’ type of information than actually listening to your issue and responding accordingly. 

    If you are going to eliminate a phone number, please ensure you have sufficient means of the customer being able to self-serve, otherwise it will only result in frustration. 

    I do think OpenRent is good value for what you pay however my recent experience seems to have unmasked the limitations of the company and why it is only £30 and not more. 

    Interested to see if anyone else has had a similar experience or what company do you use to advertise your properties?

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    It'll be interesting to see how one of the founders responds. I believe he is also a participant on PT forum so keen to see his response. I'll share my views later today Smile
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    Saagar

    Disclaimer: I have no legal expertise nor am I a qualified advisor on any subject. A humble landlord using an open forum to exchange ideas and experiences. 

    Hope so Saagar!

    Would be good to hear your experience too.

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    There is a phone number but they just take messages and pass on to the main team. They can't advise, they literally write up what you say and send it off. Pretty much the same as an online form which is a waste of resources in my opinion.

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    This has always struck me as odd. Why create an unnecessary link in the chain which leads to two people having to deal with an enquiry rather than one ?
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    I have just had an enquiry with no name just a mobile number. I am inclined to ignore it because, if the potential tenant can't even supply their name as a matter of courtesy, I don't have the time to deal with them. The system should not allow the form to be submitted without basic information IMHO.

    But as you said contact with OR is none existent without sending an email.

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    Landlord with 25 years’ experience in the property market and a specialist in tenant referencing, ID and credit screening. Creator of identity, credit and anti-money laundering system ValidID.co.uk

    After sending countless emails of why my issue is still not resolved (tenant enquiries are not coming through), I finally get a response....

    "Rest assured that our enquiries process is working fine, we are processing tens of thousands of these each day."

    But it isn't for me! Is it too much to expect someone from their IT department to investigate the issue themselves before assuming the service is working fine? Absolute joke


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    How do you know enquiries aren't getting through? Have you asked a friend to enquire to test the system?

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    I've tested myself with different email addresses and none have come through.

    I have another listing with them at the moment. I tested that one too but those enquiries are coming through fine, hence why I am certain it's a technical issue.

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    I've only used OpenRent twice in the past few years. I think they've definitely been good for the tenant find service because the local estate agents were charging too much. I also like all the other services they offer such as GasSafe, etc which are normally below market price but the service I experienced was much better.

    However, when it comes to advertising and finding tenants, it was a bit of a hit and miss. I had a lot of complaints from my tenants who I did eventually secure but from their point of view - the process of extremly convoluted. It was easy to market the property and get prospective tenants to get in touch but once an offer was accepted, the process fell down.

    I think it is completely down to their method of communication. I guess because they are tech focused - everything they are doing is automated. This also means that they loose a bit of the human touch and common sense approach. Everything they do seem to be using computer programming logic and we all know that in this sector - nothing happens logically every time.

    I just a company by the quality of customer service they provide. I think for what they price the landlords - what you've experienced, although bad, would be something I'd expect. The counter argument is that you're paying them for a service and therefore if they are promising something then you are entitled to get that service from them.

    What I'd do is find the founder/owners and send a DM via twitter. Use couple of hashtags as that tends to get some attention and a response. Or why don't you send a DM message to him via the PT site.

    Persnally, I only use OpenRent if I'm struggling to find my own tenants. I'd rather go with a local agent for the personal service I get from them. I know it's a bit hit and miss but have you tried Facebook Marketplace advert. I'd say give that a go and see what quality of enquiries you get on there + that's free!

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    Saagar

    Disclaimer: I have no legal expertise nor am I a qualified advisor on any subject. A humble landlord using an open forum to exchange ideas and experiences.