It’s extraordinary – or maybe not, given how robotic we are – that we still blindly accept many services so utterly in the dark ages. 

Take Lettings and Property Management. But let’s call it “Renting” – after all we’re a rental society. If so, it isn’t it upon us to provide it as best we can. Because it deserves it. To be considerate, respectful – and yes, accountable – to one other.

I’ve talked to lots of landlords over the years. All of them speak about one particular individual at an estate agency who looks after their property. They phone them up, leave voicemails, and they say this particular individual does everything. Reliant on the individual, not their employer. They say “I can’t be sure. But it’s OK”  And laugh, and say “Well, there’s no alternative. I know it’s a bit backward and should be better… But what else is there?”

Really? Is that acceptable? Today? When our expectations of all else have changed so much for the better. Why not renting? Why so left behind? Why are people working in the industry still using 1980s systems, paper and voicemail? Systems out of the ark. That don’t work for them. Come on! 

Why do landlords accept it? Especially when they’re now (rightly) fully accountable to their tenants? No tax returns, no online accounts, no online banking, no performance data, still phones and emails not WhatsApp or in-app comms, no online AST signatures. Fingers crossed when they go on holiday. Why is the industry so office-bound? Seriously? So many branches? What about the carbon footprint? Why still so much paperwork? Why so many hidden extra costs? Huge opaque fees. Why paid upfront? Why so complicated? It goes on. And on. And on.

The reality is renting services have seen little investment in decades. An injustice! Starting with the staff who work in the sector. Everyone enjoys work environments with modern systems that allow us to perform efficiently. To provide the quality of service to our customers or clients that we want to. Allowing those customers or clients to enhance their performance, to willingly (not grudgingly) pay for what they’re getting. Why should renting be any different?

It’s time we woke up. We can’t be having this. That’s why we set up Herddle. A great team, quietly piecing it together in recent years. 

Rightmove and Zoopla have modernised transactions (sales and tenant find). We’re doing the same for full service thereafter. Comprehensively. Tech-enabling staff. About time too.