Rentals.co was envisioned in 2017, the paperwork was finalised in the first half of 2018 and by August, the new brand was ready to roll.
The front face of Rentals.co, Bronwyn Inglis, says huge demand for rentals – particularly larger, four bedroom homes – has pulled the business forward, and the team are learning on the way. While Al Inglis has been focusing on appraisals for the development of property, Bronwyn and a team of property managers have been taking care of more than 500 rentals across Northland while also upskilling. “Staffing has gone really well,” Bronwyn says. “Our team of girls, the new ones, are getting ready to sit their training. First lot of training begins at the start of next year. They’ll become accredited as property managers.”
Part of that training will involve learning the functionality of Tenancy Portal, one of the most innovative online services for processing credit checks and applications around tenancies. “It’s got so busy that I need to come off the front desk,” Bronwyn says. “My daughter Odette will be moving back from Christchurch and will run the front desk here to give me a break.”
Getting the public to learn what Rentals.co stands for has been successful, Bronwyn estimates. “The branding has gone really well, people are loving the vehicles, the fresh clean approach. We’ve had good feedback. People are loving the signage, it’s not complicated and it’s easy to read.”
From conceiving a name suggesting an online presence, Rentals.co has strived to optimise digital communication and reduce the need for in-office visits and phone calls. Not everyone is aware of Rentals.co’s online forms but this should be optimised soon. “We’re getting there slowly. It’s all a learning curve.”Director Al Inglis agrees the brand embraces the changing demand of people. “We have the ability to give people what they require through the website. It’s created a more efficient use of time for landlords and tenants.”
Al said two major political changes affecting the property management industry have trickled down to Rentals.co. “It’s been about embracing the new changes, no letting fees, as well as the Gluckman Report. That’s changed how we see meth and suggested levels of for decontamination. Housing NZ and the Tenancy Tribunal are adopting those levels – that has a flow-on effect and affects the properties we manage.”
“These changes have also impacted the value of rent. With house prices going out of reach, more people need somewhere to live, which has meant more renters.” “Given the shortage of properties and high demand, we have the ability to match good tenants with homes.”
Meanwhile, the innovative attitude at Rentals.co is slowly having an effect on customer behaviour. “The need for a tenant to attend an office to see what’s available is no longer required. Tenants no longer need to fill out applications in the office. The days of window advertising and print media are all gone as well.”