UK renters turning away from High Street letting agents

People across the UK are increasingly turning away from traditional High Dtreet letting agents in favour of online only competitors, new research has found.

An independent, nationally representative survey of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by virtual letting agency LetBritain has revealed mass consumer discontent with businesses failing to embrace digital disruption. The poll uncovered that more than half, 51%, of consumers are regularly going online to buy the vast majority of products and services they use. Furthermore, 45% now favour online services over ones that require them to go into a physical premise, with 29% actively avoiding businesses that do not offer an online service.

LetBritain’s research found consumer dissatisfaction was particularly prevalent in the lettings market, with both renters and landlords voicing discontent at the lack of quick, accessible and easy online services available to those seeking to rent a property. According to the survey 31% of adults believes that using High Street letting agents to rent out a property is outdated and overly urdened by reams of paperwork.

In response to these widespread frustrations 25% adults prefer to use online only services such as Gumtree or to source and secure a property, with 32% not having the time to use services or undertake transactions that require them to visit physical premises.

The study also showed that the majority, some 57%, believe that traditional bricks and mortar businesses will be replaced by online only or app based alternatives within the next 10 years, equating to nearly 30 million adults.

Fareed Nabir, chief executive officer of LetBritain, said: ‘Over the past decade, online solutions have drastically transformed the way we conduct business. The research clearly shows consumers not only expect but now demand that companies provide their services online.

‘And on that point, the rental market is clearly falling short, with too many high street real estate agents failing to embrace digital solutions, relying on cumbersome offline processes. For businesses in the rental market, the choice is simple, integrate and embrace online solutions or run the risk of being outpaced by changing consumer demand.’