The latest figures show that there are over one million apps available across leading app stores such as Google Play, Apple App Store and Amazon App store.
All these apps come with powerful functionality,so users can do almost everything that can be done on a desktop computer in a smartphone’s browser. There’s almost an app for everything fromchatting with friends via social media, checking bank accounts, booking last minute holidaysand watching breaking news videos.
Smartphones have become a must-have device for consumers across all socio demographic groups and currently about 71% of UK consumer phone users have a smartphone, according to Kantar's data and 84% of phones sold are ranked as ‘smart’.
Smartphones are here to stay and have the potential for not only improving the communications between a tenant, landlord and letting agent, but also improving tenant safety and security. For example, tenants in a multiple occupation buildings could have a safe button that they can use in the event of a fire; or have the ability to unlock their front door; or report a leak just by taking a picture of it.
Apps can empowertenants and provide access to live communications between them and the landlord or letting agent, which is transparent, immediate and auditable. This rules out any misunderstandings and keeps the relationship at arm’s length.There is also a commercial benefit for the landlord - if tenants are happy they improve the value of rental properties.
In the future, a tenant will be able to search for a property, sign the lease agreement, check the inventory, pay their rent andorganise all aspects of their moving,via their smartphone. They won’t need to pick up keys to enter the property, as access will be via an app, which willalso control the lighting and heating etc. Smartphone apps using proximity technology will enable this to happen and is already being used by some hotels,instead of key cards etc.
It is inevitable that technology will change the relationship between the landlord, tenant and letting agent, for the better. It has the potential to improve communications, empower the tenant and make property management easier.A happy and content tenant is a good thing!
Dave Cummin is the director of Arthur.