An estate agency that bucks the industry trend by selling only tenanted properties to landlords says it’s had a record year.
Portfolio, which specialises in selling homes with tenants remaining in situ, has just completed its third year of trading with annual revenue up 153 per cent.
The Edinburgh-based agency, which operates across Scotland, also recorded a sharp rise in the number of properties listed, while the seller leads it fielded were two-and-half times higher on the year.
Founders Chris Wood and Ross MacDonald say the increases point show the financial and logistical benefits of selling and buying tenanted properties.
They have revealed they aim to negotiate 60 sales for clients in 2021 - up from 30 sold in the past year - and say the signs for a good start to the New Year are strong.
The agency adds that the various bans on evictions during the Coronavirus crisis help their cause.
“One of the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic has been that it has created greater interest and a wider realisation in the financial and logistical advantages that selling and buying properties with tenants in situ brings” says Wood, managing director of the business.
“However, even before that, we were seeing measurable increased recognition of these benefits - particularly the fact that this means no break in rental income for either party. Certainly though, circumstances have undoubtedly accelerated this awakening.”
Agents typically recommend buy to let properties are tenant-free before going to the market. But Portolio only sells from landlord to landlord, without the need for tenants to move.
The significance of the model has been thrown into sharp focus by emergency legislation introduced by the Scottish Government shortly after the Covid-19 outbreak began, which increased the notice period that landlords must give tenants from between one and three months to six months. This is due to remain in place until March 2021.
MacDonald, Portolio’s sales director, says: “In the current circumstances, the only way a landlord of a presently occupied property can quickly take that to market is with the tenant remaining in place. This also means that they do not lose rental income as the property sits empty.
“For investors buying the right properties at the right prices, the confidence of knowing you will immediately start to collect rent is a huge positive. This maximises cash-flow on both sides of the transaction and keeps costs down.
“For tenants, our model of working removes disruption because it keeps them in their homes, despite their landlord’s decision to sell.”
The agency says that in the landlord-to-landlord market especially, the use of the latest 3D technology means investors can buy a property without needing to view it in person, particularly relevant amid Covid-19 restrictions.