New research has revealed that both tenants and landlords believe unhelpful real estate agents are among the biggest obstacles to their happy co-existence.
Research commissioned by the founders of a new “matchmaking” app that connects renters and property owners has found that 64 per cent of Aussie renters wished they could deal with a landlord directly instead of through a real estate rental agent.
More than half of tenants (53 per cent) said this was because it takes too long for agents to resolve issues, while 57 per cent of Aussie landlords are open to working with renters directly.
Also, 54 per cent of property providers (as they are officially known in Victoria) admit to having “trust issues” with their real estate agents while 20 per cent of renters also say they would prefer a direct relationship with their landlords because they simply don’t fully trust rental agents.
These impressive stats are one thing but they have only confirmed the nightmares of Eleanor Meireles and Lianne Peters, co-founders of residential rental app Dwell.
For instance, while pregnant, Lianne went almost three months without a functioning toilet in her rented house, despite repeated requests for repairs.
“We created Dwell as we believe in a kinder, gentler and fairer rental market for all,” she says. “Ultimately, it’s clear that most landlords and renters want to do right by one another and Dwell will help them do that – and cost less in the process.”
“Ultimately, renters are making a huge decision about where they will live, and landlords are looking for people they can trust to look after what is likely their most valuable asset,” says Eleanor. “Yet so many people have had horrible experiences.”
The two women launched Dwell in NSW this week, before rolling it out to other states when, they say, renting is becoming more of a long-term reality for many Australians, due to the global pandemic.
Over 30 per cent of renters hoping to buy into the property market say Covid-19 has negatively impacted their plans, while 62 per cent of landlords predict there will be more properties on the long-term rental market.
Renters can use the app to apply for properties and upload required documents and pet information, for instance. Once they have moved in, Dwell allows them to more easily contact the owners when they need something fixed.
Almost 45 per cent of renters say they’ve had maintenance problems with services like water, electricity or plumbing and about two-thirds say they were unhappy with their agent’s response time.
“Dwell allows renters and landlords to search for the property or renter that’s right for them,” explains Eleanor, building on an existing reservoir of trust that too many rental agents get in the way of.
A massive 84 per cent of landlords said their tenants were responsive when a property issue came and 97 per cent said they were on good terms with their current renters.
But statistics and good intentions are one thing. The question remains whether enough renters and landlords will sign up for the app to hit the critical mass required to make it viable.
To download the Dwell app and check it out for yourself, head to https://dwellnicely.com/download.