Letproof Blog

Letproof Blog

Welcome to the Letproof.com blog. We aim to bring you up to date on things happening in the property market.

 

 

 

What Makes a Really Great Startup?

The journey of a startup can be a long one, from the initial idea to the blossoming of the whole venture.  There are so many steps from start to finish and many routes to get there, so where do you begin and where can you go wrong?

 

We’re a growing startup so we know how difficult this journey can be.  However, with the fundamental qualities in place, the journey can be made that much smoother.  We’re into the New Year, so as a way of taking stock ourselves and helping any other eager startups out there, we’re taking a look at the important points that can help a startup reach the point of success.

 

So, what must a successful startup comprise of to reach the desired success status?

 

A focused and passionate founder

The driving force behind a startup is the founder, this person can set the tone for the whole startup, journey and employees.  A passionate driving force such as Andrew Seymour, founder of Letproof.com, will ensure all doors are opened and all avenues are explored in the effort to find success for their startup. So founders, keep the passion alive and keep focused!

 

The power to disrupt their market

Does the concept have the power to disrupt the market?  Is it something different enough to instil change in the market? This isn’t essential of course, but if a startup has the possibility to make a real change to the way that that market works and the passion behind it to create new norms, that can be a powerful quality, especially when looking for investment.

 

Building an engaging community organically

Having the support of a community, shows that you have the trust of this community, and is a great way for your startup to grow from the very beginning; with a tight-knit community gradually building and engaging with your startup, you can learn from their needs and can change as you grow in the early stages.

 

Encourage and Respond to feedback

Leading smoothly on from the above point, encouraging feedback from all around can be scary but is such a positive experience overall.  Whether this be via social media, via your website, in person, from peers or industry experts, all feedback should be welcomed and most importantly responded to.  This way, with outside views, your startup can grow and develop the way your customers and the industry requires it to

 

An interest in social change

Is the startup going to benefit, bring about or support social change in any way? Showing an interest in making a difference, for obvious reasons is an excellent idea.  This may attract customers who would not have noticed you otherwise and speaks well for your brand as a whole. An interest in aiding something bigger than yourselves is an attractive quality to show to customers, peers and investors.

 

Filling a gap in the market

Finally, possibly one of the most important, does the startup fill a gap in the market?  Letproof.com for example fills the gap that has appeared as landlords and tenants have become tired, frustrated and complain about the lengthy process and high costs of letting agents. This is likely how you began your startup, by identifying this gap, but keep this clear and constantly in mind as you grow.






 

 

Repairing our Housing Crisis in the UK

 

The housing crisis in the UK isn’t going anywhere. And who’s affected? Most of us, by rising house prices and rising rents; renters are unable to afford rising rents and letting agent fees, which are yet to be banned, and homelessness is rising at an alarming rate, with one in every 200 people homeless. (Shelter)

 

We have a broken housing system, we can agree; what we don’t seem to be able to do is find a solution that really works. Migration and fewer bodies per household are huge contributing factors to this, household size has almost halved over the past century (Financial Times)

 

This Autumn the Government has put forward £25 million to invest in the building of ‘needed’ housing in the UK, for trades to be learned and buildings to be developed; but how far will this go and does more need to be done?

 

A change in the whole process, experience and approach needs to be implemented.  

 

What is being demanded of the rental sector? Foremost, transparency, from tenants and landlords, the Government have even called for ‘more transparency’ in the rental sector themselves by announcing the tenant fees ban, Letproof.com strongly believe that transparency is an essential step to aiding the housing crisis.

 

What else is being done to make renting more accessible in the UK? Build to let properties are underway in many cities already.  With a great number, around 4.3 million, now renting in the UK, these properties will play their part in the lack of affordable housing.

Longer Term Tenancies were obviously a welcome announcement for tenants, offering more security when renting,  however, the Guardian reports that the Government WhitePaper is ‘limiting longer tenancies to new, purpose-built private rented homes’ and that unfortunately ‘the government has offered renters the bare minimum’ here.

 

We raise the question again, ‘is this enough or should there be more done for tenants?’. We’re moving in the right direction; no fees for tenants and more rental homes being provided with some, however, restricted, longer-term tenancies offered, signifies slightly better times ahead for tenants.

 

Theresa May is moving away from a focus on home ownership, in line with the rising numbers of those now, for many reasons, renting in the UK.  

 

Overall, it's clear that more needs to be done to make renting an affordable and available option for those who cannot or do not want to get on the property ladder; renters need to be provided with an accessible route to their rental properties, knowing they won’t be exploited by their letting agents. Even post ban, tenants may still feel the repercussions of agent fees, passed on through their landlords,  if their fees then increase as a result.

 

It is a change to the process of renting as a whole that Letproof.com are working towards - join us or learn more here.

 


 

 

Why should you be interested?

 

We’re revolutionising rental, we’re disrupting the outdated routes to rental and removing the letting agent altogether - less cost and less complication.

 

We’ve built our platform, now we’re building an app, to make it incredibly easy for landlords and tenants to come together, match, use our resources and experience a transparent, simple renting relationship.

 

Our next step is to make the whole simple process, even simpler for landlords and tenants on the go. Apps account for 89% of mobile media time, with the other 11% spent on websites. (Smart Insights).

 

We’re live on Kickstarter now and will be until the 12th of January.  We’re excited to be taking the next step with Letproof.com, our user base is growing but we hope to be able to bring the game-changing Letproof.com concept to so many more via our app, first though, we need pledges.  

 

Kickstarter has brought some real success stories, getting so many to get startups off the ground, we’re hoping we can count on support from our followers and for anyone who is being introduced to Letproof.com now, we hope you see the potential we have to really change rental for the better and want to help us reach our goal over the next month.

 

This is not another online agency looking to offer the same services as Rightmove, Zoopla or even Purple Bricks, we are a platform for landlords, conducting their own tenant search, and tenants, looking to find their own property and landlord, to match and communicate directly to form a rental relationship with more trust, transparency and simplicity.

 

If you’d like to make a pledge, small or large, we’d appreciate it very much, and the rewards available might tempt you on their own, however, if you’d just like to spread the word, tell people who you feel might love to hear about Letproof.com and our Kickstarter project, then that too would be appreciated.

 

Join the Future of Letting, get behind us.  You can go straight to our Kickstarter page here - Kickstarter

 

Today saw the announcement of the 2017 budget - but what came of it for the UK’s housing crisis?

 

Theresa May had claimed to ‘personally’ take charge of the housing crisis, does the budget announced by her Government live up to this promise?

 

The housing headlines:

 

  • Remove barriers to longer-term tenancies and encouraging landlords to offer this security for those who want it

 

  • 28 million invested in ‘housing first’ pilots

 

  • A Homelessness taskforce to halve homelessness by 2022 and end it by 2027

 

  • Proposed 300, 000 new homes a year

 

  • Stamp duty no longer to be paid by first time buyers on purchases up to  £300,000 and between this and 500,000 will be charged for that over the threshold.

We all know we are increasingly in pursuit of convenience, speed, accessibility and simplicity, we see this in the technology we carry with us, for many nearing an extension of ourselves, in the way we order food, via Just Eat or Deliveroo, even in the way we date, swiping with the swish of a finger to find ‘the one’; we see this and we know that expectations for fast-paced answers for our fast-paced lives are high and rising.

 

We also, however, thankfully are seeing and demanding the need for a better society, for changes to be made to the unfair circumstances we often experience in today’s society.

 

In turn we are seeing today’s entrepreneurs offer up exciting and socially beneficial solutions to the issues and difficulties arising or developing

 

We’re taking a look at and admiring some other, fabulous apps who are really making their entrepreneurial mark, improving our society as it develops. We’re not talking charity here, we’re talking about those apps or platforms who are doing what they’re doing, with the hope, aim and intention of making a positive social change along the way!

 

 

Although we are clearly a little bias, this platform is breaking the one consistent complaint surrounding rental and letting in the UK, the sheer cost and complication of the whole affair is baffling for tenants and landlords alike. Paying fees for processing, admin and other things often unknown or explained, are less frequently tolerated and both parties are now straying and looking elsewhere. This has generated the evolution from the high street agent to the online, where these sites still operate with agents, a middleman which is where the costs increase.

 

The solution, to remove this middleman - Letproof.com

 

Orange Harp

This is a very passionate and inspirational app, who have tapped into the app-loving generation and those who care where and how their products are made and their effects on the planet.

Orange harp introduces us to a pool of designers and retailers producing ‘well-made, long-lasting, and socially conscious’ products while ‘creating a fulfilling shopping experience’.

 

 

Ankommen

This app is Germany based, but with such a positive cause we felt we must give it a mention!  The app has seen the need of those seeking asylum in their country and provides an introduction to all kinds of useful information to asylum seekers, including help with employment, learning the language and ‘answers to everyday practical questions’ to make settling into a new culture and country much simpler!

 

TrainTrick

How often have you been sitting on a delayed train, late, missing your appointment and frustration growing that you’ve actually paid good money for this inconvenience? Well, now you can do something about it with a few clicks on your mobile.  Traintrick is giving consumers the power to easily claim their refunds for these delayed journeys, processed by the Traintrick team!

@traintrickapp

 

Digimeal

This was founded by two sisters when the eldest found that her university experience often left her with seemingly useless leftover ingredients. The app takes the 3 ingredients you enter and gives you a meal or dish to make to use them up.

This app is not only positively encouraging cooking and resourcefulness among a new generation but also combatting the issue of food waste in the UK - brilliant!

@digimeal





 

We’re definitely feeling the cold creeping in now we’re in November, the heating is on and the scarves and gloves are now a frequent companion whenever we leave the house.  So, before the cold really sets in, it’s time to get your property properly prepared for the coming winter months.  If you’re a tenant, speak to your landlord if you notice anything that needs attention, and, if you’re a landlord, it’s important to keep on top of property maintenance all year round and winter prepping can avoid more serious (and often more costly) issues further down the line

 

At Letproof.com we’ve put together a little guide to get you started, no excuses!  So, dump that 'it can wait' frame of mind and get winter proofing!

 

Insurance

No one likes sorting out insurance, however... take the time this weekend, while you enjoy a cup of tea, to check your home insurance policy. What does it cover?  If you need to claim, at least you'll be prepared and know what you’re able to claim on. It might also pay to check that if you aren’t covered for certain Winter emergencies as a tenant, that your landlord is so that neither of you gets caught out.

 

Exclude those drafts

Windows and doors with broken seals are letting in the draft, letting out the warm air inside, which you’re paying for, and can be easily fixed, so get checking. 

Adding a door sweep at the bottom of your door is another great way to ensure none of that outside chill is getting into the house and they aren’t generally expensive to buy either!

 

Boiler Checks

Are your boiler and your heating system in good working order? If the property is a rental property then it should be checked annually so you'll likely find it is ship shape, however, if you’re unsure when it was last checked, ask your landlord.  The last thing you want is no heating and hot water in Winter!

 

Insulate

This one is a bit of a bigger job to undertake, however, if you have the ability or resources to do so, getting up into your loft to check the insulation is a task worth completing.

 

Look Up

Is there anything that requires attention on your roof or chimney?  If there are any loose tiles or chimney cracks these will only get worse after a season of wind, rain and snow, so if you think it needs attention, get a quote or speak to your landlord.  As we said, acting early can be less expensive than the alternative. 

 

Radiators, ready!

Are your radiators ready to go? If the heat isn’t distributed evenly across your radiator and the tops are cooler than the bottom, you might need to bleed them to bring them back to their most efficient.

You might also want to check if you have any insulation behind your radiators, you can actually produce a makeshift version yourself, using sheets of tinfoil!

 

Avoid burst pipes

This can be a common problem over the winter periods, so if you’re not sure if you have any insulation on your pipes, this is a prime example of a preventative measure. Pipe lagging can be relatively inexpensive too, so get it on your to-do list!

In addition, if we're forcast particularly cold weather, keep your heating on low to ensure they don't get the chance to freez.  

A nice extra for Spring...

Get your garden in order, as late into winter as you feel you can manage.

Cutting back those leafy trees and bushes will help keep the exterior of your home or rental property tidier over Winter, less leafy debris to clear from the ground, drains and gutters! Plus, clearing those borders and flower beds of dead plants is a great way to prepare your garden for Spring planting (if that’s your thing)...

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