Ezytrac Landlord Update 22 August 2020

Brett Alegre-Wood
August 22, 2020

It's All About Software, Compliance and Even Closer Relationship... Ezytrac's new 2000 Target.

A bit of a longer video today but one that I hope will give you a clear understanding that we aren't just a simple property management company. 

We've got a number of announcements which will directly impact you and a lot of things that will become visible that we have been working on over the past 8 months.

  • Moving Away from Zoopla's Alto Property Software - It's just not cutting the mustard so we're moving to a new software which is already ready for the coming 2023 Making Tax Digital changes for Landlords.
  • Tim Leffler has moved into the new position of Director of Compliance for the Group.
  • 360 Degree Virtual Tours which will be stored on our own servers. 
  • New Website Updates for the Group. 
  • Apps for Tenants, Landlord, Contractors and Our Team. 
  • New Office Across the Country with Local Letting Agents - London, Lincoln, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool. 
  • We're now only using contractors that are part of the AIIC, NICEIC, BBSA, Gas Safety Register.
  • We're moving towards a much more detailed Portfolio Management through Annual Property Valuation & Rental Reports. 
  • We've also introduced the new Tiers - Standard, Effortless Plus, Effortless Gold. 


Why not listen to Brett's Podcast Available on Audible, Spotify, Apple and Google Podcasts.

The 3+1 Plan Brett AlegreWood
The 3+1 Plan Brett AlegreWood
Get the perfect plan for todays market. Download The 3+1 Plan now!
Get the perfect plan for todays market. Download The 3+1 Plan now!

If you need to chat with the team about moving onto the new tiers and taking advantage of these tiers simply contact Caroline Bevis Onboarding Manager on +44 (0)1522503710 who can help you find the perfect tier for your effortless experience. Check out the new tier systems - Onboard.ezytrac.co.uk

Live with passion & fun,

Brett Alegre-Wood

Video Transcription

Hi guys, so who believes, end of all this already but I've got some really really good news. Actually, it's probably gonna be a bit of a longer video to say but bear with me because I think it's worthwhile really seeing where we're going, I explain what I've been doing we've been sort of not distracted. We've been working in the background but what's going to happen now the background is now going to become the foreground, you'll see a lot more stuff from us, that will benefit you and stuff that we've actually been building in the background and now you'll you'll see in the front. I'll explain in a minute if you're confused but look, bottom line is a lot of what we're doing is software based, okay it's it based. And a lot of these data base we've been going into the data and getting it all right and working out what we have gotten haven't got and all that sort of thing and I've actually had a team a external team actually from Singapore office who have been working full time on this. Okay, so you know and now it's really starting to come to fruition and really we're starting to get those systems, worked out. We had a period where. Last year we had a general manager who really wasn't very competent and who actually had no idea without doing okay well they've left which has been great, which has allowed us to step in and it's amazing what you can achieve when you get some leadership and direction and somebody knows what they're doing, you know, and has the qualifications and has the compliance background, you know, we've got now Tim on board and actually that's one of the announcements too is Tim now is moving out of the lettings the day to day lettings side as head of lettings. And he's moving to become director of compliance to the entire group, so, so much is happening now, down the compliance route that I've taken the decision that rather than have, you know, each individual person doing that what I've done now is I've turned it into a group function across all of business, and so audit and oversight and all that sort of stuff. Tim's got years of experience he's very experienced on that side of it on compliance side so he's a perfect person for it. And that really frees up the team to do a lot of things, was having the compliance oversight which is great news so that's that's going to be phased in because obviously it's got these files and things like that that we're slowly working through, and they'll be handed to a new property manager, they bring in who we won't name yet haven't offered or name the person Yes, we have made the offer yet, but we're in the process. It's looking quite good and quite experienced, but okay. So coming back to software and things so lots changing in the industry. Okay. And you will have already seen this if you've been watching the news and doing things like that. And so one of the big things that we're doing is not only are we training our team. Okay. On the compliance side and the process side we're going back to the process, but we're also going into the systems and software, because that actually is a huge leap forward that we're seeing in the industry now is that there's so much that can be done online, which makes it much more efficient so for you guys you would have seen a lot from the landlord side you know I guess the onboarding side and that stuff a little bit from the tenant side we've done a lot. And it's amazing, actually, we're gonna be efficient man the eviction ban has actually been extended out points but anyway we're not gonna get into the politics of that. But bottom line is, if you think we have over 1200 50 properties we manage, and yet we've only got six people who we need to go through the eviction process with. Okay, there's a number of others who are in arrears and things like that we've got manageable and they came to those arrangements. So that's not a lot in fact that's a tiny proportion. So, this shelter and generation, and all these guys are saying, mass you know homelessness that is absolute crap it's either absolute crap, or that we managed it so goddamn well, and have such fantastic tenants. But I think part of it is that we have really good systems, and we took the right approach very early on to managing the expectations of tenants, but also getting you guys on board as landlords with the situation so I think that was really good. And that's worked really, really well for us. So, that is a part of the automation we've been doing the background and you know a lot of that now is automated. the team don't have to get involved as much until we've got lots of data, and you know there's forms that forms are automated and send out emails and some of those emails you would have received already. And then that's the byproduct of this but what we're doing now is we're bringing all those on and they'll become a lot more visible to you and tenants and things like that. So that's the first thing. The second thing. And I guess the big major changes we've identified that are altos system that is owned by Zoopla, you know, one of the biggest software companies in property. It's just not fit for purpose, it just doesn't do and they're a dinosaur. Their attitude is all wrong. They don't give a support don't change they have an upgrade the system. They say it's the, you know that play ship piece of software. And yet, you know, once it took two weeks for them to come back on a support request for me. You know, it's just appalling what went on there, and you know things like landlord statements you guys asked he put a simple statement, and we cannot we cannot export it out of the system. And, you know, their answers for everything seems to be is that, oh yes it's in development, or it's, you know, on the timeline, but we don't have a date yet. And it's kind of like no no, this is frustrating. You know they sold it under one premise and the reality was something totally different. So what I've done I've gone out there. And I've looked at a whole range of software I mean we've done so many demos and things like that. We're now choosing a particular software and I'd say who it is yet. But the great thing is it integrates with Xero QuickBooks, and effectively, that gives us huge flexibility in what we can do. Moving to the future and certainly making text digital, which comes in in 2023 for all landlords which means you have to have an online bookkeeping that takes the tax effectively HMRC can go into and do audits if they want to. Okay, and they'll tell you but you need to attach receipts to it all that sort of stuff. So by moving now we're getting ahead of the eight ball, you know, and I think that's a good move. And although a lot of the other software's will do this, you know, it means that you're now beholden to that piece of software and the reports they offer the flexibility offer the software we're going to allows multiple. It has Zapier integration and what if you don't know what that means. It means it connect to thousands of different pieces of software. You can export things you can change things you can do things a whole range of flexibility. And that's what I really want to understand my big passion around this property is you know I love property, and I love the business and I love what we do and I love animals and lots of stuff tenants, you know, yeah okay we get along quite well. But really my big passion is trying to make everything effortless as possible for you, but also me as a landlord. Okay, you know, a lot of the things that I do I do because I figured this is gonna work better for me and my portfolio. Yeah, and but coming from that I squarely put myself in your shoes. And that's one of the frustrating things has been okay so let's move on so software changing so they don't change probably and it's progressively over the next two or three months we're going to be doing that. You may not notice any differences until your statements start changing. But what what's happening in the background is we've changed, we've actually integrated all the processes that we've got for lettings for managing a resolve these sort of things. A lot of that stuff is going to be changing, you won't notice a lot of stuff because actually it's already changed, you know, aggressively that we'll be doing it last year. So, next one is 360 dollhouse it's all sort of 360 virtual tools. This is the future guys. And if you're not doing it. You're not embracing the change, and I'm going to say, over the next three to six and 12 months in probably two years. The market will slowly shift now everyone says oh everybody's doing vegetables, they're not. Okay. In fact, by far the majority people are not doing virtual tours. Okay, but that is the direction is heading, and that is the direction, you will need to pick. So what we want to do is get those virtual tours. Now one of the problems we're getting with a lot of these virtual tours is you got to store them, and they end up being a software as a service a monthly service fee and things like that which just ends up being too much. So what we're going to look at doing is actually bringing it in house, and we may be using a consultant to go out there and do it. Okay, but we'll store on our own servers and our own thing. And by doing that, what it means is effectively when we go to Rightmove or Zoopla or any of the other portals, because now there's a whole range of other portals competition competition Zoopla Rightmove that they are the biggest Yeah, there's on the market, all that stuff. We're going to be opening our account with those who are so we'll be displaying your property, they're also on our websites, you know, we've got a whole new range of websites happening. So, for instance, easy track, Canada, UK will be phased out, and we've never ezytrac.uk, not yet, but soon. Okay, we're just doing the design on that, but we're integrating all the different websites, we've got, there's four different websites that we actually run with easy track, they're all coming into one website now okay and everything will be under one umbrella one website, and we're going to start marketing out to other landlords of bringing landlords on directly, not just through the glad fish relationship. Okay, so that's part of where we going you know in that. But the great thing for you guys for the August objective is the tenants are going to have an app which means I can do everything on the app. Okay. You will also have an ad, a contract will have an app, you know, and so basically, all of this is integrated into this one system the software that we're using. So the great thing about that is that you can basically be on your phone and go. How's my you know haven't been paid my rent, yes I have because it's written right there. You know, and you can say hey look, there's the maintenance request that's come through, you know, and it's been dealt with overseas because the status is that, yeah. And we'll, we'll introduce that in due course but that's what's going to be happening over the next three months. Okay, so big changes there. So, another changes. So base model and mo one change Oh by the way, this is just in addition to our model. Okay, we've got a network of agents that we use all around the country and we will continue to have that because we've got properties around the country. I mean, my target now is to go from 1200 50 to 2000 properties. Okay, so that is really, it's a target 2000 plan that that I'm working on right now. and we're about to stop that real focus. Okay, so everything you'll hear from me will be about moving us from there to there the systems of processes everything on that. A lot of we've already done in the background. But now we're gonna sort of be poking ahead I think guy and boom, we're in marketing in the environment. That's good for you guys but also a real beta for you guys, we've got the London office now in central London. Okay. In Clarendon okay at Clerkenwell row, which is where the glide fish guys are based that we're also going to be basing EZ track property there. Okay, so in London, and they will be a write us a series of agents that go out and let your properties and eventually sell your property. Okay. And we're gonna be doing that in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Lincoln To start off with, and then Liverpool. Okay, so then the five areas that we have, actually, in all those areas have got at least 200 properties. If you're talking London will have more like 700 properties, you know in a lot of those areas and you know with attachments and things like that. No loophole not so much on LinkedIn, not so much but but certainly Manchester Birmingham, you know, the amount of property there. And the great thing about that is that they will be working for us, they'll be employed by us, and their time will be spent working for you guys. Okay, so it won't be necessarily we'll still use those local agents as well, but we'll use them in conjunction with our agents, but it also means things like inspections. It also means like things like you know maintenance and all these sort of things that we can do anything. Okay, so that's a big big news that we're working on and that'll be happening you know the next sort of, well, it's actually over the next 12 months those five offices. Okay. Next contractors, okay now look this contract is always there's not a business or not a period in my life where contractors haven't been the bane of our existence, to some degree, you know, getting quotes and sending people out and workmanship and all that sort of stuff, anyone that knows property knows that that is the most frustrating part. Okay, so what we've decided to do is rather than have a few set ones. What we're now doing is we're re embarking and we're still going to use the guys that we know we're not getting rid of those relationships, by any means, but now we've opened up and now we're using things like the NIC EIC which is the National inspection council electrical installation. Contractors Association I think it is, or something like that anyway. Nic Nic is the website and effectively we go on there and if we didn't see our electrical installation condition report. Okay, we'll go on there and we'll source the contractor from there in the local area. Okay, so rather than having someone who may be travelling, we're getting people who are local. Okay. And obviously because in a lot of places we have multiple properties that works really well for us. Alright so that's the next thing we're using guest site register. Okay, which you find to have to do they have to be on the guest sec register anyway so that's nothing new but in case you know yet that guest cycle guest safety is always done through asset register or someone who's on the register. And then, the AI IC which is the Association of Independent inventory clerks, okay, which. So when we talk about inventories, that our contractors have to be a member of that organisation. Okay, so, because there's a minimum standard we make sure that PR and all these sort of things. Okay. And if we need to raise a complaint we can raise a complaint with them as well as obviously the person. So, so this is one of the benefits of using these guys plus, leaving local people if they go back and fix something up. It's not a major drama. Alright so that's good. And then finally the BB si which is the British blinds and shutters Association. Alright, and using those for blinds and shadows. Okay, so it's these bodies which have registers which they pre that people will be using those and obviously in the areas will build up relationships and we already have. In fact, most of the people we already use are on these organisations and that's why we're using them now, but rather than sending somebody, you know, to the other side of London, we're just going to build a relationship with somebody, local. Okay, so effectively with contractors we're getting local now, that will mean it doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be cheaper doesn't mean that it's going to be faster, but what it means is that if they need to pop in if they even go, it's generally, sorry, it probably means they fast that's a big benefit is that they will generally I mean already I've had some guys who go. Yeah, I'll do that on my way home this afternoon. Yeah, because I live right next door to royal Arsenal say which is the place I'm talking about in that case. Now, so that's good news. Okay, what else. So, we're also introducing the annual property Val and value Property Valuation and rental reports. Okay. I'll make up a bit of nine but basically what that is, is we're now using a very a number of different automated valuation models which is effectively using data that brings together data and values your property for value, and for rent. Okay, and effectively what these will do. You know, it's about a 20 page report we bring it together. And we'll give that out to you and basically what we'll do the intelligence the will add to that because. And make no mistake right now. It's average. Okay. On some properties is fantastic there's really good data in that. But these algorithms are just getting built up and as we change the algorithms only better with the algorithms, they'll become more accurate and also as the data opens up which is now starting to happen. Okay, so that's the end so what it means, if you've got a portfolio with us. It won't just be one property we'll do all properties at the same time and this can also help with increasing your rent on an annual basis because we can say look the rent and rent is significantly lower than what the AVM what a beta value, automated valuation model says, so we suggest, let's try and get a much bigger height. Yeah, there's certain restrictions around you know consumer price index increases and things like that we are not really worried about that so effectively what we want to be doing is raising your rent, you know, every year, little by little by little because that adds up what we don't want to be doing is leaving it where it is and then trying to, you know, just keep it up. All right, so that's that report you'll start to see that coming out. Okay. And certainly, I've started without a larger portfolios which started now getting those done because I'm going to be personally doing it I'm starting off. So the first few people that are doing them. And we do that but I've actually got the team in Singapore, they're working with myself and Rachelle who are actually going to be doing and preparing those reports. Okay, so I'll have oversight of those. Look, you know, they won't. This is an automated process, but we want to start incorporating that because then we can say well this year was this this year was this this year is this new subtract the trends, you see where you go against the trends. We also have the data against all the other properties in that particular development so we can say two bedrooms their development gave a 50, and you're on 750, we need to get you up to 50. Yeah. Or we might be well you're well above that, you know, let's just you know be, be mindful of that. So that's the sort of stuff that we're doing, final point. Okay, we've changed now actually since we started we have not raised our fees. Okay, we've not changed our fee structure we're not doing anything like that. Yeah, but obviously with the things like the tenant fee ban and a whole host of compliance from landlord licencing to all that sort of stuff. We've had to look relook at our fees. Okay. And so what we've done is we've come up with a number of tiers, and these are new tiers. So right now, if you're on the old tier. That won't be available going forward. Okay, you'll have to come up with one of the new tiers. That doesn't necessarily mean it's gonna cost more or differently. There's a number of options, you've got there's a standard here, which is kind of a pay as you go. It's the low, you know monthly fee. You know management fee, but then you pay, depending on what happens to there's maintenance and things like that. So, you know, that's there. I wouldn't suggest that, I think, you know, given where we're at and understand there's the efforts of that I wouldn't be on now, if it was plus. And then if it was gold, if it was plus is where it's pretty much where we do everything for you. But if anything out of it had to happen so I tend to move in and out and go to pay for those sort of things. Okay, you don't have the website onboard. He's got plenty Okay, okay, and basically there, you'll see the shedule of fees, and they're active now, so if you want to move on to these and take advantage of the benefits of that. They by all means now speak to Caroline. She's running the business development side of things, and she can look at how and I'm putting proposals here for the new tiers. Okay, now, and then there's airflow Scott so everyone's goal is basically pay a monthly fee and nothing else. So if a tenant moves in or out, it doesn't matter, that's covered within our management fee. All right, so there's there's those options, okay and you know you'll, you'll move to one of those options effectively. And you know for those that haven't already, you know, we'll be moving you in the next sort of three months, because we want everyone to come across. So we'll be getting rid of the old thing. So guys, that's just, you know, I was gonna say brief it's not really brief it's quite long. But I think that's usually a good broad range of where we're moving towards, you know, you're gonna see our online presence changing ICS systems, the automation of our systems change a lot of things like that. Okay. And we're really putting a lot of time to training our team up so that one point a call. Yeah, those guys know about your entire portfolio and can advise you on your portfolio and really give you the data you need to make a decision then in there. All right. You know, there's a lot of intelligence and a lot of learning that we have that, you know, doesn't necessarily get out so even things like this, I was talking now you know is a great way of me to communicate things, but if you're on the websites, you'll see lots of articles about various things. And you speak to the team and say, Hey, I broke down a video on this. Yeah. Then, what the team can do is I can actually email me and I'll do the video within a couple of days. I'll have a video app that's on the website on social media all over the place. Okay, so yeah guys that gives you a bit of a thing. As always, we're here to serve you do whatever we can you know if you've got ideas of your things, please email me, you know I'm more than happy to take feedback on anything. All right, guys. Have a fantastic day, and hopefully stay safe with COVID and yeah let's hope we don't get locked down anymore and things can open up and get the vaccine and all that sort of stuff. But you have a great day.


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