Insurtech Firm TheGuarantors Launches Security Deposit Replacement Offering

TheGuarantors, a U.S. insurtech platform for rentals, announced last week the launch of its Security Deposit Replacement (SDR)offering, which offers tenants a flexible, cost-saving alternative to meeting security deposit requirements while also reducing landlord administrative burdens and financial risks.

According to TheGuarantors, SDR replaces the costly security deposit with a much lower one-time fee, making renting in high-priced markets such as New York much more affordable. The company also noted that for landlords, SDR’s automated, centralized process significantly reduces the administrative burden of holding multiple security deposits. Landlords also benefit from strengthened coverage through a dedicated capital pool that can be used to meet additional expenses. While sharing more details about SDR, Joe Ben-Zvi, Managing Director of TheGuarantors, stated:

“SDR extends our range of services designed to eliminate the many inefficiencies in the rental process, giving tenants more options and helping landlords reduce risk and improve financial outcomes. With SDR landlords are getting a better protection compared to standard security deposits, while apartment seekers drastically reduce the high upfront costs of rentals.”

Launched in 2014, TheGurantors is backed by prominent venture-capital firms and real estate investors. The company’s first product, the Lease Guarantee, allows tenants without the required income and credit history to qualify for apartments. Since 2016, TheGuarantors has guaranteed over $100 million in rent through their lease guarantee offering and more than 150,000 rental units are enrolled to use at least one of the company’s product offerings. Julien Bonneville, Founder and CEO, added:

“Our full suite of risk reduction products helps make the apartment rental process safer, easier, and less costly for landlords and tenants alike, which ultimately creates more trust in landlord-tenant relationships. As we continue to expand our offering and user base, TheGuarantors is excited to help more individuals find and move into their new homes.”    

Airbnb Now Features RealtyShares as First Multifamily Financing Solution

 

RealtyShares, a leading online marketplace for commercial real estate investing, today announced it is featured by Airbnb as a financing resource in its Multifamily Properties Toolkit, which is described as a website that gives owners, operators, and developers of multifamily buildings resources to support long-term tenants who wish to share their space with travelers.

According to RealtyShares, landlords may now manage Airbnb activity in their buildings and share in the additional rental income with the Airbnb Friendly Buildings Program. As a result, multifamily property owners have become increasingly interested in helping their tenants improve and share their space on Airbnb. Jaja Jackson, Airbnb’s Director of Multifamily Housing Partnerships, stated:

“Home sharing is good for landlords, good for tenants and good for travelers. Adding home sharing as an option is just another way buildings can attract and retain tenants.”

RealtyShares also reported it excels at financing unique opportunities and emerging concepts, including multifamily development projects that offer long-term rentals units that can be easily shared with travelers. Traditional capital providers do not usually participate in this sector. The real estate platform raises capital for these projects through a mix of institutional funds and capital from accredited investors investing through its platform. Bill Lanting, Vice President of Debt Originations for RealtyShares, also commented:

“RealtyShares’ biggest strength is our non-traditional mentality. Landlords are increasingly interested in offering home sharing as an option for their tenants. We see a big opportunity to create value for the multifamily housing community by financing properties that are adopting this model.”

RealtyShares added in 2017 it helped finance more than 80 multifamily properties from Miami to Phoenix, each going through an extensive due diligence process by their experienced team to ensure it met the company’s rigorous standards. These complex and creative financing opportunities make up the core of the platform’s investment marketplace, which has deployed more than $700 million dollars across over 1,000 projects in 39 states.

Overfunding: Online Rental Marketplace No Agent Surpasses £400,000 Funding Target on Seedrs

No Agent, a UK based online rental marketplace, has successfully secured its initial £400,000 equity crowdfunding target on Seedrs thanks to more than 225 investors. The company launched the funding round last month, seeking the funds to continue the expansion of its platform. As previously reported, No Agent was founded in 2016 and states it is now on a mission to clean up the rental sector by delivering online customer service to those looking to rent. The company reported:

“We know this is important because landlords across the country have shared their stories with us about the stress of bad tenants damaging their properties, lost rent, strict governance, unforeseen expenses and rip off fees. In every story we hear how their agent failed to resolve matters or potentially aggravated them. For decades traditional agencies have got away with over-charging for a sub-standard service. They’re slow to respond, don’t take ownership of issues and all too often are caught misleading customers. The lack of any viable alternatives has caused this problem to persist.”

No Agent also noted it challenges the traditional over-priced and under-serviced lettings model.

“Doing what our name suggests, we have created a digital platform that removes traditional agents, bringing down the cost of managing a property by an estimated 75% & delivering great customer service. We estimate that No Agent taps into half of the current 4.2 million private rental properties that are up for let. This is considerably higher than the 1m residential properties sold per year.”

The campaign is currently set to close this spring.

 

 

Online Rental Marketplace No Agent Now Seeking £400,000 on Seedrs

No Agent, a UK based online rental marketplace, has launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs. The platform is currently £400,000 in funding through the initiative. Founded in 2016, No Agent states it is on a mission to clean up the rental sector by delivering great customer service.

We know this is important because landlords across the country have shared their stories with us about the stress of bad tenants damaging their properties, lost rent, strict governance, unforeseen expenses and rip off fees. In every story we hear how their agent failed to resolve matters or potentially aggravated them. For decades traditional agencies have got away with over-charging for a sub-standard service. They’re slow to respond, don’t take ownership of issues and all too often are caught misleading customers. The lack of any viable alternatives has caused this problem to persist.”

The platform also reported that it taps into half of the current 4.2 million private rental properties that are up for rent.

“No Agent challenges the traditional over-priced & under-serviced lettings model. Doing what our name suggests, we have created a digital platform that removes traditional agents, bringing down the cost of managing a property by an estimated 75% & delivering great customer service.

All funds from the equity crowdfunding campaign will go towards growth and expansion of the No Agent platform. Since its launch, the funding round has successfully secured more than £120,000 from nearly 90 investors. It is set to close later this winter.

LendInvest Launches Buy-to-Let Loans for Professional Landlords & Investors in England, Wales, & Scotland

LendInvest, a specialist property finance lender, announced on Thursday it has launched a buy-to-let (BTL) loan product targeted at experienced, professional property investors and landlords operating in England, Wales and Scotland. According to the platform, BTL loans are available for amounts between £50,000 and £5 million, and on terms of up to 30 years. A maximum loan-to-value of 80% applies.

“The loans are available via intermediaries. They have been priced to be highly competitive in the current specialist BTL market, and include attractive 2, 3 and 5-year fixed rate products. Loans are available for professional individuals and limited companies. The BTL product has been developed with portfolio landlords in mind and caters for the full spectrum of the residential property investment market.”

LendInvest then noted it has a fully online platform that brokers can use to apply for the BTL product for their clients. The end-to-end, paperless system was specially designed to alleviate pain points in the typical BTL mortgage process that will be very familiar to brokers and their clients, speed up applications, and provide greater administrative support to LendInvest’s experienced underwriting team. It will allow LendInvest to issue decisions (both in principle and final) very swiftly, as well as being agile and responsive to get borrowers’ deals done in as little time as possible.

In addition to benefitting from this fast and efficient online system, brokers will also continue to receive a personalized service from a named LendInvest case manager assigned to their applications. Sharing more details about the BTL mortgage process, Ian Boden, Sales Director at LendInvest, stated:

“Today we’re bringing to market a BTL product that has been created to counter the complaints and concerns we hear from brokers about the quality and accessibility of BTL loans currently on offer. Our online proposal system has been specially designed to be highly efficient, quick and easy to navigate, and lets brokers dip in and out of their clients’ applications at times that suit them. Combining these benefits with highly competitive rates, we’re confident LendInvest BTL loans will fast become a commonplace feature of the specialist lending market.”

Ian Thomas, Co-Founder & Chief Investment Officer at LendInvest, added:

“Following a successful pilot phase, we are very pleased to launch our BTL product into England, Wales and Scotland. This launch is a natural next step for LendInvest, taking us into the longer duration specialist lending space for the first time. Offering BTL loans is a critical strategic step that not only serves to address a continuing funding shortage, but takes us closer to our long-term ambition of becoming a leading whole-of-market mortgage lender.”

PropTech Platform No Agent’s Seedrs Campaign Secures £350,000 in Five Days

Last week, property technology (protech) platform No Agent launched its equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs. In less than one week, the company secured its initial funding target of £350,000 and is now nearing £400,000 from more than 100 investors.

no-agent-1Founded earlier this year, No Agent has created a fully digital property management platform that notably automates the entire rental process. This system puts landlord in control of every step in managing their properties. The company reported that since its platform’s launch, more than 3,000 users have registered on the website.

“We provide a full menu of services that the landlord can choose to use if they wish, or they can source their own solution. These include: No Agent managing the viewings for the landlord, arranging professional photography and floorplans, organising gas safety certificates, the EPC and providing maintenance options, all supplied at transparent highly competitive prices. There is also the opportunity to provide a wide range of insurance products to both landlords and tenants.

no-agent-2Funds from the campaign will be used for continuous growth and development of the No Agent platform, which includes scaling online marketing and bring more product development resource in house. The company stated it is aiming to achieve 1,150 subscribed properties before seeking Series A investment.

In a recent update, CEO of No Agent, Calum Brannan shared his thoughts about the campaign’s success so far and announced the company made the decision to go towards its stretch goal of £500,000. He added:

“This will be a great opportunity for the business and therefore we invite further investors to consider our pitch. I can confirm that for eligible investors the overfunding will be subject to EIS relief.”

LendInvest Names Sunderland Top Postcode Area For Landlords Letting Properties to Students

On Thursday, online mortgage lender LendInvest unveiled its latest Buy-to-Let Index, which revealed that England’s Sunderland is the top postcode area for landlords who are letting properties to students. 

CollegeGradsThe report observed specifically at 2016 average rental yields, the most important factor for landlords letting to students, in postcode areas with at least one of England and Wales’s top universities. LendInvest stated:

“Based on figures for 2016, property investors who invest in properties in Sunderland can enjoy average rental yields of 6.50%. Sunderland is also the cheapest place to invest in in the top 20 student towns, with the average property price standing at just £90,000. The next best area is Manchester, with an average rental yield of 6.2%. Investors here can benefit from significant demand – the city is home to three ranked universities and a student population of nearly 90,000 people. Average property prices in Manchester stand at £135,000. Cambridge may be ranked as the nation’s top university, but Oxford offers investors a better return. The average rental yield in Oxford stands at 3.9%, compared to 3.6% in Cambridge.”

Christian Faes, co-founder and CEO of LendInvest, added:

Christian Faes & Ian Thomas - LendInvest - March2016“Student towns are an excellent option for investors; there’s a steady stream of demand with each new academic year delivering prospective tenants. With A Level results out today and the year’s clearing for university places swinging into action, where’s best for student lets will be on the minds of many landlords. However landlords need to look beyond simply how big the local student population is. For instance, there are many thousands of students attending universities in London, yet when it comes to rental yields there are far more profitable areas to invest in than the capital.”

LendInvest also offered five tips for renting to students:

  • Aim for a property which has at least three bedrooms. Students tend to rent in groups of three to five people. Having more than one bathroom will also be a big selling point.
  • Location-wise, look for properties with good access to the university campus as well as basic shops and services.
  • It’s a good idea to ask for a guarantor for each student tenant. That way, even if the student doesn’t pay the rent, you can recover it from the guarantor.
  • Consider using a joint tenancy agreement, rather than an individual agreement with each tenant. This way, if one tenant drops out or leaves, you will not miss out on rent while the room is unoccupied.
  • Some universities, like the University of Southampton, compile directories of accredited private student accommodation in the area. You will need to comply with certain standards to get onto these directories, but they are a great way of directly reaching suitable tenants.