For the past several months, Upad.co.uk, the “UK’s largest online letting agent” (that’s their ballsy slogan, not my attempt of flattery), have been providing readers’ of this website with exclusive promotional codes, which allow landlords to use any of their ‘tenant find services’ at super discounted rates.
However, even with the generous discount code applied, Upad are still comparatively expensive compared to most other online letting agents, most notably their biggest rivals, OpenRent. So landlords are often, and rightly so, wondering if Upad is actually worth it?
56% Upad Discount Code / Voucher for UChoose package
FREE Exclusive 56% Discount (includes Free Rightmove Premium Listing Voucher), which can be used on Upads tenant-find ‘UChoose’ package. This bundle is normally £239, but you can get it for £104 with this discount voucher! You won’t find this voucher anywhere else!
How much more expensive is Upad?
The average online letting agent that will advertise your rental on Rightmove & Zoopla charge landlords £60 or thereabouts for their no-frills tenant-find packages, while Upad’s discounted rate is £104 for their standard tenant-find UChoose package. But let’s assume they’re not in a generous mood for a moment, and they revoke the super awesome (and exclusive) discount code, then landlords will need to cough up more than double for an equivalent package, at a whopping £149 (inc VAT) *chokes on air* HOW MUCH?!?
But that’s not all.
If you’re looking for a more premium service from Upad, with all the bells and whistles, then you’re looking at significantly more spondoolies:
I have raised the issue directly with Upad before, the fact their ballsy price tag is probably scaring the shit out of landlords.
I mean, their price tag isn’t even close to their competitors, which ‘on the surface’ is offering a comparable product.
The premium packages (e.g. UPay On Success and Fully Managed) are heavily loaded with perks and seem to line-up better with their competitors in terms of price, and they’re certainly a decent solution for landlords looking for a more complete hands-off service. Especially the “Pay on success” package, which seems to grab a lot of attention for the obvious reasons. But, I want to focus on the ‘uChoose’ package, because it’s comparable to what other agents are offering for less than half the price, and it’s the service that most self-efficient landlords are opting for.
So, is it worth stumping up the extra cash?
What do Upad say about their pricetag?
After probing them with questions, this is what Upad came back with…
“Upad say their price is just right” (no real surprise there), and they’re more expensive than their competitors because their level of customer service is that much more superior, and that’s backed up by their continuing market growth and positive feedback.
Most of Upad’s customers are either repeat customers or referrals from satisfied customers, which obviously speaks highly of their service.
They also say that “Upad” is searched more highly in Google than “Online Letting Agents“, which signals the power of their reputation/brand in the industry. Kind of like what “Hoover” has done in the world of vacuums (i.e. Hoover is actually the brand).
I’m not entirely sure how they gathered that data, but I’m not 100% convinced it’s entirely accurate. I’m not denying their reputation/brand, but I’m pretty sure a lot of that search data is tainted by users accidentally typing “upad” when actually meaning “ipad” (since “i” and “u” are next to one another on a keyboard- easy mistake to make).
There’s no easy way of being able to differentiate between legitimate landlords searching for “upad” and those meaning to type “ipad” Anyways, that’s just my opinion. Either way, their point is the Upad brand is synonymous for ‘quality’ in the online letting arena. You get what you pay for.
I also asked their marketing Director, Michael, for an official statement on why YOU should choose them, this is what they came back with…
Upad is the online agent created by landlords, for landlords. They won Best Online Agent at the ESTAS 2017, which was voted for by customers who gave an overwhelmingly positive response of Upad’s services and savings. Landlords should use Upad if they’re looking to avoid £1000’s in high street letting agent fees but with a personal touch that allows them to contact their own personal Account Manager. All Account Managers at Upad are ARLA qualified and available 7 days a week. As well as being a member of ARLA, Upad are also the only online letting agent that are a recognised supplier of the National Landlord Association.
Landlords who are looking to further develop their knowledge of letting property can use Upad’s plethora of free information and knowledge in the form of articles, guides, tax and legal advice, webinars and more. Upad make it easy for landlords to keep all their details in one easy to use console and means the next time they need to advertise, they simply click a button. Upad offers landlords a better way to let.
Thanks Michael. So basically, you’re saying we should all use Upad? Got it.
Are you convinced?
What do I think?
I’ve always been a huge fan of Upad’s service and I haven’t been afraid to say so.
When I used Upad’s service the one thing that stood out above all was the apparent amount of time and money they’ve thrown at their customer service department. The support was brilliant: I talked to real local people that were easily contactable, which is a rare treat in this digital age, so it certainly didn’t go unnoticed.
They also provide many additional resources, including frequent webinars and useful landlord guides. They weren’t particularly useful for me, but I can see they could be for the novice.
All of this support ain’t cheap.
For further reading, feel free to take a look through their impressive TrustPilot feedback/rating…
I can totally confirm and understand why they would put a premium price on their service.
Do you get the extra £89’s worth? Yes.
But, do you NEED the extra eighty pound’s worth of service? Not necessarily.
You see, I like to think of Upad as the overbearing mother that will wipe the snot off her child’s face with a saliva dampened tissue. It’s nice having a snot-free face, but I can get by either way. You, however, may not…
Perhaps the most notable and important aspect of Upad’s service – which many new landlords should adore – is the fact they include a “Tenancy Compliance Service” with all their packages. Actually, this is the one feature which Upad’s competitors don’t include with their standard packages, so that’s definitely worth bearing in mind.
The tenancy compliance services enables landlords to create a virtual tenancy pack of all legally required documents. Once compiled, Upad will serve them to your tenants and obtain a signature so you have proof of receivership. Useful.
Upad also have trigger points in place which their system flags if a particular property doesn’t receive enough enquiries in X amount of days, and they’ll try and figure out ‘why’, and then help the landlord overcome those hurdles. Again, useful stuff. But I have a feeling the lack of enquiries can only boil to only a few reasons, and it’s mostly down to inexperience.
If your property doesn’t receive enough enquiries it’s usually because of the following reasons:
- You’re trying to flog a dead horse i.e. the property is a pile of rubble and/or in an undesirable area
- There aren’t enough (or any) quality photos of the property
- The description of the property isn’t compelling or informative enough
- You’re overpricing
Minus the first point, Upad can assist and remind you of the other points if you’re struggling for enquiries. If you lack experience, Upad’s customer service system will be vital for you, because they’ll quickly be able to spot those issues and help you plug the holes. In comes the much-needed overbearing mother.
I have used several other online letting agents in the past, and they’ve also been pretty damn good. They may not have provided the same level of support Upad or the advanced support structure for landlords, but they have provided enough support FOR ME (i.e. an experienced landlord) to make me ponder whether I need to splash out on Upad.
Upad Vs OpenRent
Why am I circling out OpenRent.co.uk? Because Upad & OpenRent are currently the front-runners in the online lettings space, so there’s a legitimate bare-knuckle fight to be had! Fight, fight, fight!!
Most landlords will either debate between OpenRent or Upad when choosing their first or next online letting agent to use. Perhaps you’re in the midst of making your decision!
I’ve used OpenRent and Upad and both experiences were positive and successful. I ain’t got no complaints! However, they do have some distinct differences, which may provide some sway on your decision.
The interesting thing about OpenRent is that they offer an extremely compelling 5 day free trial (no strings attached), and if that expires (i.e. if you haven’t found a tenant from the enquiries generated with in the 5 days), you have the choice of paying a very reasonable and optional £29 to continue using their services for 3 additional months. Like I said, reasonable.
When you look at the price alone, OpenRent seems like a no-brainer. They blow Upad out of the water, so you have to wonder 1) why you should bother paying so much more for Upad 2) How Upad are even able to compete.
Both good and sensible questions. However, I’ve kinda’ already answered them, but to sum it up…
If you’re new to this game and/or would feel more comfortable with the extra support, including the already discussed assistance with getting all your vital and legal documents in order, which many other online agents won’t provide, Upad is definitely the wise choice. They will do you no wrong. The quality of their customer service alone is worth paying the extra for. As said, they thrive off repeat custom, and I’m sure it’s down to providing quality service.
To give you some perspective, Upad assign an account manager to each landlord – and they’re real – not just a virtual-monkey that’s only available via email or a virtual chat. You can call a dedicated telephone number 7 days of the week if any issues or concerns arise- yes, actually talk to a real UK-based homosapien.
OpenRent, while also a highly recommended and excellent service, are able to charge so much less than Upad because they keep their telephone number discrete and focus on a more scalable online support system, which includes email and online chats. Essentially, OpenRent give you shiny and easy-to-use tools to “just get on with it”, which is better suitable for the experienced, in my opinion. Also, perhaps that means OpenRent are a good solution for the millennials, because they’re used to doing everything via tablets and phone apps. However, for any old school cat that would like the option of good old fashioned telephone support and hand-holding, Upad is your boy.
I honestly can’t recommend one agent over the other because I feel both offer excellent services – but for different types of landlords! So you need to decide which type you are! Do you want the extra support or not?
Ultimately, I don’t think you need to use Upad’s premium service if you’re a seasoned landlord and your primary objective is to purely generate enquiries from prospective tenants. I would happily use an alternative and cheaper online letting agent to generate enquiries, especially OpenRent.co.uk, but on the same token, I wouldn’t begrudge digging deeper to benefit from the reassurance of Upad’s overall support.
Upad is worth every penny, in my opinion. They maybe one of the most expensive online letting agents out there, which does often raise questions, but they do provide a premium service, and in comparison to most high-street agents they still charge peanuts.
If you’ve used Upad, or in the the process of doing your due diligence before biting the bullet, I’d love to hear your feedback/thoughts…