Mashroom.com – The Absolutely Free Online Letting Agent! Say WHAAAT?

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Mashroom.com letting agent

Mashroom.com

You won’t have heard of them! And if you have, you’re probably weird and wear a leather jacket covered in pin badges.

Hell, enter their name into Google and watch your search get dismantled as you get served a bunch of crap about fleshy, spore-bearing funguses.

But despite their name sending spell-checkers doolally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t make you aware of Mashroom.com, a new’ish online letting agent that is trying to win over our business with an absurdly attractive FREE tenant-find service, which includes Rightmove & Zoopla advertising for 30 glorious days, making OpenRent’s insanely popular 5 day free trial offer seem rather dull.

Nope, it’s not even a temporary special offer, that’s just Mashroom’s standard deal, which is why I’ve been wanting to make you aware of their freebie service for a while, but fuck me sideways and call me Billy Bob, they certainly did not make it easy for me to like them!

My early and unbearable struggles with Mashroom!

Mashroom came on my radar back in May 2020, when they were loitering around my inbox, coaxing me into listing their free tenant-find service on my precious list of recommended online letting agents.

I wanted to.

I was tempted.

I was even excited about the prospect of sharing their incredible offer with you.

But I couldn’t!

The problem, in my opinion, is that they made a barrage of primitive UX and usability decisions which were, quite frankly, gut-wrenching. Sadly, some of them still exist today and continue to eat away at my black and decaying soul, but I’m pleased to say that the biggest culprit, which was an absolute deal-breaker and got right up my prissy little nose, has been squashed.

Mashy made the fatal error of concealing the cost of their optional add-on products (e.g. EPCs, insurance, gas safety certificates etc) and only made them accessible after signing up to their tenant-find service, which essentially meant we couldn’t window-shop to determine the actual cost of their overall service if we also required any ancillary products. That’s about as practical as a knitted condom, and a cockeyed decision that will puzzle me for all of eternity.

How can I be expected to endorse such tomfoolery?

I wonder how many of them would walk into Tesco’s and fill their trolley with items with the condition of having the prices revealed at checkout? What an utterly dogshit shopping experience!

Yes, you’re probably right, I also suspect that someone important was up to the gills on crystal meth when they greenlighted the decision to hide their pricelist behind a registration form.

Hide all the prices

Some of you will remember back in 2018, when I threw Housesimple’s letting services under the bus for pulling the same psychotic stunt. Unfortunately Housesimple never changed their ways, instead they pulled the plug on their letting services altogether, HA! I think that says it all, really.

Anyways, my point is, it’s not exactly a tactic which screams transparency and in turn encourages trust.

So, as you can see, I was in a bind.

But ultimately, short of a shotgun being pressed against my cranium, there was no way on God’s green earth I was going to make anyone but my mortal enemies aware of Mashroom’s services under those circumstances, regardless of how free their core service is!

Fair play to Mashroom, they got their act together!

After refusing to share their service and explaining why, they could have easily told me to go jump on a cactus.

But they didn’t.

They listened! They listened well.

But honestly, I don’t know how anyone could possibly defend the strategic decision of hiding critical costs with a straight face.

Fortunately, and as you may have already guessed, there’s a happy ending here!

Mashroom aren’t behaving like lunatics anymore – they are completely transparent with their prices now, and that’s precisely why I feel comfortable telling you about their mouth-watering offer today..

I know I’ve given them a bit of a kickin’, but speaking my mind is all I know, and at least they turned things around. I just hope we can all laugh about how stupid we’ve been and move on. Right? Guys?

All is forgiven, all is well.

Yes, their website is still riddled with easily-fixed usability issues that make navigating around their website unpleasant, but at least they don’t jeopardise their integrity, only my will to live.

I think it speaks volumes when a company isn’t too belligerent to accept constructive criticism. So fair play to Mashroom.

So what are Mashroom actually offering?

Crikey, look at that. I’ve barely said anything about their actual service because I went off on a tangent about the teething problems. That’s so unlike me!

Simply, a free tenant-find service which includes 30 days advertising on Rightmove & Zoopla, plus the usual optional add-ons you’d expect! No strings-attached.

Wrap your melon around this sweet deal…

Letting AgentRatingDurationIncludes / NotesPrice
Rating
4.7
Feefo Reviews
Duration
30 days*
Includes / Notes

True cost of letting package
  • 30 days* marketing on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
  • Rent collection
  • Tenancy sign-up service
  • Optional add-on products
  • £70 EPC
  • £79 Gas safety check
  • £190 EICR (No bedroom limit)
  • £15 Tenant referencing (1 x tenant)
  • £120 Photograghs & Floorplan

*30 days free, and then the option of continuing service for an additional 30 days for £29 (Inc VAT).

Price*FREEInc VATNo hidden fees, no credit card details required!

Free
Visit Website

Yup, they toss in a free and optional rent collection service, which actually sounds nifty. According to the blurb on the tin,

You’ll get notifications when the rent is due, and we’ll deliver it directly into your bank account the same working day at no extra charge. All payments are protected by Money Shield.

My guess is they’re doing that to keep you locked into their ecosystem. Smart!

Either way, an awesome offer!

Oh, and yes, if the free rent collection feature sounds familiar that might be because OpenRent used to offer something very similar with their Advertising + Rent Now Package, but they now charge £10 per month for it. I know a few of you folk weren’t happy about that shift in play! Not in the slightest!

… and here’s OpenRent’s current freebie (which I believe is a PIP exclusive) to compare!

Letting AgentRatingDurationIncludes / NotesPrice
Rating
4.9
Google Reviews
Duration
5 days / 3 months*
Includes / Notes

Ultimate Advertising package
  • 5 days / 3 months* marketing on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
  • Optional add-on products
  • £69 EPC
  • £45 Gas safety check
  • £159 EICR (+ £10 per bedroom)
  • £20 Tenant referencing (1 x tenant)
  • £79 Photograghs & Floorplan

*5 days free, and then the option of continuing service for 3 months for £24 (Inc VAT) for new customers, and £29 (Inc VAT) for returning customers!

Price*FREEInc VATNo hidden fees, no credit card details required!

Free Trial
Visit Website

Mashroom’s unique “Team Up” feature! Is this the solution to tenant viewings we have all been waiting for?

No.

But it’s interesting.

If you go onto the Mashroom website you might notice a feature called “Team Up“, which facilitates in arranging outgoing tenants to conduct viewings on behalf of the landlord in exchange for one week’s rent.

When I first became aware of the feature I recoiled and thought “Oh blimey!!! Did management fall off the wagon?”

After I let the idea swirl around a little and returned back to my regular position… my mind hadn’t changed.

This doesn’t work! Just like allowing tenants to paint and decorate in return for a rent reduction usually doesn’t.

Ultimately, I think it’s a feature that could seem like a good idea to someone that isn’t a landlord, but to an actual self-managing landlord with a smidgen of good judgement and experience, the idea of allowing tenants to conduct viewings should be filled with gaping holes the size of elephants:

  • Meeting prospective tenants’ in-person is the most telling and useful aspect of referencing; it gives landlords the opportunity to measure character and compatibility.
  • I rank the landlord’s gut instinct as the single most important indicator when it comes to tenant selection.
  • It’s not in the tenant’s best interest to recommend the most suitable replacement. Why would they give a flying fig? They’re not the ones that will have to deal with them.

    Fuck, I mean, if I was a tenant taking viewings, I might just recommend the worst one for a laugh.

  • If I’m going to dig into my pockets for a viewing service I’d rather pay a letting agent, because at least then I’ll benefit from expertise and consumer protection [if it all goes tits-up due to negligence].

    Where’s my protection if my tenant recommends a complete donut?

For those reasons, I have always actively encouraged landlords to take their own viewings even if it’s inconvenient as hell (which it is; always a chore, never a joy), so it’s not exactly a feature I can get behind.

Yes, I very much understand the problems with viewings and I understand how Mashroom ended up where they have, but I actually believe this feature is trying to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist for self-managing landlords on any significant scale. Or at least, I think the real problem has been misdiagnosed.

This isn’t a money issue. I have great relationships with my tenants so I’m confident if I asked them to take viewings they wouldn’t really mind (within reason). And if I didn’t have a great relationship with them and I thought I’d have to pay them, I wouldn’t want them to take the viewings. See the problem here?

The real issue is I don’t want my tenants to conduct viewings for love nor money.

I’m inclined to believe Team-up can easily create more problems than it solves, but above all, it encourages bad practice. So if I were Mashroom I’d strongly consider how well this feature genuinely serves landlords.

In any case, I thought I’d mention it because it is different and I can see where there might be limited appeal and necessity. It’s there if you need it.

Why is Mashroom offering Rightmove/Zoopla tenant-find services for free?

The same reason why Strike.co.uk is offering a free house selling service and why OpenRent offer a 5 day free trial.

Offering a loss-leader product isn’t anything new.

Make no mistake, Mashroom’s free service is going to kick them in the financial nuts like a jumbo plane, but their hope is that you get lured in by the bait, and then go buck-wild with their optional add-on services. Obviously an absurd and eye-catching deal is also a great way of quickly building a customer base.

Should you use Mashroom? Do I recommend them?

*shrugs shoulders*

I actually haven’t used their service so I can’t give you any real feedback on it. I’m merely sitting on my ass making you aware of their existence. I can offer you a mixed bag of thoughts, though:

  • Currently the best deal on the market!
    With so many options available you’d think there wouldn’t be mushroom (*cough*) for a new contender in this space, and normally I’d agree.

    But Mashroom’s deal is a game-changer and I’ll happily make room for it. From what I’m aware, no other online letting agent is offering 30 days free marketing on Rightmove or Zoopla. It’s one hell of a deal!

  • 4.9/5 rating on Feefo, BUT…
    While they have an impressive 4.9/5 rating on Feefo, the reality becomes drastically less impressive when you realise the score is accumulated by a pitiful 7 reviews. And to be brutally honest, I wouldn’t be totally surprised if they’re from friends, family, employees and the cleaning lady.

    Oh come on, that’s often how the first few reviews are accumulated. We all know it.

  • They’re still super new
    I wouldn’t expect a wrinkle-free experience, and I’d be reluctant to recommend Mashroom (or most other online agents for that matter) to anyone that is a bumbling buffoon or is new to online letting agents and self-managing. If you’re either of those, I highly recommend reading my complete guide on online letting agents (but obviously after you’re done here!).
  • The optional add-on services
    Their optional add-on services are fairly priced, but you won’t find any bargains. That said, there’s always charm in swerving the bargains for the sake of giving back a little.

    If you do require any additional services, it would be wise to crunch the numbers to determine the true overall cost of service. For example, Mashroom charges a lofty £120 for a professional photography package, whereas OpenRent charges £79. However, they both charge £70’ish for an EPC.

    Do the math.

  • Tenant leads & viewings
    For a landlord like myself that is only interested in getting a property marketed on the biggest UK property portals in order to smash and grab leads from prospective tenants and efficiently arrange viewings, their service seems like a neat and pocket-friendly solution.

    Mashroom dashboard

    I don’t require any frills or tassels (which is also why OpenRent has worked wonders for me, personally).

    Just to clarify, I’m not saying Mashroom’s service or support won’t be comprehensive, I’m just saying I have no idea if it is or isn’t, so I would go into the deal expecting only the essential features. In fact, that’s a philosophy I recommend all landlords adhere to when using budget online letting services.

  • Mashroom should serve you well!
    I don’t expect this point to directly translate into the service you receive from them, but I can genuinely say that they my contact at Mashroom has been super nice, accommodating [to my suggestions and objections], and an overall fungi (I’m not going to apologise for that, I bloody had to do it and you know it!!).

    Of course that means nothing to you. However, the reality is, if they don’t provide you with a delightful service in kind I will burn their motherf’ing house to the ground.

    Or, I’ll go down the law abiding route and stop publicising their services.

    I might also send them an outrageously snotty and leery email, attached with a gigantic animated gif of a penis. Let’s see how they like that!

    Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.

  • Are they the new OpenRent?
    As in, right now? Christ no!

    But I understand the comparison; it seems like the natural thing to do since they’re both touting non-obligatory free tenant-find services.

    OpenRent have been around for a long-ass time and have serviced thousands of landlords, so they’ve got one hell of a system in place. I’d expect a better service from OpenRent today, tomorrow and next year, and that’s not a personal or scathing attack against Mashroom, that’s just the real advantage of time and experience. I still think OpenRent currently provides the loudest bang for your buck in this town. Awesome service!

    One thing is for sure though, Mashroom’s offer is undeniably better and I imagine it’s thoroughly compelling, particularly to penny-pinchers and skinflints! And there’s no shame in that. Times are brutal, man!

  • How long will Mashroom last for?
    In other words, is their free service sustainable? Honestly, I don’t have a scooby!

    According to this article on TechCrunch they’ve managed to raise a stonking £7 million, so I think it’s safe to assume pockets are deep and they have enough funds to maintain a hefty burn-rate for many miles (unless there’s an absolute dummy behind the wheel, which wouldn’t be the first).

    It might also be worth noting that the folk behind Mashroom are also the same folk that snapped up the well-known online estate agent eMoov after they crumbled into administration.

    But really, I don’t know why people/consumers get so emotionally caught up with such matters, “They’ll never last giving away a free service, they’re doomed to fail. It’s a race to the bottom!” – yeah, and so what? The freebie is on the table today, so toss it down your pie-hole and enjoy it while you can.

  • I’m going to use Mashroom
    When the time comes, I’ll try Mashroom’s free service!

So, there we have it. I hope this has been a fun-guide and I’ve given you a new option to consider.

If you decide to give Mashroom a toss in the wok (I swear, no more!), then super, pretty please drop a comment and let me know how you get on! In fact, I hope some of you actually do just so I can work with some real feedback!

Fly free, my lab-rats!

Other than that, please share your thoughts and feel free to ask any questions about their service! I’d love to hear them…

Mushroom/fungi jokes welcome.

As always, continue to stay safe people! xox

19 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Dawn 4th February, 2021 @ 09:20

LOL, brilliant!

I'm not due to find new tenants yet but I might give them a try when the time comes. Thanks for the info as always x

1
Guest Avatar
Bill 4th February, 2021 @ 09:37

I'm not even a landlord or interested in property, I read because it makes me laugh. I can't even remember how or why I found this blog. Thank you :)

2
Guest Avatar
Dave 4th February, 2021 @ 10:08

Love and appreciate the honest and humourous review!! Keep it up.

3
Guest Avatar
Ang 4th February, 2021 @ 10:48

Thanks again for the introduction and info. I’m surprised, should I be, that the added extra option for both online companies don’t include the new ish electrical improvement report?

4
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 4th February, 2021 @ 10:52

Hi @Ang,

Thanks.

Are you referring to the Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)? I know OpenRent do offer one, but you're right, Mashoom don't seem to. My guess is it will be added to their list of services soon enough.

5
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 4th February, 2021 @ 11:27

@Ang,
I stand corrected, Mashroom do provide an EICR service. I've added it to the details :)

Many thanks for pointing it out!

6
Guest Avatar
Pete 4th February, 2021 @ 11:33

Youre right, never heard of them. Why has no one else even mentioned them?

Thankyou for the information!!!

7
Guest Avatar
Julie 4th February, 2021 @ 11:57

I love these gems, thank you. Like you, all I care about is Rightmove and getting leads. I'll let you know how I get on.

8
Guest Avatar
Robbie 4th February, 2021 @ 12:01

if you click on 'start listing' on thgeir homepage it takes you to a sign up form instead of details/prices about their service. Is that one of the UX issues haunting you? I wonder who would blindly start listing without knowing any of the details? Its the simple things...

9
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 4th February, 2021 @ 12:07

@Robbie
Haha, yes, exactly! That one literally drives me bonkers. The same happens when you click on "List your property" (top hand right corner), it takes you to a sign up form with no details of what you're signing up for (other than an ambiguous "free listing").

The call-to-actions are only useful for anyone that knows the details of their service, and doesn't help new visitors (arguably the people they should be making it easy for before anyone else).

10
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 4th February, 2021 @ 12:08

@Julie
Thank you, appreciate it!

11
Guest Avatar
Eric 4th February, 2021 @ 18:45

Nice post. 100% agree about not allowing tenants to take viewings, "recipe for disaster" comes to mind!

12
Guest Avatar
Jay 4th February, 2021 @ 19:08

Thanks Landlord for the heads-up. I'm deffo not too good for a freebie.

There's something very strange about paying tenants to take viewings, seems backwards, or is it just me that feels that way?

13
Guest Avatar
Jane 5th February, 2021 @ 16:50

I used OpenRent last time I needed tenants. I booked and paid for an EICR through them only to be told the day before, when I had contacted them, that they couldn’t offer one in my area (London!). They did refund my payment but it was a bit of a dud service allowing me to book a specific time that they couldn’t deliver .

14
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 5th February, 2021 @ 17:13

@Jane
Sorry to hear! That is poor, I agree. Do you mind me asking when that was?

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Guest Avatar
GriffMG 9th February, 2021 @ 12:41

@Landlord - Great article, almost missed the fungi joke!

I don't think I'd rush to move from OpenRent for our next tenancy, their whole approach is too good.
Something for nothing for a while is fine, but if their UX is naff I don't have immediate faith in
their service being all there YET.

Have you tried a naked portafilter with your VST yet, coffee is fractionally hotter and they are easy to clean.

16
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 9th February, 2021 @ 13:04

@GriffMG

Thank you! And that's a fair comment about OpenRent. Don't blame you at all, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"

It will be interesting to hear the feedback from the people that do try Mashroom off the back of this blog post. I hope they leave feedback anyways *cough*hint* to anyone reading this!!

Funny enough, I received a naked portafilter for a xmas present (it was on my wish list)! I've been using one since. The reason I initially wanted one was because everyone says it helps identity issues with puck preparation.

So far I only experienced one channeling issue. Crikey, what a mess that made- coffee starting shooting out from all directions.

I actually prefer it in general. It's definitely easier to clean, and it takes up less room under the group head so now I can fit larger cups and scales without a squeeze!

BTW, have you tried Jamaican blue mountain coffee? Insanely expensive, but wondering if it's worth it? I'm not even sure my palette is refined enough to know the difference (yes), so could be a total waste if I do splash out.

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Guest Avatar
GriffMG 9th February, 2021 @ 13:37

The thing to remember about the puck generation is... which are you making; coffee or pucks?

I have survived lockdown roasting my own from a 'selection pack' gift from xmas 2019, and am now on a couple of kilos of green Colombian Excelso RFA beans that we've kept chilled since the beginning of lockdown #1.

From 'On the Grind' coffee roasters.

It is awesome, really rich. Makes a great latte too.

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Guest Avatar
GriffMG 9th February, 2021 @ 13:51

That's a quid for one cup (10g) of green beans (£25 for 250g). That is insane, for roasting in a popcorn machine that has to be a waste.

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