BREAKING NEWS – top 5 stories 14/05/2021
ALPHALETZ WINS ‘BEST GLOBAL-BASED PROPERTY MANAGEMENT PLATFORM 2021
Building on the success of their initial launch, Alphaletz has further enhanced their product offering, and are today announcing the launch of their new mobile and online app in conjunction with the award for ‘Best Global Cloud-Based Property Management Platform of 2021’
The award has been won for “an excellent range of features, extremely positive reviews and a very comprehensive roadmap which we feel aligns extremely well to what landlords everywhere are looking for.” – Corporate Vision
Richard Jackson, Co-Founder & CEO of https://alphaletz.com/ puts the success of the service down to the fact that it has all been built around the client experience, or UX,
“Our users have been invaluable in helping develop the direction of the App. We continually speak to them to discover what they need to simplify their business. We are proud to be recognised as an innovator and thought leader in this very exciting space.
Our landlords are reporting time savings of around 50% and we think we can significantly improve on that, especially now with our new mobile app and enhanced online web app.”
Alphaletz are now offering one property account completely free so users can sign up without a credit card and start using the system right away. Click here to get started for free.
The founders of Alphaletz are landlords themselves and understand the challenges that modern day landlords face. With a lack of products in the marketplace, most landlords are still using spreadsheets which are fast becoming outdated and just not flexible enough for today’s busy landlords.
With all the tax changes, tenant fees and new compliance legislation over the last few years, Alphaletz was founded to focus on these issues and help landlords everywhere manage their finances and legal requirements in one easy place and from any device.
The new mobile App completely transforms the way landlords manage their business on-the-go, giving them the flexibility to check information, answer questions, and resolve issues quickly to provide the best service possible to their tenants. Two new advocates of the service are quick to give their take on the user-friendly nature of the Alphaletz,
“Instead of looking through emails, I can go to the dashboard and see a summary of rent payments and things that I need to get done that day. I would say that saves me around 50% of my time.” -Naresh Harwani, Landlord.
‘Whenever there is a change of tenant I can quickly go to the App, find all my documents in one place and send them off to my lettings agent in minutes. I can also quickly check the lease history to help me set the right rent based on the historical data’ – Khurem Farooq, Landlord
PROPERTY PROFESSIONALS NEED TO BE AWARE OF UPSURGE IN CYBERCRIME
Over the past year the number of cyber related crimes has risen significantly. According to research by cyber and intelligence are of BAE Systems, Britain’s largest defence contractor, there has been a huge jump in botnet, ransomware, and phishing attacks.
Police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland recorded more than 6,000 cases of Covid-related fraud and cybercrime during the pandemic. Data from Interpol revealed that ransomware incidents have increased by more than a third, with phishing and fraud claims increasing by 59%.
According to Paul Offley, Compliance Officer at The Guild of Property Professionals, cybercriminals have adapted their approach and have found ways to exploit businesses by seeking out remote working security gaps.
“While working remotely has been an integral part of keeping people safe during the pandemic, it has also opened up opportunities for cybercriminals looking to infiltrate networks through more vulnerable IT systems. If large corporate entities and government bodies are susceptible to being hacked, how much more vulnerable are independent agents or remote workers who typically have weaker technological defences.
With insurers inundated with cybercrime claims, there has been a substantial increase in cyber insurance premiums, along with insurers requiring more data and ensuring that stricter risk management procedures are adhere to,” he says.
Offley notes that as a profession with access to highly sensitive data, it is essential for estate and lettings agents to have procedures in place that will safeguard their systems from a cyber-attack.
“Apart from deposits, rentals and other money collected by agents, there is also a significant amount of sensitive data that should be protected such as client’s addresses, account details, alarm records and passwords to access homes, not to mention passport details and the like. Access to this kind of information is what has made the industry a target among cybercriminals,” he advises.
With the treat of cyber-attack growing within the sector and agents more reliant on technology than ever before, it is essential that property professionals do whatever they can to prevent and protect themselves against cybercrime.
“Another consideration should be cyber liability insurance, which would provide some peace of mind if an incident does occur. In fact, with eight out of ten businesses in the UK having experienced a cyber security breach in the past year, cyber liability should be more than a consideration, it is essential,” says Offley.
According to Mint Insurance Brokers, many of the cyber incidents are ransomware cases involving sensitive data being downloaded from inboxes and client folders. If a breach occurs, businesses are required to report it to the Information Commissions Office (ICO) and complete a full investigation to identify how the breach took place and what personal data has been compromised. Cyber Liability policies include instant response cover, which is important to help mitigate any further threats.
How can agents help to reduce the risk of a system breach? The following are some places to begin.
Regular password updates on all devices. Password complexity – use different passwords for different accounts. Never share passwords. Two Factor Authentication where appropriate. Staff training to be aware of phishing emails and the damage they represent.
One in every 3,722 emails in the UK is a phishing attempt. Around half of cyber-attacks in the UK involve phishing. And never under any circumstances, should a payment be made to a new bank account without verbal confirmation that the account details are genuine.
WILL REPOSSESSIONS BE ON THE RISE IN JUNE?
Most repossessions have been put on a hold, for over a year, unless the homeowner wanted to allow a repossession to take place, but all this is due to end with the start of repossessions at the end of this month. During the pandemic, a brake was effectively put on this type of activity by the government and measures by the FCA.
Also of course many lenders have allowed mortgage holidays and a whole raft of measures to help borrowers keep a roof over their heads, time will tell if this paternalistic approach continues.
HUGE UPTICK IN USERS OF HELP TO BUY SCHEME IN Q4 OF 2020 Vs SAME PERIOD IN 2019
Comparing October, November, and December 2019 to the same period in 2020, there was over a 38% uptake in the Government backed Help to Buy scheme, where 20% of the purchase price was guaranteed. Meaning that nearly 6,000 more properties were bought using this system.
ALMOST 20% OF SAVILLS SHAREHOLDERS UP IN ARMS OVER SOME C-SUITE RENUMERATIONS
A large swathe of shareholders at Savills, almost 20% with another 6% abstaining, showed that they were very unhappy with the performance and then the pay-out and perks to some of the senior members of the team. Though making a pre-tax profit of nearly £85M this fell far short of the £120M target that would allow the usual flow of top performance pay-outs.
If you have a view – please let us all know by emailing me at [email protected] – Andrew Stanton Executive Editor – moving property and proptech forward.