“We were particularly attracted to Zero Deposit because of their partnership with TDS”, explains Aimee, talking about Northfields’ positive experience following their launch of the Zero Deposit Guarantee.
“For us, it was particularly important to give our landlords the reassurance that they would have the same protection that they would have done with the normal cash deposit,” she told us in an interview at the company’s office in Ealing, London. According to Aimee, landlords don’t see the no deposit option as being any different to a cash deposit and she adds that they have given “really positive feedback” about the process.
A point of difference
Aimee says that since Northfields was chosen as a Zero Deposit partner, it has created “a point of difference” that has helped them beat local competition. Being able to explain that under Zero Deposit rules, only agents who operate to high professional standards can act as estate agents where no deposit is required, has helped the agency win new business, as clients can be confident that they are dealing with a reputable company.
“It’s early days for us in using Zero Deposit, but since we’ve launched and started using the marketing materials, we’ve found a really high amount of people have enquired online or come to us directly.” She explains that Zero Deposit window displays have encouraged people to walk in off the street in order to ask how no deposit insurance works, adding: “It’s been a really valuable tool for us to encourage viewing activity.”
Opening the door for young professionals
Aimee explains that Zero Deposit has enabled young professionals to afford a bigger or better property than they have rented before. These are people who fit the criteria landlords require, but who don’t have enough ready cash to pay a deposit of up to six weeks’ rent.
She gives the example of a member of her own lettings team who was looking for a place to rent: “Being a young professional in London she didn’t have access to raise the deposit herself. When we started offering it, she immediately said I want to rent through our own office, using Zero Deposit.” Aimee comments: “She found it an absolutely fantastic way to move into her own property.”
As Zero Deposit estate agents, Northfields staff are careful to point out that tenants have the same responsibility to settle up for any outstanding rent or damage as they would under a normal cash deposit scheme, but applicants are still happy to go ahead as they know that any disputes will be adjudicated by TDS.
A market leader
Aimee believes that as no deposit products become more established in the marketplace, Zero Deposit will establish itself as the market leader “through the processes and the simplicity of the product that they offer.” Summing up, she says Zero Deposit is “A win, not only for ourselves, but for our landlords and for our tenants.”