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New location tool turns landlords into detectives

Tuesday 19 July 2016

Landlords can now turn detective and dig out the facts about a particular area with a couple of keystrokes.

Using a new function called 'Get to know the neighbourhood', available on the Zoopla website, landlords can compare and contrast a range of statistics about the location around a listed property.

The feature has an introductory price of £9.99, discounted from £17.99, and is provided by Property Detective.

The online tool gives valuable information about the neighbourhood such as amenities, crime statistics and school ratings.

Although some industry experts suggest it is a way for Zoopla to make money from estate agents' listings, the service remains much cheaper than using the Property Detective site.

While the Property Detective site has free features, a full report must still be paid for: a one-off report costs £30, while access to unlimited properties over three months will set you back £39.99.

Despite the convenience, some landlords may feel that conducting their own investigation into a neighbourhood is still the most satisfactory way to get the full facts.

Pounding the pavements, taking notes and talking to local folk may still give a more detailed picture of a place than a set of dry facts and figures which are accessed remotely.

Not everyone has the luxury of time to carry out their own legwork - and for those landlords who need fast access to the facts, the 'Get to know the neighbourhood' tool could save shoe-leather and money.

BTL professionals will always recommend that landlords do as much background digging as they can before they make an investment.

Building up an accurate picture of a neighbourhood enables landlords to make informed decisions about their BTL investment and allows them to plan for the long-term.

Understanding an area also gives the landlord an insight what tenants are looking for and enables them to market their property accordingly. 

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