Please note that Rent My Estate have rebranded to Cubbi as of August 2015.

  • 18 reviews
  • 1 question
  • 2 answers
  • 11 helpful votes
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Less stress, better tenants, better returns

5 out of 5, reviewed on Jun 26, 2018

I am renting out two houses. Both needed new tenants at the same time (May 2018). For one I use Cubbi, for the other a normal real estate agent. Here is my real-life comparison.

First, let me spoil the plot already: It’s a difference like daylight and darkness. And Cubbi is the light:

House 1 is in Donvale (Melbourne suburb), which I have been renting out through different agents since the early 2000s.

House 2 is in Bundaberg, where I live. I just bought it and I use Cubbi to rent it out.
I had a little bit more work with the Cubbi house, but less trouble, less stress and got a better rent (and probably better tenants too) and of course I pay lower fees.

Here is why Cubbi was so much better:

Less stress
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Real estate agents tell you they take care of all the trouble with tenants. Wrong. As every landlord will tell you, tenant trouble reaches you anyway and you pay for it. And on top of the tenant trouble you will have agent trouble. Most of the time they do their job well, but believe me, often they don’t and whenever that happens you will pay for it.

With Cubbi I have transparency and I have control of all the important steps of renting out a house. If something needs attention, I know it in real time and I can address it at once.
The search for tenants met similar problems with both houses (good applicants withdrawing their application and lots of bad applicants). With my Cubbi house I was on top of all the problems and could solve them quickly. Very little stress. With house 1 the only thing I could do is wait for the next bad news from my agent. Stress.

Better tenants.
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It’s only logical that you get better tenants with Cubbi because:

a) You get to know them yourself and you can use your instincts to choose (and of course you check the national tenancy database, IDs and income, which is easy because Cubbi does the legwork). With an agent you can only hope that the recommended tenants are good and that the checks have been done properly. They often weren’t with my Melbourne house (agent-managed). That’s normal, an agent wants to rent out your property as quickly as possible so they have less work. A bad tenant is mainly your problem and much less theirs. For agents it’s actually better to find a bad tenant quickly than a good tenant that takes time to find.

b) Better choice because you attract more applicants: It’s your house and you care for it. That’s why you will always do a better job at presenting it. For an agent you are just one of many places he or she is managing.
I can’t really blame agents for that, they have only limited time for every appointment. But you as the owner you have the time and motivation to really nail the open house.

You can take better photos too. Some agents do a good job with their photos, I can’t complain about my Melbourne house, I admit. But I see so many bad photos in advertisements. Wrong lighting, blurry, dull colours. Some look like they have been taken with a mobile phone! You can take better pictures because you have much more time. Wait for the right lighting and experiment with settings in post processing programs. You don’t need an expensive camera, just a decent one.

It took my agent two months to find a tenant for my Melbourne house, it took me four weeks for my Bundaberg house. And Melbourne has generally a better choice of tenants.
I can only hope that my Melbourne tenants are good. But I am sure that my Bundaberg tenant is good, having met her myself.

Better rent
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My Melbourne house (using an agent) was rented out for $20 per week less than expected (it was in fact $20 less than the rent I got last year!). I am sure, had I done it myself with Cubbi, I would have at least gotten the same rent as before. That’s not very hard is it? But the agent couldn’t do it!
My Bundaberg house (using Cubbi) was rented out for $10 per week more than two agents had predicted.

Lower fees
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I not only get better rent with Cubbi, I only pay much less in fees (2% instead of 8% of the rent). Initial fees are lower too.

Emergency repair insurance included
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There is an emergency repair insurance included in the Cubbi fee. It’s not included in the much higher fees of my Melbourne agent.

Better condition report
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It seems that with an agent, the person who does the initial condition report is never the same as the one who does the final inspection (why, I don’t know, but I found they always change). This means things can be easily missed when a tenant moves out. I have had some unpleasant surprises when I came back to Melbourne and see my house after the tenant had moved out.

With Cubbi you take videos (instead of only photos, as agents do), you fill in the report and at the end you check things yourself (all paper work done easily online, including signatures). It’s not pleasant work and with an agent you don’t have to do it. But it’s a vital task, you really need to do it yourself and not leave it to an agent.

Tenants happier
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My applicants and final tenant liked the quick responses and that they dealt with the owner directly and not the middle man. And because they know me personally, the relationship is bound to be better (they are likely to treat the house better and not come with all kinds of unreasonable requests).

How good are Cubbi’s website and processes?
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The process of advertising, managing requests, inspections, costs, applications, doing the contract, managing the bond and doing the condition report works very well. The website is mature, you are guided through all steps.

You are in charge, you can take action immediately.
Doing the contract, a tasks that every normal human hates, was fairly painless. Signatures and all paperwork was done electronically.
I can even record expenses using the website, including saving scanned receipts for every purchase.

How good are Cubbi’s people?
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Very good - fast responses, quick problem solving, motivated. Sometimes I got questions answered after working hours.

Problems with Cubbi
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1
When prospective tenants apply to rent Cubbi asks them already for their banking details. And the tenant asks “why do I have to give my banking details already? My application is not even approved yet. There are no payments due.”
Worse still, some won’t ask, they will simply walk away from the application process. And even worse: it’s the smart people with money on their accounts that are most careful and most likely to object to the practise. But those are precisely the people you want as tenants.

Cubbi tells me that they have identified the problem and that this will change (when, I don’t know).
As a work-around I have told my applicants that they can put in fake bank details and correct them once the application is approved.

2
Algorithm does not check bond amount. In Queensland the maximum allowed bond amount is 4 weeks’ rent. I did not know this and I entered one month’s rent as bond. The website accepted this for the advertisement and for the contract.

Also here Cubbi informs me that in one of their next updates the website will check if the bond amount you enter is within regulations.

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Cubbi Official

Thank you for taking the time to write this very the comprehensive review Marc. I think owners will find this very informative, thank you. We definitely agree with those two problems (Bond Algori... read more »

Great platform for tenants and owners alike

5 out of 5, reviewed on Jun 04, 2018

I've tried the usual route of renting out my townhouse through bricks and mortar agencies. I've also periodically looked online for alternatives. Now I've found Cubbi, I'll never look back.

The bricks and mortar option for me is much more expensive, particularly when you consider the week rent you say goodbye to each year for turning over a rental agreement, on top of the 8% fee for collecting the rent and passing it on to you. In my experience, inspections haven’t been performed with any attention to detail, if at all, unless I’ve actively managed the agent. Most of the work is done for you via the platform so the overhead is little more than it is through an agent.

Renting a place is one of those things, for me at least, that is best done properly by one's self, as no one is going to look after your place better than you! cubbi gives you the benefits of establishing a positive relationship with your tenant on a human level, which will likely encourage them to treat your place well.

For tenants, you have the opportunity to sus out your landlord, and establish a direct relationship with them, which will only encourage them to be prompt about sorting out issues when they arise. No more phone tag with a junior agent who lacks the interest and experience to adequately deal with your problem is pretty appealing to me (I also rent).

As for the staff at Cubbi, I've found them to be highly engaged and really focussed on customer satisfaction. When things run smoothly I find the Cubbi processes easy to navigate. When I experience difficulties, Cubbi have always been prompt and flexible about smoothing out the wrinkles. Good service is easy to provide when things are going well - what makes all the difference is how one manages a situation with challenges. Cubbi has out done itself on multiple occasions, in my case.

I recommend Cubbi to landlords who want a better return, want to establish a better relationship with their tenant, and want the advantages of a platform for managing that.

I also recommend Cubbi to prospective tenants who want to get an insight into what the property owner is like before spending good money on moving in.

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Comments
Cubbi Official

Thanks for the great review Andrew. I could not have said it better myself. It's great to hear Cubbi is establishing great Owner-Tenant relationships and thus a better outcome for all. Michael

Brisbane

  • 3 reviews
  • 2 helpful votes
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Weekly rent

5 out of 5, reviewed on May 09, 2018

As a landlord getting weekly rent via Cubbi is fantastic. Their support is invaluable and they do a great job. My rental unit was only on the market for less than a week before it rented. Thank you Cubbi!

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Adelaide

  • 2 reviews
  • 1 comment
  • 1 helpful vote
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Not accessable

1 out of 5, reviewed on Apr 06, 2018

Try to get hold of the agent but couldn't as he didn't answer his phone for two days.
Tried to call the Cubbi for two days and they simply didn't answer and the machine hanged up on me.
Just doen't give me the mind comfort that a customer needs to trust the service.

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Cubbi Official

Hey Sal. Very sorry to hear about your troubles. I think you are referring to the owner of the property (not the agent). Cubbi does not have 'agents' because we don't operate like a typical real es... read more »

yes, I mean the owner. That doesn't change the problem.
your system doesn't record the voice message, it only hangs up.

Verified Customer

Not reliable

3 out of 5, reviewed on Jan 23, 2018

Not reliable in terms of payments, often late direct debits, sometimes early. Website is quite poor, very few capabilities in ongoing administration of renting once initial and infrequent arrangements are made such as initial lease commencement.

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Cubbi Official

Hi Cat thanks for your review, sorry to hear you've experienced a few limitations with the service earlier this year! We've had a couple of major feature releases in the last couple of months and w... read more »

Darwin

  • 9 reviews
  • 5 helpful votes
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Extremely slow website

1 out of 5, reviewed on Jan 18, 2018

Few times trying to browse their website and I found extremely slow. Not sure what is going on with their system.

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Cubbi Official

Sorry to hear that Matt. I'm just going to private message you now to find our more details. Thanks for the heads up!

  • 6 reviews
  • 1 answer
  • 5 helpful votes
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Verified Customer

Fantastic alternative to conventional real estate agents

5 out of 5, reviewed on Dec 06, 2017

After many dealings with lacklustre real estate agents, thought I would try Cubbi. I am very pleased I did to find new tenants for our high end inner city free standing house. The online process to upload photos and floor plan was very easy. Online support was excellent and even helped with a silly error I made on the weekend. The house was only on the market for 4 days and we got 5 quality applications and a resultant long term corporate lease.

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Thanks for the great review Matt!

Geelong

  • 11 reviews
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  • 3 helpful votes
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Excellent service

5 out of 5, reviewed on Dec 01, 2017

After finding a new place in the city, we rented out our old family house. Since it was our first time to do this, we though getting the services of a professional was the best way to go. We never regretted this decision since Cubbi made the entire experience as smooth as possible.

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If you want to rent, then use Cubbi.

5 out of 5, reviewed on Nov 28, 2017

This is probably my fourth time using Cubbi to rent and each time it has worked a treat. Excellent service.

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Verified Customer

Excellent service, simple to use

5 out of 5, reviewed on Sep 22, 2017

Cubbi was easy to access and we have our second set of tenants through the agency. It made getting our message out there very simple and had maximum coverage. My only issue was a technical one with photo storage in the Library. Accessing photos was difficult on two occasions and hopefully will be remedied soon. Response time was quick with issues and we will use Cubbi again.

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It's so easy

5 out of 5, reviewed on Sep 18, 2017

The Cubbi team are always really helpful. Great interaction for those of us that need it

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Cubbi Official

Thanks Slyv

2nd rental through Cubbi and couldn't be happier

5 out of 5, reviewed on Sep 17, 2017

Re listing was a breeze just republish the add from last time no additional expense. The system managed the onboarding of my tenant perfectly, including the new online lease management and execution process. It literally took me only 20 mins to finalise. Then it was over to the tenant. The lease payment system works very well, with rent automatically being deducted from the tenants bank account. When the lease for my last tenant ended, you just enter the vacate date and the rental deductions are calculated accordingly. The system manages the interaction with prospective tenants automatically, if someone requests your phone number it automatically texts you to let you know. It also does the same when someone lodges and email enquiry for the first time. So you instantly know when there is interest in your property.

Tax time is a breeze simply set the dates and generate your full financial report in a a detailed cashflow statement. The system automatically logs your rental revenue you jaunt have to log any expenses as thy occur and your are set.
The online help chat tool is very effective. I have been working with the same person online and over the phone wehen required for over a year now and her service has been great. Thy also have lots of great material at your fingertips around the whole process of renting your property. In summary it is more efficient than

In summary I highly recommend It, it is way cheaper than an agent and allows you to better vet your tenants. An agent is generally not that interested in the quality of a tenant (no matter what they say) just getting someone in quickly to keep the commission rolling in. i managed to effectively vet out the questionable tenants through the process.

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Cubbi Official

I think your review will really help landlords get a better understanding about Cubbi. Thanks Andrew.

  • 2 reviews
  • 8 helpful votes
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Warning : Don't Expect To See Your Rental Income

1 out of 5, reviewed on Sep 13, 2017

Absolutely hopeless. Managed to stuff up every aspect of signing the tenant, then the tenant moved in and they didn't even take money from the tenants and then told the tenant everything was fine they didn't owe any money. One disaster after another, the call centre is in the Philippines, difficult to get them to reply. I have made several attempts to talk to [name removed] (supposedly the owner) never ever been contacted back by him. Perhaps he is in the Philippines too.

5 people found this helpful, do you? Yes

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Cubbi Official

Sorry to hear Chris. There was an incorrect lease start date in Cubbi and therefore rent was not deducted because according to Cubbi the tenants were paid upto date :( We should have picked tha... read more »

First Time Lessor - Ad Creation-Editing-Tenant Found-Easily Achieved

5 out of 5, reviewed on Sep 07, 2017

As a first time lessor,I was a little concerned about the process having always used agents.I found Cubbi easy to use and if I had any issues or needed further information it was instant even on the weekend.Ad writing is easy given Cubbi's tips as you go.I found a good tenant within four weeks without dropping my original advertised rent which in the current tight Brisbane rental market is excellent.
Thanks Cubbi

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Cubbi Official

Thanks for the great review! We have recently updated our help content when listing a property for rent so we are very glad you hear you found it useful!
You can also thank Abie for the weekend support. She is a gem.

Great Service

4 out of 5, reviewed on Sep 02, 2017

Great service. The overall platform is easy to navigate and use. Messaging system is a bit slow though.
Definitely recommend the overall service to people.

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Cubbi Official

We agree! Our old messaging system is horrible :) We have recently launched our new platform (Cubbi 2.0 we call it internally) which removes the old clunky messaging system. Everything is brand n... read more »

Adelaide

  • 1 review
  • 1 helpful vote
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Verified Customer

Very helpful and easy to use

5 out of 5, reviewed on Sep 01, 2017

As a first timer landlord Cubbi was a massive help. Their guides helped me learn all I needed to do and the process of advertising and onboarding was a breeze.

The one issue I had was that their messaging system was a bit slow to load, but this wasn't enough of an issue for me not to give it 5 stars.

Great service, I highly recommend it.

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Cubbi Official

Thanks Chris!

Excellent

5 out of 5, reviewed on Sep 01, 2017

I use Cubbi all the time when I am looking for tenants, I am very satisfied with their caring attitude and professionalism.

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brisbane

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Cubbi is the future in property management

4 out of 5, reviewed on Aug 31, 2017

I use two separate agencies one is national, the other is a boutique agency, to manage separate complexes, paying all the fees they request, I was under the impression, which a lot of landlords are, that property managers have super powers, that could not be matched by the average landlord. Over the years of watching and observing that impression, has been altered a lot, I noticed that they were no match for my keen interest in my rentals. No disrespect, but common human nature; I care for my tenancies like nobody else can. When things got tough in my area economically, and vacancies were high I had to act, to save my properties. I watched some vacancies languishing for months; when I called the property managers I felt depressed and disheartened, same stock answers everybody in the same boat, no enquiries, everybody is struggling, stories of how many people losing jobs leaving town. I realized that the morning ritual for some of the managers was to call acquaintances in other offices and compare the number of vacancies they were each carrying and console each other that they were not doing too bad compared to some. That was cold comfort to me, I had mortgages to feed, my banks were less understanding, and my passing on to them the stories that were given to me by my property managers, was sure to end in foreclosure. I had to do something, I knew that agencies were not feeling the pain like me, or other landlords, or had the same motivation. My biggest hurdle was access to advertising sites, I knew I would take better pictures, write better description, would constantly refine, ready 24/7 for any enquiries and hustle, like nobody could. Cubbi was my solution," necessity is the mother of all invention"; I was finding tenants and sending them to be signed up to the relevant managers, I did this many times to fill vacancies that were sitting, and alleviate some pain, I did not have the confidence to fully take over as yet, you would have thought my actions would have prompted some interest in what I was doing to fill vacancies that they could not. Not so, I was rocking the boat and setting standards that required too much effort, eg simple practices that are a required knowledge, one would think for taking pictures, like using the light to take a half decent pic. Long story short with Cubbi's support I am finally taking over and managing my properties like nobody can. I have seen Cubbi grow and improve over time I have spoken to Michael a few times and feel his passion to create an alternate platform that can free me of the old constrains and support me in managing my properties like nobody else can.

1 person found this helpful, do you? Yes

Verified Customer

An easy and convenient way to advertise

5 out of 5, reviewed on Aug 30, 2017

Great experience with Cubbi, I would use it again and recommend it. The best option for a private landlord, I live on site so this was perfect for me. I didn't need all the services, so the flexibility was awesome.

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East to use

5 out of 5, reviewed on Aug 17, 2017

We have been using Cubbi for a few years and have been happy with being able to advertise our property through them in an efficient & cost effective way. Any queries I've had along the way have been promptly answered.

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Questions & Answers

Hello Just wondering if you have updated your payment systems so that when tenants pay rent, it does not take the current 5-6 days to hit landlords account?

happyfeet asked on Jul 16, 2018

Answer this

Morning! In short, no we have not updated our payment system, however, we have been working hard with our Payment Provider to speed things up. The root problem is all Direct Debit payments in Australia take 3 business days to clear (become guaranteed funds) before the payment can be forwarded to you. The banks together have been working on a New Payments Platform (NPP) for the last few years which allow instant payments (but designed for personal use between two people) so it's not clear yet if this will allow instant Direct Debits in the near future (where a 3rd party like Cubbi can initiate the payment). The NPP is now live (with limited ability), Banks and Payment providers (like ours) are working hard to integrate with this platform - currently in testing phase.

We love Direct Debit for the reason it lowers rent arrears and allows the owner to more reliably rely on the rent being paid but the obvious problem is, it takes 5 business days to reach your account. We are hoping by September the platform will allow us to bring the time down to 3 days. Obviously all that is relying on Banks and Payment Providers which is why we like doing most things in-house. We are working on other solutions in-house that will still allow you to still get the rent reliably, keep within Residential Tenancy Act (law in each state) and ofcourse get the rent to you instantly (or within a day).

Thanks for your question. Always happy to help! Mike

Hi Cubbi. If I were to list my rental property through your company - on what websites is it advertised?

Kayla asked on Apr 27, 2018

Answer this

Hey Kayla,

Your property will go on the following sites:

realestate.com.au (Free upgrade to HIGHLIGHT listing)
Domain
cubbi.com.au
homely.com.au
rent.com.au
rentfind.com.au
homesales.com.au
onthehouse.com.au
thehomepage.com.au
homehound.com.au

More info on our helpdocs: http://help.cubbi.com.au/advertising-and-finding-tenants/how-to-advertise-on-cubbi/websites-we-advertise-on

Do we receive a normal year end fiancial statement from the Cubbi system? The charge we paid to Cubbi must go along with formal tax invoices bearing ABN/ACN and address of the service provider for audit/accounting requirements.

JFH asked on Apr 19, 2018

Answer this

Hi JFH, yes it's fairly standard. Cubbi creates tax invoices for the Cubbi service fee but you do need to enter your own expenses in Cubbi. With tax time coming up shortly we have a new 'Tax Return' release coming out over the next 3-4 weeks to streamline the process a little more so as long as the expenses are entered in (and you attach the invoices) it's extremely easy to download all the information your accountant needs in one hit to lodge your tax return (eg fill out the Rental Schedule required by the ATO). A lot of people who use Cubbi don't know the process so a big focus is to guide you through. Hope my long winded answer covers it. Mike.

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