In our recent landlord survey, where 89% of participants said they use an agency, almost 30% said that there is nothing about their agents’ service that they felt was of value in the last 12 months – in fact, they went as far as to say they are unhappy with their agent full stop.
With almost all of those surveyed using a fully managed service, why are so many landlords feeling this way?
When you consider that most of the surveyed landlords have been in the industry for over 10 years, this is quite an alarming statistic. How has this great divide occurred and what can you do to bridge the gap between expectation and delivery?
From our survey results we’ve highlighted a few areas where landlords have said they would appreciate more help from agents.
Offer more advice on legislation and tax changes
Just over 40% of those landlords surveyed ranked this as one of the most important areas they would have liked more assistance from their letting agent within recent times. Whilst it isn’t something that automatically springs to mind when thinking about letting properties on behalf of these landlords, this simple communication could be shared with landlords via a monthly email communication. Let’s face it, there have been so many changes to legislation and tax recently that, if you’re a landlord with only a single property (and the vast majority of them are), having someone else with that industry knowledge is invaluable.
Over 32% of landlords said communication about their tenancies would have been appreciated. What sort of help are they after? A simple post-inspection report would go a long way to reassuring a landlord that you are looking after their investment, while also reminding them that you do offer a service; albeit one that they don’t see day to day. You can also look at products like Tenant Monitor. This is an ongoing tenant monitoring service we offer as part of our referencing service which continues to monitor a tenant’s credit file even after they have passed referencing. Any significant changes to circumstances such as the filing of a CCJ would be picked up and discussed with the landlord.
This could be an important warning indicator that there may be problems in the not-too-distant future. For many tenants, the last thing they will default on is their rent but by then it might be too late to pull back any potential arrears.
Identifying good tenants at re-let
Being able to identify good quality tenants when re-letting was ranked as the number one worry for the landlords surveyed. With demand outstripping supply when it comes to the current lettings market, being able to quickly identify those tenants from the many that apply at the outset is a simple and effective way to do that. Using a solution like Property PassportTM, enables you to curate a pool of pre-qualified tenants that have been credit and ID checked even before viewing stage. This means you can quickly match tenants to properties with confidence, before upgrading to more in-depth checks to further verify their suitability for a tenancy. It speeds up the lettings process minimising void periods for your landlords whilst securing quality tenants fast.
Offer more protection products
Most people agree that prevention is better than cure. You may already be offering Rent & Legal Protection, which has now become as essential as buildings insurance. But Property Damage Protection and Legal Expenses Protection may also make landlords feel assured that, should the worst happen and a tenant defaults and causes damage to a property – these expenses wouldn’t need to come out of their pocket. As an agent offering some of these products as part of your fully managed package, or as additionally costed products it will show landlords that you are looking after their best interests.
Provide more information regarding the local property market
Almost 39% of landlords responding to the survey stated that they wanted more information regarding the local property market. This is a notable figure. It either suggests that landlords are not in the same vicinity as their investment property, or they are not a “career landlord” and do not live and breathe lettings. The local market knowledge means looking at how rents are calculated, price of local properties for further investment or perhaps if the property is near a university or hospital, it may make more income as an HMO. This level of advice is perhaps not what a letting agent thinks would interest a landlord, but it is easy to address. A monthly newsletter, email or social posts sharing your expertise and knowledge of the local area market would satisfy your landlords whilst positioning yourself as a respected expert.
Pre-Order Your Copy Of Our Full Report
If you would like to read more about the results of our landlord survey, why not download our full report – From The Horses’s Mouth: What Landlords Really Want.