“Why should I employ agents to find tenants? I have the time to find them myself.”
The question of why you should employ agents to find tenants for your property is a common one. If you, as a landlord, have the time, and have cheap access to tenant-finding portals, why should you not find tenants yourself and save on the agent fees? You could argue that it’s better for you to meet tenants yourself so you know exactly the kind of person who will be living in your property. But is this true? Let’s break down exactly what you’re getting when you employ an agent to find tenants.
Stress-Free, Professional, Fully Compliant Tenant Handling
It’s important to understand that agents don’t just save you time. Through their expertise and experience, agents also help you prevent future stress. Stress can come in many forms, from having bad tenants who take a lot of managing and not being able to evict unwanted tenants to being penalised for not being legally compliant. Legislation changes frequently and it’s hugely important you know you are doing everything right both before and during any tenancy.
Current Market Knowledge and Specialist Tools
The market changes daily, and we regularly monitor and evaluate current rent levels. As agents, we have proprietary access to tools that are not available to those not in the industry. These tools, plus our experience and expertise, enable us to carry out market and comparable research and deliver a professional valuation. We do this so our clients can have optimised rents and a strategy in place. Proactive monitoring of the market and your direct competition requires expertise, skills and experience.
Generating demand is one of the hardest tasks to do, as well as being one of the least visible. We have a great deal of experience in creating marketing materials that are fully compliant, highly attractive and ensure a greater number of enquiries. For example, we supervise all our professional photography sessions so that a property’s best features are highlighted. Prospective tenants are increasingly digitally savvy; you don’t want to lose even one potential tenant through poor marketing efforts. Which portals and channel are you advertising and how frequently are you promoting? Do you know what your conversion rate is? Is your marketing targeted to the right kind of people?
Finding genuinely good, long-term tenants
There is a well-known saying: you make your own luck. And that kind of luck takes hard work. We know through experience who and what makes a good tenant, and so we take the time to thoroughly vet applicants before they even visit the property, let alone putting them through to independent referencing. Do you have the time to do this? How do you know that potential tenants are genuine and not simply on their best behaviour when they view your property? Be assured, tenant fraud is becoming more sophisticated. It takes experience and expertise to analyse hard data and soft qualities and so be able to sort the good tenants from the bad.
Professional Response and Service at All Times
Viewings can be very tedious. We know just how tedious. We’ve had viewings that have taken one meeting and more than 20 visits. Are you able to respond to enquiries promptly, as soon as they come in, and not only when you have five minutes between work and your personal life to spare? Will you be able to show your property after work or on weekends without losing the enthusiasm to ‘sell’? Will you be able to cope with the unforeseeable, such as viewers arriving late, having to reschedule appointments to suit both you and the viewer, and liaising with in-situ tenants for access? We have procedures in place to mitigate no-shows, so that we only invite serious candidates.
Legal Knowledge and Insurance Cover
Health and safety rules must be observed for viewings and these require you to have insurance cover. Are you GDPR-compliant when it comes to prospective applicants’ data for usage, storage and deletion? Is your marketing compliant with the Consumer Protection Act 2008? Portals don’t necessarily check this for you; it’s down to you to ensure you are compliant. What about Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and Right to Rent? Reference companies, however reputable, won’t know what exactly was said during a viewing and so will not be able to help you make an informed decision.
Time-saving is not the only factor you should consider when it comes to hiring an agent. A good agent will save you from having to carry out detailed data gathering and analysis, ensure compliancy and insurance cover, avoid potentially bad tenants and navigate ever-changing legislation. We will take the stress of letting a property off your shoulders, leaving you free to carry on with your day-to-day life, knowing that the best possible tenants are found for the long term.