How much importance do you place on looking after your landlords? While getting their properties rented may be your top priority, providing an unparalleled service as a letting agent means offering as much value as possible and ensuring your landlords feel their best interests are being taken care of.
Optimising your offering by providing added value wherever feasible will not only ensure you retain existing landlords but could help you win new business, too.
Despite the challenges of the past year, becoming a landlord is still an attractive investment for many. So, what can you do in a saturated market to nurture your existing client portfolio and make sure your agency is the first pick for new landlords looking for support?
Here are five easy ways your agency can bring added value to landlords.
Show an understanding of the local market
The key word here is ‘local’. While we talk generally about the lettings market, what a landlord is genuinely interested in is what’s happening in their local market. Whether you’re in Bristol, Hull or Manchester, it’s essential for you to have a firm grasp on how the developments in their portfolio’s locality may impact the decisions of the students living there. Is the local university seeing its highest intake of students this year? Is one particular area seeing new bars and chain restaurants pop up, making it a desirable student locale?
By being your landlords’ ear to the ground, you will provide value in educating them on shifting trends and rental price changes that may impact their listings, as well as their tenants’ evolving needs.
Know how to market to students
Hatchpad’s research has shown that the vast majority of students are discovering accommodation via word-of-mouth, namely from referrals. Over 65% of students surveyed reported that they’d found their latest student home via referral from a friend.
This shift away from aggregator sites such as Rightmove means it’s imperative that you adapt your marketing tools accordingly. By adopting suitable communication methods and marketing strategies such as two-way referral systems, you will truly capture the student market. This will win landlords’ confidence that you not only understand the students they’re looking to rent to but that you have an actionable plan to get the word out about their property.
Provide bills inclusive packages
Many students have set expectations of their rental properties, such as wanting bills to be included within the cost of their rent. For landlords, this makes sense but can be stressful for them to manage alone.
Providing bills inclusive rental packages is a simple way to kill two birds with one stone, helping out students and impressing your landlords. Winning over new business and retaining old clients does not necessarily require bells and whistles; something as simple as offering to take care of bill management will help your landlords avoid issues relating to deposit returns and unpaid bills, significantly reducing their stress.
Offer legislative guidance
In an ever-evolving industry, legislative changes are inevitable. However, landlords don’t necessarily have the resources or the inclination to keep up-to-date with these shifts. A meaningful way to support landlords is to offer legislative guidance as part of your agency’s package and to help them implement changes appropriately.
Landlords will face a myriad of changes in 2021, such as the Electrical Safety Standards Regulations, which will require all existing properties’ electrical installations to be inspected and tested every five years from April 2021.
Making mistakes here can be costly to resolve. Your expert team will already hold this valuable knowledge; make sure to share it with your landlords to help them traverse this changing landscape.
It’s not only students who love a referral scheme. Being a fantastic agency to work with is a great reason for landlords to shout your name from the rooftops, but a referral scheme can provide an irresistible incentive to spread the word.
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective advertising methods a business can use and is a relatively hands-off way to generate leads. Providing you’re delivering an incredible service, a monetary reward to say thank you to your landlords for referring you to their network is a no-brainer.
What you can offer will be dependent on many factors, but the recommendation is that the reward benefits both the referrer and the new landlord. For example, you can offer a £250 referral credit every time a property is let or rented through the agency as the result of a referral, split between the two parties.