What do the Best Lettings Agents Do (That the Others Don’t)?
Here at Brighton Homes, when it comes to lettings, we’ve seen how it should be done. And, how it can all go horribly wrong. Welcome to our honest guide to help landlords move towards the Good rather than the Bad – and the just plain Ugly.
In the property sector, there’s a truth universally acknowledged. An unwritten, little-discussed detail that landlords and letting agents know about, but don’t necessarily discuss. And it’s this:
Not all letting agents are the same. There’s a lot of work involved in renting a property and yes, we’re going to say it – some agencies are pretty terrible. In our opinion, that is.
Brighton Homes was founded by Steven Kirupai, a property professional keen to move away from the poor working practices he witnessed within the sector.
Things could only get better. And they did.
Steven was, and still is, completely passionate about his business. He wants Brighton Homes to be the best it can be. Has he succeeded? Judge for yourself: Since its inception in 2009, Brighton Homes has not lost a single property. Therefore, we’d say yes. Without a doubt.
So, what makes a great property lettings agency? What do the excellent ones do that the rest simply don’t?
- They have business and life experience
As a landlord, we believe that you would prefer to deal with an agency whose staff are familiar with the lettings business, who have practical understanding of the sector and who are most likely landlords themselves.
Why? Because more experienced property negotiators have a greater personal and professional empathy with your situation, and they tend to see the bigger picture. They know what you need. They’re already ahead of the curve.
Moreover, skilled letting agents often get a good intuition regarding who is going to be a reliable tenant, and who isn’t.
- They have outstanding local knowledge
A lettings agent should know everything that’s relevant and important about the area surrounding your property. This includes transport, schools, and local amenities such as shops, restaurants and so on. Knowledge of council tax bands is key, too.
An excellent lettings agent must be practiced enough to know an area’s broad demographic. In other words, the type of people who live there. Students (late night parties?) Young professionals? Families? All these things make a difference if you want your tenants to put down roots.
- They know how to value your property
Again, this boils down to know-how and local knowledge. Wouldn’t you rather your agent let your property for a viable, realistic price within a matter of days, rather than you endure lengthy void periods due to an over-enthusiastic yet inaccurate valuation priced too high?
Your gold-star property agency has done their homework. It’s all about accurate, authentic research to deliver great service.
- They give great advice
It’s not about the hard sell. In fact, it’s not about selling at all. As an experienced landlord, even if you think you’re up to speed, you may not be. There will be new legislation for you to know and act on. If you’re new to letting out your property, be aware: it’s more complicated than it used to be.
But don’t worry.
An agency that offers practical, empathetical advice will be the one that you recommend to your friends and colleagues. People do business with professionals they trust. If your spidey senses are tingling due to their lack of industry knowledge and a rather brusque approach, walk away.
- They know how to listen
Knowing what you want and what you need is very important. Otherwise, how will your lettings agency know who to look for?
- They take care of the paperwork
It’s the empathy thing again. When the tenant application process goes through, an excellent lettings business will simply remove as much of the fine detail from your busy day as much as they possibly can.
They’ll have put procedures in place to save time and to ensure that the tenant can move in with the minimum of fuss.
Attention to detail is everything. As is thoroughness. Ensuring that your would-be tenant is carefully screened and that references are taken out should be done as a matter of course. There’s nothing certain in life, but thorough up-front checks could reduce the chances of problems happening later.
- They’ll take care of…more paperwork
A truly excellent rental agency will use an experienced, unbiased inventory clerk to ensure that everything in the property is as it should be. This third-party “checks and balances” approach will ensure that in the worst instance, should your tenant take you to arbitration, you’ll have a greater chance of winning due to the non-partisan nature of the agreement.
You will already know about the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Make sure that the agency you use is fully versed with how it works. If they’re good, they’ll take care of everything on your behalf.
- They have a great work ethic
Active knowledge of the sector, what landlords are looking for and yes, cliché though it is – going that extra mile – turns a good lettings agency into a brilliant one.
What do we mean by this? It’s all about communication. Returning phone calls and emails, punctuality, professional integrity and establishing good working relationships.
Ready to rent out your property?
You could try Brighton Homes. We’re the Good Guys. Contact us for more information