Christopher Watkin: 3 ways to win more instructions from landlords when stock is low

8 September 2021

Provide landlords with valuable information on the property market to gain their trust and you'll reap the rewards over time, says Christopher Watkin.

Christopher Watkin is the lettings industry's biggest advocate for content marketing, advising letting agents to create articles, reports, videos, and more in order to reach new landlords. "If you try and go out there and sell stuff to people, they get switched off, so why don't you actually give them something which is of interest?" Watkin shared suggestions for letting agents looking to try this approach in an on-demand Goodlord webinar. Read on for his top tips or watch the full webinar on demand now.

Build trust by providing landlords with useful information

"People do business with people they trust, so if you want to do business with people, stop chasing the outcome, which is the listing, and work out how you get people to trust you," says Watkin. Trust, he notes, can be built up over time by providing landlords with valuable information about the lettings market - not by talking about your own business. You could do this by creating an email newsletter, writing a regular piece for your local newspaper or establishing your own blog, or building up your presence on social media. "Every single landlord cares about the value of their property," says Watkin. "We are the gatekeepers to the second most interesting topic in the world to the British, the first being the weather, the second being the property market."

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Make use of the resources already at your disposal

Researching doesn't have to be labour intensive, with many sources of valuable information that you can repackage for your local market already at your fingertips: house prices are readily available on the portals, while sites such as Newsagent provide up-to-date data on average rents and void periods throughout the country. In addition, do your research on local Facebook groups, bulletin boards, and so on, so you can make sure you're reaching your target audience. "Seventy percent of landlords live in the same town that their property is in, so therefore, if you're in Leicester, 70% of Leicester landlords live in Leicester, and the only people that join Leicester Facebook groups are people from Leicester," says Watkin.

Establish a regular cadence and stick to it

It's not enough to write one article or create one video, says Watkin, who notes that this approach to winning new landlords is a long game. "There's no shortcut to building trust." Once you've decided on your approach, you need to establish a regular cadence that ensures the information you're creating is constantly being surfaced to landlords. "Don't do what a lot of people do and go hell for leather for three weeks and then stop," says Watkin. "The biggest thing with content and social media is persistence and consistency."

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