“Any agent that doesn't adapt to the changing face of the letting industry will be at risk in the future,” says Simon Buckingham, Head of Lettings at Wallers.
“We put an importance on our online reputation because more and more young people are renting, and that younger generation is using online portals and online in general to get an idea of companies before they use them, so we're very proud of the fact that we have strong review on Google and on Facebook. We see more footfall through the door of tenants and also more interest from landlords.
“Another challenge for us and other new agents is to get landlords away from the corporate high street agents. In order to do this, we make sure that we offer a tailor-made competitive package for landlords.
“We differentiate ourselves from other high street agents not just by offering a great service to tenants and landlords but because we also look at tenants not as a commission but as people and we deal with them honestly and openly. We get involved in the community quite a lot, sponsoring local sports teams, local schools and fairs, and we feel that that differentiates us from other corporate agencies. We feel that this benefits us because we are localised to our community and we know our local area very well and get involved with the people that count, that are the people next door to us and down the road from us.
“Advice we'd give to other agents is to make sure they look at adapting, changing and thinking outside the box a little bit more. Don't try and do everything yourself. Use technology to help you get to where you want to be as an agency and embrace it. Using technology in the lettings industry frees up our time to spend more time with our tenants and our landlords and it also reduces our costs massively and as such it means we can continue building our sustainable business model. Technology can make it much easier for you to run your lettings business, so why wouldn't you use it?”