This is an extract from Goodlord's e-book, How to grow your agency in 2019. Download your copy today.
The competition for new landlords is fiercer than ever, with 20% of landlords expected to reduce the number of properties in their portfolios in the next year as a result of tax and legislation changes - the highest level of intended property sales in 10 years. However, increased regulation also means there is a greater demand for industry professionals who can provide guidance and support, which is reflected in the increasing number of landlords who are now using professional letting agents. In fact, 72% of landlords think it’s become more difficult to be an independent landlord in the past year.
“As legislation continues to strengthen, landlords will have a choice,” says Ian Crampton of Ferndown Estates in Birmingham. “They will either sell or they will look for an alternative to maintain their portfolio. I think as regulation tightens, there’s an opportunity for lettings companies to make contact with a lot of these landlords who will either be considering selling or continuing to let their property using the management service of lettings companies.”
Crampton believes cementing yourself as an expert by advising your landlords openly and honestly could ultimately prove a deciding factor as to whether a landlord opens up their full portfolio to your services or continues to use them. “Give people the right advice and look after them and you’ll get that back hopefully three or four fold,” he says.
But managing relationships while keeping up with the associated administration of a growing portfolio will be almost impossible without additional support. Many agencies are looking to technology to provide that support. “We don’t want to replace people, we want to do some of the jobs digitally that enable us to liaise with clients better and more often,” says Jon Werth of LiFE Residential in London.
“I think you have to look at what PropTech can do to take away the mundane jobs of your staff and enable them to speak and meet with your clients more often. If you speak and meet with clients, you’ve got more chance of keeping them and engaging with them. But you’ll only have time to do that if your tech is doing some of the mundane jobs for you.”
Technology will also demonstrate to potential landlords that an agency is forward- thinking and serious about improving the services it offers both landlords and tenants. “We’ve got to look at ways we can offer more to our landlords, because we’ve got to stand out from the crowd but also we’ve got to make sure we’re doing the best for them,” says Werth. “We’re obliged to look at what systems or tools there are to make the landlord’s journey easier and their offering better.”