How you can retain your agency's landlords into 2023 and beyond
The current economic landscape is causing uncertainty for all, not least landlords - and that's where letting agents come in, as Ricky Purdy, Director of Lettings at Dawsons, explains.
The current climate has had a noticeable impact on how we interact with our customers. We're being asked more for our agency's thoughts, our experiences, what do we think we should do in their circumstance with their tenant, with their notice, with their portfolio. Should they carry on looking to purchase property to add to their portfolio? Is that still a good investment?
Planning for an unpredictable future
Our landlords are a little more cautious - our tenants too. We're looking at the medium to long term with our clients, without taking our eyes off the three or four months ahead. That means forecasting and predicting for a range of events so that we can act on them accordingly, as we approach 2023.
We sit with our clients and talk through the big hurdles such as the energy price guarantee deadline now in April and changing mortgage interest rates, as well as the upcoming legislation changes under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016.
Homeowners, prospective landlords, current landlords are going to feel the impact of those changes coming about through the spring and summer months next year.
Drill down into the detail with each landlord
That level of scrutiny over each case is important. You need to look at a property within a portfolio and then the portfolio as a whole.
For a landlord that's new or thinking of getting into the market, what's a very attractive scenario now may not be affordable in 12 months.
It's a good time to be a landlord in terms of the void periods and the higher rents - and not a good time in terms of that initial outlay for a property, as the prices are noticeably higher, making that initial return and yield not so attractive.
Take the time to have those conversations
Despite the context, the knowledge and experience and rapport and trust that we've built with the clients that we interact with is probably where we are enjoying that more now - it takes it back to the grassroots of what's great about being a letting agent.
Showing an understanding of each landlord's individual circumstances will pay in the long run. A blanket approach isn't the right approach right now - as was the case during the pandemic. Your landlords will want some extra hand holding during this time of uncertainty.
It's a footfall in our branch where people are sitting down and talking from sofa to sofa. They want that more personable and involved insight, rather than just a passing question during a chain of emails or while we're on the phone.
Retain your landlords - and win new ones too
Those conversations create lasting relationships. Our retention numbers are strong as an outcome of them - and we're even growing our landlord portfolio through the new clients that we're now engaging with that we didn't before.
Many were self managing but now appreciate the involvement of a proactive agent. They now want that reassurance and certainty. Yes, you can argue that's an additional expense that they will be paying in management fees - but it's good value for money and a good return on investment for them.