Increased regulation and the impact on revenues that will arise from the Tenant Fee Ban could wipe out rogue agents and leave the best agencies to rise to the top, say some letting agents - and improve the industry overall as a result.
“Market-leading agents are going to be pushing ahead and it could mean that the unregulated market falls away,” says Marcus Arundell of HomeLets in Bath. “For too long now, letting agents haven't been regulated.”
He thinks the Tenant Fee Ban is going to kickstart a “game-changing period" for our industry. “I don’t think there’s been a time like it,” he says, echoing ARLA CEO David Cox’s recent comments that the ban would represent “a seismic shift in the way our industry operates.”
Thomas Izod of Kallars Property Agents in London agrees that “it is going to be a very tough market for a lot of agents”. He thinks the agencies that will continue to be successful will be those who have already begun preparing for the way the market will change.
“Now is the time to start preparing for the changes that are coming in. The main thing moving forward is you need as much business as possible to counteract the losses that are going to be coming. Only by putting your systems into place now are you going to be able to combat that,” says Izod. “We're constantly adapting to new rules and regulations but we’re also breaking every system down to see where we can improve.”
Now is the time to start preparing for the changes that are coming in.
Samuel Fitz-Hugh of Manchester’s Settio Property Experience thinks one way agencies could improve is by considering how they could improve the service they provide their landlords and tenants. “At the moment, agents are at the bottom of the list people like dealing with,” he says. “I think the better agents will start thinking more about the experience of their landlords and tenants and, as a whole, the industry will get a lot better.”
Daniel Otton of Buttercross Estates in Newark-on-Trent agrees successful agents will focus on improving their landlord and tenants experience. “The customer experience and customer journey is at the forefront of our minds,” he says. “We wanted to make sure we were delivering a really good, slick and efficient service.”
“Those agencies that are not up to speed with technology and running an efficient system are going to struggle when the Tenant Fee Ban comes in,” he says. “But I see it as an opportunity where we are able to be a shining light on how to provide a service to our customers.”