Recognition, referrals, repeat: A winning strategy for attracting new landlords

4 May 2021

Zest Sales and Lettings stands out in the Bath region for its customer service, as demonstrated through the various awards that it's won. However, it's recognition from its landlords that leads to recommendations in the long term, to help it continue attracting customers, even during uncertain times.

"Bath is a really desirable place to live and there's been an influx of people moving from the city to the South West," says Beth Perry, Operations Director at Zest Sales and Lettings. "We would love to have double the amount of properties available because we feel like there are enough tenants registered with us. Properties are letting within hours instead of days."

At this time of strong demand but lower stock levels, ensuring a strong relationship with your landlords is essential - not just for retaining your current landlords, but creating more security in the future through referrals and word of mouth recommendations. Globally, statistics show that a customer is four times more likely to buy if referred by a close friend or colleague - a pattern that Beth has recognised at Zest.

"We invest quite heavily online and people do find us that way," says Beth. "But the majority of our landlords have come to us through recommendations which is testament to the work that our team put in, looking after the clients. The reviews that we have on Google set us apart."

Create a welcoming space

The agency itself was created with customer experience front of mind, based on Beth's experience of working with agents for the management of her own properties. "We sometimes felt that we were intruding on other people's spaces," says Beth. "So there seemed a bit of a gap in the market to open up and provide something that is solely focused on providing great customer service - and a space where people feel really welcomed."

A physical space can only seem welcoming with the right people to interact with landlords from day one. Beth says that your staff should be knowledgeable and well trained, but that there are other characteristics that will help in the long term retention of your landlords, such as being "approachable, easy to talk to, compassionate and a good listener."

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Use technology for an efficient service

Using technology to support your staff and help them deliver the best service levels is essential. "You can provide great service with a really good staff, but if you haven't got the systems to back that up, then you're falling short," says Beth. "I think it's a combination of things coming together, having great staff and using intuitive technology. That's really the forefront of the property industry."

Beth makes sure that the agency practices what it preaches, and that this investment in technology and always "looking for the next best, most efficient practice that we can provide to our clients" makes them unique in the industry and within the area they operate.

Gain recognition for your service

The awards that the agency has won speak for themselves, voted Business of the Year by Best of Bath and winning the Gold award at the British Property Awards three years in a row. Featuring these awards front and centre on your website can help to prove your credentials to future customers - and come full circle, to earning more referrals.

"It's always good to be recognised but, for us, the most important thing is actually the experience that our clients have. The recommendations that they then give to colleagues, friends, family, and back to us is the most important thing."

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