“How fast can you let my property?” will be one of the first questions any landlord will ask a prospective agency. One of the key reasons landlords turn to agencies is to minimise the amount of time their property is empty but also attracting and retaining great tenants who will not only pay their rent on time, but also take care of their home as if it was their own.
In order to turn enquiries into new business, agents should be able to provide landlords with an accurate time frame for filling their property and details of how their average voidage periods compares to other agencies in their local area. “Very often, the key concern for landlords will be how quickly the property can be let,” says Justin Matthews of Hotspur Residential in Northumberland. “One of the things we talk to potential landlords about is systems that we have in place that help us let properties quickly and get all the paperwork done correctly.”
Agents should also be able to demonstrate how their service enables them to attract and retain the best tenants by ensuring they provide a review-worthy service. “We try and build a rapport with our tenants,” says Matt Dilkes of Christopher Shaw Residential in Bournemouth. “Our tenants are generally dealing with the same person they first spoke to, so they have a chance to develop that relationship from the viewing, all the way to move-in.”
That experience doesn’t end when the agents hand over the keys, either. “We give every tenant moving in a gift box that includes coffee, biscuits, a welcome card and a magazine about moving into their house. Going forward, they have access to our software, which is there to help them report anything that's an issue,” he says. Dilkes notes the value of reviews from tenants who have had a great experience, with 84% of people trusting online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from friends or family. “We are very aware of the importance of getting good reviews - and asking for them.”
A good experience is also key to retaining tenants over the long-term, which is better for landlords, says Michael Scrase-Hollamby of Ezytrac Property Management. “The more tenants you have coming in and then leaving results in more wear and tear and dilapidation of the property. But if you have just one tenant who's going to be there for a longer time, they tend to treat it better. They tend to look after it more as their own home, which reduces wear and tear,” he says. “Landlords want the standard of their property to be maintained, so their investment is looked after better if we can get the right tenant and they stay longer.”