CARRFIELD list ideas for lettings agents to generate more income
With the news that the white paper has been released on the banning of tenant’s fees, agents are now having to look at other ways of increasing or creating income. We have listed below some ideas for agents to consider.
- Increase commission
When I talk to agents about raising income by increasing fees the first thing they say is “our clients will not buy that”. Well, when I had a letting agency my clients did and those who did object were told that their fees would be frozen a further year and then increased, that way you don’t lose the business and there is no need to go back and ask again. Remember landlords don’t like swapping agents, they have stayed with you for a reason
- Converting “let only” to “part” or “full” management
There are always landlords that want to manage their own property, but in my experience when a landlord has requested let only they have never been offered anything else. A landlord’s first concern is that the tenant pays the rent, this is a good way of opening the door to increasing the service you offer by showing them what you can offer either by an introductory deal or with added value.
It is not unusual to outsource inventories to an external inventory provider, but with revenue potentially being lost with the banning of tenant’s fees what better way to look at making these up by doing the inventory yourself, Carrfield have produced an introduction to Inventories course. There are many inventory IT packages that an agent can chose from, but again this is still an expense, try looking at Dragon Dictation by Nuance. This is a great tool and not expensive it can be placed on any laptop or PC and can also be downloaded as an app to your mobile, you dictate and it writes it for you, worth investigating
- Added extras to your current service
Have you considered having all cleaning & maintenance in house by owning the companies that do it (remember to be transparent and advise your clients that you have an interest), Carrying out your own referencing & credit checks, there are many companies who can carry out credit searches so why not go back to doing the references yourself?
Over the last decade letting agents have become reliant on property portals to advertise, but how effective is that advertising, you pay a certain amount per month and may not get any interest from that advertising at all. With Google advertising, you only pay each time someone clicks on your ad and adverts can be created for individual properties or to raise awareness for your agency, they could get you top of the first page on Google. Worth looking in to.
- Attract more landlords
What do the public know about you, not to put too finer point on it, but from the street you look the same as the next agent Have you thought about having landlord evenings inviting potential new landlords to meet with you over a glass of wine. Why not have a guest speaker Carrfield can supply you with one for the evening to talk about a lettings subject of your choice.
- What insurances to you offer
Are you offering rent guarantee, contents etc. if you don’t offer insurances then maybe now would be a good time to start looking in to this, there are various ways of offering insurance and insurance companies do pay commission for leads (remember if you get commission from insurance companies you must inform both your landlord and your tenant)
- Going paperless
If income is reduced then you look to reduce your outgoings, it is not difficult to go paperless creating your own templates with logo etc directly on your computers and rather than sending letters in the post do as much as you can over the internet.
- Bank fees
Banks will negotiate on fees if they believe you will leave and take all those rents and deposits with you. One tip, set up the accounts you will need with the new back in advance of your negotiations so should your existing bank dig their heels in and you have to switch, then the process should be a lot smoother.
- Announce your triumphs
Bad news travels fast in our industry. If you let a property in double quick time let everyone know about it take out an advert/article to allow potential landlords to know how good you are you may even consider going back to old school marketing and leaflet drop areas (remember be factual don’t embellish the truth)
- Branch out into other avenues of property
If you only offer lettings have you ever thought about Block Management, Sales or even commercial. Carrfield offer an introduction course to all these services check out the training page
We hope our ideas are or could be of use to you, you may have already thought of some of them, but if you have any ideas you would like to share with others you are very welcome to mail them through. Also, if you have been considering training for your staff then have a look at the training courses we currently offer, we will be happy to discuss your training needs.