With the impending ban on letting fees on the horizon, we look at why it's vital to strengthen your relationships with your third-party service providers.
A recent feature published on the NewStatesman’s website has stated that the impending letting fee ban is a “…victory for the country’s 11m renters, and a victory for common sense.”
The feature expresses the opinion that the ban will ‘reshape the rental market’, as landlords will be able to ‘negotiate’ their costs with their appointed letting agent, or simply ‘appoint a cheaper one’ if they think that their costs are too high.
There is a feeling that the market will change from a captive one; one where agents have been ‘charging whatever they like’ to tenants, giving them no “choice” in which agency they ultimately have to deal with, to a non-captive one; one that will empower landlords and tenants, due to the fact that landlords will have more choice of agents because agents will ultimately be forced to become more competitive in order to keep their current business.
The article leans towards the opinion that a ban on fees will make the rental market a much fairer place overall and forecasts the trickle-down effect of the ban to be something along these lines:
- The ban forces letting agents to recover lost revenue through their landlords.
- Landlords can put up their rental fees to cover costs or look for a more competitive deal from another agent.
- Tenants are empowered; if the rent is hiked up to cover a landlord’s costs, they can look for a more competitive deal with another landlord due to the fact that the overall cost to move rental properties will be considerably cheaper.
The feature argues that “[n]egligent landlords will now face the prospect of having to replace their newly empowered tenants – so we should start seeing boilers, floorboards and windows fixed with a bit more enthusiasm.” It also asserts that “…[c]urrently it’s more profitable for agents with high fees to encourage regular tenant turnover than have them stay put year after year. With a ban on letting fees, the most profitable thing for an agent to do is encourage tenants to stay for the long term, minimising periods where the property is empty.”
If the forecast becomes reality, then competition will rise. If competition rises, agents will be forced to be more proactive than ever before. This is where your communication of your in-branch and third-party services has the potential to bolster your revenue.
Target local businesses and build relationships with them
To offer the best possible service, you should be capitalising on building relationships with all the local tradesmen and legal service providers in your area. Even if you have a dedicated team that you can call on, sending out content that puts your agency at the forefront of businesses’ minds has the potential to increase referrals and generate trust. Simply gather their emails from their websites, send targeted email campaigns to them, and explain who you are. You could even consider sending them printed collateral, such as canvassing cards, and ask them if they could display them for you. Provide that added incentive of referrals back to their business if a prospect ends up employing your services.
Communicate your services to your current and prospective landlords and tenants
The way that you market your agency to your current customers and prospects will be vital. If and when the ban happens, it will no longer be enough to just secure business and let it take care of itself. In order to retain business, you’re going to have to be extra vigilant of your customer service. Using automated communications will keep your current landlords in the loop with any work you undertake for them, putting their mind at rest and indicating that you’re constantly working for the privilege of letting their property. Newsletters will convey your knowledge of current affairs and expertise, helping to create trust in your service. Sending out regular surveys will demonstrate your approach to great customer service, bolster opinions of your agency and give you vital customer feedback to improve your service.
The same principles apply for generating new business. You’re going to have to stir up interest in your campaigns. Our Communications Managed service might, for example, work with you to create a campaign on social media that seeks to promote you and your services within your area and increase your database of prospects. Send out highly targeted direct mail campaigns to affluent areas and target potential new landlords. Connect with the local area through our printed mini-mags, shout about who you are, your local knowledge, and why prospects should choose your agency.
Your database also holds a vast amount of revenue generating opportunities, so ensure that your business is at the forefront of your customers' minds when they are looking for:
- Mortgage Advice
- Conveyancing services
By staying connected at exactly the right time, all of these services can vastly boost your revenue...
Get proactive. Help your agency to get ahead in 2017.
To discuss how our features can help your agency increase your revenue, call one of our expert team today on 0344 800 84 24, or click on the button below to request a callback.