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Showing posts from December, 2013

Can Social media really help you get more landlords?

I was chatting to a mate of mine in lettings and estate
 agency game in Manchester. He is one of these sort of guys that is into the latest fad of social media.. he has a facebook account, twitter account, PIN interest (I thought that was club for people who like wall hanging implements).. Ask.fm etc etc


I asked him what business he got from it .. the ROI (return on investment - management techno speak) .. he couldn’t answer. As a fellow agent, that has helped some letting agents with knowledge of the dark arts of social media, I can see it from both sides. This is what I told my Manchester letting agent friend ...
Social media doesnt sell or let more property, but what it does do is get you contact with more vendors and landlords. Its what you say that makes a 'potential' client turn into 'actual' client … by making attractive and appealing to read news and views, that answers the issues of your potential client.The question is, who are you clients, where can they be…

Do landlords care what properties you have put on the market this week?

So lets look at it from the landlords point of view .. 'Do they really care you have listed a 2 bed flat at £600 pcm' ..... answer honestly, no they dont... Before you answer that, do you Mr or Mrs letting agent care what properties your sister office have listed? again .. another noSo why the hell do letting agents tweet all their new listings on twitter, or post their new listings on facebook or linkedn?I was talking to a letting agent  from Cheshire about all the noise out there in the world, all the messages, adverts, announcements, pitches and friend requests. He said he couldnt be bothered to read all the millions of tweets and posts .. to which i replied  .... "And you're sending your listings out there, so even you are sending even more every day into that bedlam, that internet turmoil.""No we're not," he said. "Ours isn't noise." Sorry Mr Cheshire letting agent .... Yes it is. .. please stop it.

Who wants to deal with irritable landlords?

If you reserve your best effort for the irritable landlord, the never-pleased landlord and the bully of a landlord, then you've bought into a system that rewards the very people who are driving you nuts. It's no wonder you have landlords like that--they get your best work.

On the other hand, when you make it clear (and then deliver) on the promise that your best work goes to those that are clear, respectful and patient, you become a specialist in having landlords just like that.

In a previous job, one of the largest turning points of my career was me telling a client that i could longer work for him. He accounted for a third of my company's work. We were becoming really good at tolerating the stress that came from this engagement, and it became clear to me that we were about to sign up for a lifetime of landlord’s like that. Set free to work for those that we believed deserved our best work, we replaced the lost business in less than six months.
Years ago, I heard the stor…

How to triple your rental market appraisals

If you want landlords to walk through your door, the first thing you have to do is grab their attention. Once you have
their attention, the next step is the most difficult, you have to be interesting and build up that interest to a point they want to come and talk to you .. because you are so interesting (not because they want to give you any business .. that comes later) There is nothing more interesting than if you talk about the local property market .... here are some examples I have used in the past. Now places like Sleaford, Stamford and Melton Mowbray are all boring litlle towns in the East Midlands, but what if you changed the places for areas around you... remember, a landlord in Uxbridge only cares about Uxbridge property, a landlord in Kingston upon Thames only cares about KuT and Southampton about Southampton... there arent many landlords who buy in every county .. they tend to buy in one place .... 

oh by the way, dont dismiss these articles ...they more than tripled market…

Landlord is always right .. arent they?

I don't think you can underestimate how important it is to most people to be right.  People choose letting agents, the properties they buy, the workman to fix the roof ... just about everything... in many ways because it makes them feel right or at least diminishes the chance that they will be 'caught' being wrong. The landlord  isalways right. When they're wrong, they're not your landlord any more, because it's better to flee than be wrong. I know, there's a huge need to have right facts and right practice, particularly in lettings where quality of service is essential. Got that. My point is that we're so good at getting those sort of facts right that maybe, just maybe, we need to spend more time teaching people the other stuff. Short version: if your job can be completely written up in a manual, it's either not a great job or it's going to be done by someone cheaper, sometime soon. Other stuff .. like caring for the property as if it were your own…

Opening a lettings and estate agency

I was recently talking to someone who wanted to open their own estate agency/letting agency. A friend of theirs had given them some feedback on a new project proposal. The friend said, "It will have trouble standing out on Estate Agent’s row, because that's already crowded." The thing is, every Estate agent’s row and street in every town and nowadays, especially online is crowded. And the problem on the crowded High Street, and with all these online agents, is that your odds of getting found and getting picked are slim indeed, slimmer than ever before. Which is why 'the High Street can't be your goal. If you need to get picked from the High street, then you've already lost.  Now i am not advocating online agencies. I still believe if you want to be a big player, you need such a presence (but that is not what this ditty is all about) The only opportunity (which of course, is the best opportunity ever for most of us) is to skip depending on being found on the High…

Your lettings agent brand ... does it get you more landlords?

You could say my firm, lets call it Bloggs and Co, its all about service, quality and customer focus. 
I say this my blogging friends, you haven't answered my question, because every lettings agent’s brand stand for that. If you are what others are, then your brand is nothing, nothing to own, certainly nothing to protect (everyone else has it) or even build on build upon.

So what does your lettings brand stand for? So, when you compare your lettings brand, you are competing against other lettings brands for existing and future attention, for business (existing and new), for free vals (opps they call them market appraisals don’t they nowadays) for loyalty, for recognition and to attract the best employees.

So, again, what makes your brand so special?

Premier Inn, Travellodge, Holiday Inn... they don't actually stand for anything, do they? They can't, because they stand for precisely the same thing – cheap hotels – good but still place to put your head on a pillow. Nike vs. Pu…

Babysitting and landlords

As letting agents, our instinct is to believe that we have to make our
service faster, costs less, works so much better and is generally off the charts at doing what the service is supposed to do. Us agents get our minds around one performance measure and decide that the one and only way we can be remarkable is to knock that measure out of the Cricket ground (wasn’t it good that we won The Ashes).

What a load of tosh I say. Humans do choose something because it is the fastest or smallest, when they have a choice.

I don’t know about you, but I never buy the item because it excels at a certain announced measure. Almost no one drives the fastest car nor do choose the most efficient credit card. No, we buy a story. The story is the thing that the service also does. It's the other reason we buy something, and usually, the real reason. Why .. well lest think? You have a six year old son. The last time he unexpectedly woke up after going to bed was two years ago. Of course, you're go…

lettingagentsupermarket .. and now he feels EPIC!

When was the last time you watch the adverts on TV as intently as the program? Bet you put the kettle on instead? It is just a matter of fact that nobody watches TV advert. But what about those adverts you do like to watch. My favourite is the Money Supermarket ones, EPIC! You watch it because you like it.


Now, let’s look at press advertising. Just like TV, people don’t read press adverts, they cant be bothered with the second car adverts or the classified ads with the plumbers and decorators. No, customers, clients, in fact all people read what interests them. Make an advert interesting, and they will read your advert. Is a grid of 5 x 5 really interesting?

Adverts are everywhere and the game of repetition and dissemination is still what captures the interest of your customer, but there's something else happening to the property industry that is worthy of thinking about. It's also worth noting that the people who care most about estate agency marketing and advertising is usua…

Problem tenants

By the time the phone rings, there's already trouble. If someone asks for the lettings manager it's because someone is disappointed, angry or stuck. No sign of the gas man to fix the boiler, a nonreturn of a deposit, broken promises or a real urgency have led to this new conversation even taking place.

So don't start with, ‘Bloggs and Co Lettings… mumble mumble’ as if there's a blank drywipe board just waiting to be written on. There's already a lot of writing on that shiny white surface. Don't demand to know their tenant reference number or begin with doubt, a sigh, a huff and an edge of ‘here we go again’

‘Wow, it sounds like we have got a issue on our hands’ is a great way to neutralise the person you're about to talk with. They won't have to spend the first ten sentences expressing their disappointment, even anger and urgency, because in twelve words, you've done it for them. Or perhaps, you could even say ‘I'd like to help, if you'll br…

Press 1 for new landlord enquiries or Press 2 for tenants moaning

Option No.2 is pressed ... here comes trouble. By the time the phone rings, there's already trouble. If someone asks for the lettings manager it's because someone is disappointed, angry or stuck. No sign of the gas man to fix the boiler, a nonreturn of a deposit, broken promises or a real urgency have led to this new conversation even taking place.

So don't start with, ‘Bloggs and Co Lettings… mumble mumble’ as if there's a blank drywipe board just waiting to be written on. There's already a lot of writing on that shiny white surface. Don't demand to know their tenant reference number or begin with doubt, a sigh, a huff and an edge of ‘here we go again’

‘Wow, it sounds like we have got a issue on our hands’ is a great way to neutralise the person you're about to talk with. They won't have to spend the first ten sentences expressing their disappointment, even anger and urgency, because in twelve words, you've done it for them. Or perhaps, you could e…

Storytelling gets you more landlords .. fact

Those of you that read what I have to ramble, in my thoughts on how to be a better letting agent, will know my passion of storytelling, and how story telling can get you tangible business, more landlords ringing you for market appraisals and for the estate agency department, more potential vendors ringing you for a good old free val...

So in previous posts, I have discussed why you should tell stories. In this ramble, I want to talk about what makes a good story

Good stories accomplish something because they are able to capture the imagination of a decent number or important groups of people. A good story is true. Not necessarily because it’s factual, but because it’s unfailing and genuine. Landlords and vendors are too good at sniffing out contradictions for an estate agent or a letting agent to get away with a story that’s just slapped on.


Good stories make a promise. They promise security, pleasure or fun  (although I wouldn't say lettings is fun). The promise needs to be bold …

Why landlords might not want the perfect letting agent

You can be the letting agent that is perfect. The one that always rings his landlords every week, on time, without fail, whose brochures are a masterpiece of English prose, floor plans that an architect would be proud of, 26 photographs that David Bailey would call his own. You know your section 21's, even the section 21 a or b.  .. hell you even know the AST be heart. 
Your twitter feed is sent out on the hour, every hour with rolling ‘top ten tips for landlords’ messages, mixed in with every lettings listing you list. You might be boring, but you are always right.

Or you can be the person who makes your agency interesting. The thing about being interesting, whereby you create a remarkable service that landlords love, is that you don’t need to be full-on all the time, because people will forgive you missing the odd call, the odd missing file note yet, if you delight them, make them happy about themselves, the awesome service you provide. 
Why? Because in this grey world, being char…

Why Twitter wont get you more landlords

A was talking to friend of mine, who has been running his own estate agency for over 5 years. He thought he best get on with this social media lark, so for the last 12 months has been doing Twitter. Doing Twitter, I said. Yeah .. to which i said .. got any landlords or free vals from it? He said no.  He asked me for my feedback... His twitter feeds comprise mainly his new properties he has listed. If you want to have every, mover and shaker, every tie wearing, suit wearing person, every bank manager, accountant, dentist, doctor or local business owner (of of whish are all your landlord pool), then sending out your listings isn’t the way forward .. so I asked him this of his twitter campaign ... 1.Just because you have had a previous relationship with someone doesn't mean you have permission to email them. Is your tweet anticipated, personal and relevant. The simple measure is this: Would they miss you if you didn't mail them? If not, then you're fooling yourself into thinkin…