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Letting agents .... Ignore your targets

In many letting agencies, especially corporate’s but independents can be just as guilty, landlords get just barely enough service and satisfaction to prevent them from going elsewhere. This situation saps the energy from boys and girls on the front line; it's no fun to work for a lettings agency whose motto could be, "We are just about good enough."

But the truth is you do not have to wait for your Area Manager (or whatever they call them nowadays .. many firms give them fancy titles just make them feel important) to turn things around (myself, my title is Head of Toilets and Catering). A small group of negotiators, property managers and listers, in an office, banding together, can make a difference. You might not transform your entire UK lettings or estate agency corporate company into a dynamic, cutting edge, passionate, groovie, cutting and thrusting independent , but you can transform your little office into a team that increasingly operates like one.

How .. well that’s the easy bit..

I know you have targets, Give great service instead of selling  . It is much more fun to generate the pound notes (income/fees/ revenue) through incredible service than through aggressive sales tactics. Incredible service requires creativity and initiative, while in your face / hard nosed selling just requires people who are willing to keep banging their heads against the wall. Invest your time and energy in getting more creative about serving the people whose business funds your job.

Don't manage property; manage relationships. No matter whether you serve landlords, tenant or contractors, you are serving people. The first step in building a strong relationship with other people is to actually have a relationship. Letting someone’s property does not create a relationship; it takes a deliberate, conscious effort to build a relationship.

Remember your landlords, not just your transactions. WinMan, Jupix, in afct every lettings software system is a fancy accounting system. They are set up to remember transactions. Even the notes etc in them basically remember transactions and "incidents." However, cutting edge letting agents not only remember landlords, they also change in response to customer feedback. In fact, they don't call such information "feedback," they call them requests, and they honour them as soon as humanly possible. Feedback is a term invented by Head office to make it more acceptable for letting agencies to ignore customer needs. Don't fall victim to this trap.

Know what makes each landlord unique. Successful letting agents know that amidst the differences between landlords is where the greatest opportunity exists. If you think all landlords are the same, you might as well be making a Big Mac – they are all the bl**dy same in the world (although .. try them with extra MAC sauce – yum!). Rightmove knows what kind of house I am looking for; Amazon knows my Mrs looks for books on medieval history – its what is on her Wish List. If you lack this sort of specific information on each landlord, you are operating with both hands tied behind your back.

Operate for the long run, not for the month’s targets . Your Area Manager may have to be obsessed with your offices figures, but you do not have to live the same way. Even if it means bending the rules a bit, keep the long run in mind. Landlords know the difference between someone who actually cares about them versus someone who cares about getting them to make a take landlord insurance before the month end.

Well, boys and girls, you set the standards in your office. Forget the name across the the door, for get your AM or RM .. look after your landlords, look after your tenants, look after your contractors and most importantly, look after each other .. and the numbers will come.

I ran a Halifax Bank for 5 years. We were the weirdest mixed up bunch in the region, but we looked after our clients and after a few years, we were in the top 10 in the UK of offices ... why .. because we did what has been said this post.  So are you going to do it differently? ..rememeber, the hardest step is the first step.