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Showing posts from April, 2014

Lettings agents cant be ar$ed

Shalom and welcome my blog reading letting people. Yesterday was a troublesome day getting through London with the Tube Strike, but I will give credit where credit is due, the chaps and chapesses who didn't strike did a pretty good job keeping things going .. nice one. Yesterday's course .. the 15 letting agents who learnt the dark arts (well lets be honest, there is no dark arts .. just read this blog and you will learn  most of what you need to know .. so nothing dark) .. but lets keep up the pretense ..but just between me and you .. DARK ARTS  but we know better ;-)
So back the story ...... he we go ....There you are Mr(s) letting agent ... are you happy with you lot, happy with the number of properties on your books, managed? Cant be bothered to push you, your team to the next level? If you are happy, tell me, really .... why are you reading this blog?  (because the blog is getting more business for your lettings agency .. isn't it?) Why are most letting agents so rubbis…

If you haven't got trust .. landlords wont use your lettings agency

Morning people... currently on a train down to London. Up at stupid a'clock (5.30am) and if everything goes well, should be back in Grantham by 9.30pm. A Ietting agency chain have asked me to give a training session in Berkshire for 15 of their letting agents to teach them the dark arts of 'landlord farming'.. wish me well!  

.... oh, hold on,you know when you need get something off your chest.. the bl**dy the dog (Joey) didnt even raise his head to greet me this morning .. although neither would I at that time of morning. Here is a picture of him I took at the weekend

Anyway, less of the dog, back to the blog... Trust is is what its all about today. Being a letting agents is all about trust, isn’t it? Everything we do is based on trust. A landlord trusts us to look after his/her property. Letting agencies extract massive value from the relationships they have with landlords, employees, tenants and trades people. Yes, it's possible to trust a lettings agency, landlords d…

Try this quick short cut to get more landlords.

How many people have been on fad diets, get rich quick schemes .. too good to be true systems? Well, they often are. Effort takes hard work. Now I am as guilty as the next man. You, the next man (or lady) and myself, are all willing to spend a little time and a little money looking for a shortcut now and then. A faster, more effective way to lose weight, make friends, earn money and get white teeth. Sometimes, one of those shortcuts pays off and it reinforces our belief that there might just be a better way. It seems, though, that those that spend the most effort in search of shortcuts are often the most disappointed and the least successful. My system isn’t a short cut to get landlords .. far from it.. it takes a while to get them coming through your door

It takes a little money, but mostly time and effort. It has been proved to work many times (look at my testimonials on my profile on Linkedin .. scroll way down to the recommendations .... if you can be bothered). But if you invest you…

How Linkedin can get you more landlords

You come across someone in the business world, what’s the first thing you do? Yep, type their name in Linkedin. See what job they do and what they have done. Isnt Linkedin great? 
Will Linkedin get you any landlords? Might do ...a landlord might think 'let's compare letting agents', so might log on to Linkedin. 'Hold on,' says the landlord, 'this letting agent has 120 endorsements' .. in fact they might have 120 endorsements for LETTING ....will that get you more business? No , because endorsements on Linkedin dont mean a thing, just like 120 likes on facebook don’t mean a thing

You see, I think LinkedIn endorsements are a complete and utter waste of time. It’s just like collecting ‘likes’ on facebook .. fab to start with, but as with facebook, isn’t a nice comment so much nicer? With linkydin, you can have such comments, and best bit, they are so much more powerful, they are called Recommendations.

To get this recommendations, you have to invest upfront in p…

Rightmove Featured Agent slot - is it worth the money?

Not if you put rubbish out like this ..... For all your property needs and a free market appraisalIs 2014your year for moving?GREAT PROPERTIES, GREAT SERVICE,TOTALLY REGULATEDLANDLORDS URGENTLY REQUIRED.. SPECIAL OFFERThe Sales & Lettings Specialist now open in K%&*^$n  No one clicks on these, let alone a landlord or a seller. Come on stop wasting your time and lining the pockets of Rightmove .. they are a complete and utter waste of time. .......but hold on, what if there was another way?
....... What if you could use these adverts where landlords and sellers actually looked out for them?
...... Landlords and potential house sellers looked forward to the next time the advert came up?.. and Clicked on it, because THEY (the landlord or seller) wanted to
...... Well early results at some of my clients offices are showing just that. In fact the results and clicks are probably the one of the cheapest forms of advertising to capture landlords (and sellers) there…

Landlords and Cannabis - grooooovie baby!

Landlords, in fact I would say anyone in the UK, doesnt like being sold to ..... especially with heavy handed marketing messages, so if you want to sell something (in our case your letting agency services) you have to do something quite different.  You see I think, if you want to succeed in lettings, its more about crafting interesting and landlord relevant stories, than you trying to sell something. It's starts with you, your brand and marketing of that brand. 

You, Mr(s) Letting Agent might think the marketing materials and the logo are your brand. No sir ..Not anymore, it's the company's story and how it's expressed. The blogs and advertorials I write (or teach agents themselves to write on my courses) are about issues related to a landlord’s life, not what you do and most definitely not what your competitors do or dont do. How many landlords know the difference between a section 8 and section 21 ...only the ones that do it themselves, so they are never going to use you…

What's all this 'Content is King' ballcocks?

Last week, I talked about content being King .. what the hell does that really mean? Its all a load of cr*p some people would say. Probably is. Most agents, be they estate agents or letting agents scratch their heads and ask how is it done, where do I start and most importantly, what is it really all about. Estate and letting agents have always been in the business of attracting customers (sellers with a property to sell and landlords with properties to let) with a service proposition wrapped in a nice box and presented in something called a brand, but a brand has to have something to say. In order to do that, a brand has to have meaningful content. Seems rather obvious, when you think about it.
Admittedly though, brands have taken it up a level when it comes to the content they deliver. What constitutes “content” has gotten much richer over time. Back in the day, a business card touting your services or an A5 leaflet listing the features of your firm was content at its best (ARLA regi…

Letting agents .. why are you doing it so wrong?

According to Rightmove, there are in Birmingham there are 223 letting agents, in Bristol there are 164 letting agents, 168 letting agents in Leeds .. need I go on?
If you are an existing agent, or going to be No. 224 in Birmingham, what are you going to do stand out from the crowd?  Offer cheap fees?Be more professional?Be more ARLA registered than all of the others?Your free market appraisals are the free'ist free market appraisals out thereSome other gimmick that everyone has tried before If you are .. you are bloody fools!
What are you going to do to attract new landlords and more importantly, get landlords who use other agents, to come and use you?  For many, to rise above the crowd (and 23 letting agents is a crowd let alone 223), you need to create an urge within the landlord to read more about you and what is written about you, and by doing that it can also boost your brand and presence. Plus, customers are more apt to feel a connection with your company.
You have probably …

What to do when quitting your lettings job.

This is what most people do ... 1.Print a list of every landlord off on your books 2.Slag off the firm to everyone who knows you 3.Hand in your notice 4.Don’t do any work for a month 5.Leave after the month and starting ringing all the landlords at your new role 6.Old landlords complain to old firm 7.Old firm threatens to sue you .. things get sticky 8.You  have burnt your bridges Here is another way.  If you are quitting your job to go elsewhere, be it to another firm or more importantly, your own agency, choosing to quit your job and launch your own business is a risk, but one made easier if you start up in an industry where you already have knowledge, connections and credibility. In that sense, the firm you're leaving can become a key advantage in your new lettings or estate agency -- or an obstruction to your success.                                           1. Show respect.
You want your company to know that while you worked for them, you did your best to serve the company’s interest…

Stop wasting my time .. asking me to like your bloody Facebook page

The reason why this annoys me so is because no-one ever thinks to give a reason WHY I should like your Facebook page. Remember, people go on Facebook to chill out and catch up with friends and family. They don’t go on Facebook to be sold to, they go on Facebook to be entertained.
So when I get emails from letting agents or estate agents or property maintenance firms saying on email, “Like our Facebook page” and gives me absolutely no reason why I should, it is completely reasonable for me to expect that they just want me on there to sell to me. Am I really going to let you invade my leisure space that way just because it furthers your own agenda? Sod off more like. 
Why should I? What’s in it for me?
So what should you do instead?
The first mistake small businesses make around Facebook pages is to build a little shrine to themselves – and that doesn’t work. Facebook is the medium which brings togehter people around a common interest. When you use Facebook personally and privately, t…

How to get 140 new landlords to use your lettings agency

Well, it might seem a daft to say, but any letting agent has a responsibility to grow their business. 
There are two ways to expand, organic growth and acquisition.

I am sorry, but all you agents that expand by acquisition are stupid, have money than sense and lazy. You pay 150%, 160% even as high as 190% of annual turnover to buy a lettings business. Ah, you say, ‘Chris, its easy and its plug in profit’. I don’t disagree, it is easy, but it’s a very expensive easy. All the big corporate’s have wallets stuffed with £50 notes at the moment, and they want to spend it! Therefore, you will have to pay handsomely for the privilege.
So, go ahead and buy that agency that has 140 managed properties, that turns over £180,000 a year for £340,000. Bring the staff over as well (its the law) .., or pay them redundancy .. either way, 140 properties will mean 2 or 3 extra staff to service them .. it might as well be the staff that come with the agent you are buying as they know the landlords), You put…

Stop telling stories Mr letting agent!

Late last week, I had another one of my training sessions for letting agents. Its a full day course on how to write the advertorials, that are so interesting to landlords, that they beat a path to your door. We also look at how to find the email addresses of the landlords in your town, how to write a blog, utilise a newsletter .. the list goes on. 

Any way, at the core of everything we do, its all about telling a story .. why .. well instead of me droning on about it .. 

Watch this slide show I spotted in the internet .. its bl**dy brilliant .. and it tells you why you should tell a story .. if you want to earn loads of pennies and have the adoring affection of your landlords and tenants 

Business Storytelling: 21 Quotes To Inspire You To Tell Your Story from Ian Rhodes

Hungry Landlords and Pirate Dogs

OK, look at my profile picture, I am not exactly thin. I like my food. However, two months ago, I did embark on this 5:2 diet (eat normal for five days and 600 calories on two days). It works I tell you. I have gone down a belt size (although walking Joey the dog 2 miles a day must help as well)
In fact here is a picture of him dressed up as a Pirate Dog .. and why are they called Pirate Dog's ... 'coz they AAARRRGGGHHH! 

Anyway, back to food. Dont you love those all you can eat buffets. I ahve talked about the m before, but I want to talk about them again, as we as letting agents can learn allot from them. You see you dont go to those all you can eat buffets and just put one thing on your plate, do you?  No no no .. that's not what they are all about. Its pile it high. Your're hungry .. you are ravenous! You see the ravenous person at the all you can eat Chinese buffet is happy to take one more item, try something new, listen to their mates when they say 'You should…