Before I kick off, I had a phone call from a couple of my early clients. One of the things I do is write and sort newsletters, for which the agent then emails a PDF version of the newsletter to all the landlords in a town or their professional representatives (how do you get the emails and contact details .. that's what i teach them). From the first few hundred emails he sent, he received replies to over 15% of them within one hour, thanking him for the newsletter and that they found it very interesting. A good chunk of the representatives asked permission of the letting agent to forward the report to their clients (yes I know .. how good is that!) . Done in the right format (and you will be surprised what the correct format is) and you will find this stuff works (do it wrong and it wont work). Another client has already seen new landlord business from two news articles in the newspaper, and he didn't even pay for advertorials to go in the newspaper... its a slow start, but this stuff really works. Anyway, back to the story ...
One of clients emailed me up the other week. Over the months we have started to build a good working relationship and now are able to speak our mind with each other. In the email, there was an offer to proof read my blog. I had to ring her up on business, but the subject of the offer to proof read came up later in the conversation. I said my style was raw, and feedback was that people liked the ‘rawness’ or ‘chattiness’ of this blog. Yes, she said, that’s why she liked it, but when you missed words out, so the grammar doesn’t read right, rawness/chattiness aside, these basic mistakes do affect my credibility.
Now at first, I brushed off the comments with a laugh, and planned to ignore them (like most men when they are criticised). However, a few hours later, I realised that as I dole out advice like a conveyor belt, I should be able to accept criticism as well. You see I am in this for the long game and if someone is willing to give me their genuine opinion and advice, I should at least consider if it would benefit me ... and putting male pride aside, It will, hence most of the posts in the last week or so have been proof read by me TWICE, (not just a cursory glance ..’yeh looks about right’ 90 second skim) and a proof read by Mrs W. (I would have asked the dog Joey (pic below) but he was waaaaaay to busy chasing bees and barking at pedestrians walking past our house!).
So, back to blog post, this long game got me thinking about letting agents, and their inability to look at lettings for the long term. You see, most letting agents are estate agents who do lettings. That is a short game. Get the listing, sell it, bang – cash in the bank. Do something today, get the listing next week, sell it the week after. .. boom.
It doesn’t work like that in lettings, you have to play a long game. Letting agents who grow, build an asset (their lettings book), earn the trust of landlords, tenants, contractors and their colleagues, give before getting, and then, after paying what they owe, they win.
Most letting agents, no let me re-phrase that, if you are a letting agent and you are trying to grow your business but failing you are playing the short game. Letting agents who play the long game succeed and grow. If you are a big agent, but NOT growing, then you have reverted back from the long to the short game (why .. that’s another story!).
However, here is another thing to consider, instead of a long game, what about a never ending game? In the never ending game, the point is to keep playing, not to win. In the never ending game, just like life, it’s all about the journey, not the destination. Players in a never ending game never stop giving so they can take. Just like your parents play the never ending game, you should play that game with your work. You certainly know people who play this game, you may well have come across them in your life, they are constant givers and never take (but they always seem to have the good things in life), you might even have been inspired by them. The wrong question to ask of THEM is, "but how do they do it, why do they win?" The right question to ask of YOURSELF is, "but is the game worth playing?"
Well, as Danny Baker says, ‘You are only in this theme park for 60 or 70 summers’. If letting agency is your chosen profession, that my friends is part of your theme park. I don’t know how old you are, but you could have 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, 40 years left in the business. Wouldn’t it be better to enjoy it, be successful, have the nice car and some pennies, maybe set your own agency up in the future, buy the nice house etc etc ... Wouldn’t that be easier if getting those things was easy instead of hard? To do that, you need landlords to give you their properties to let. To do that you need to be 'trust worthy' and give good 'customer service'. Most letting agents will say, but I offer those things (trust and customer service), it is just I can't prove that to someone unless I have their property in the first place (Chicken and Egg scenario)
I know its the easiest thing to make landlords to come to you. If you go back to December's blog posts and read each post today, I give you all the information you need to do it. You don't need to pay me one penny. But you give your secrets away Chris? Yes, I do, but it also made allot of letting agents ask me to help them do it or teach them how to do it I teach them and mentor them to organically grow their business by 20% to 30% a year. It works as well. Look at my Linkedin profile and see the testimonials (in the recommendations section of my Linkedin profile).
Yes, well start playing the long game first, then the never ending game. You will succeed. How do you do that? Well, I can’t tell you how to run your life, but if you read this blog, I can tell you how to work as a letting agent, then you will start the road to the long and never ending game.
Right, less of this courses and Grasshopper deep and meaningful murlarkey .. lick yourself into shape and get back to work you lazy so and so’s and farm me some landlords!!!!!