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Showing posts from October, 2014

What would make 30 new landlords ring a letting agent for the first time, in just one day?

Last week I was on the train up to Newcastle, when one of my clients,  for whom I write the articles about his local property market, rang me ...
‘Bloody hell Chris, I made a cock up a few days ago. You know that list of 300 landlords I had, the ones I had captured over the years via referencing, the ones I have been emailing the newsletter for last couple of months about the local property market with the articles you write for me’. 
‘Yes David' (not his real name!)
‘Well I sent the newsletters, but for the third one I thought I would send a paper version, on the nice thick paper you suggested, instead of emailing it’, 
‘Great’, I said, ‘Where’s the issue?’
‘ The mail merge address labels cocked up and moved the postcode on one record, so Landlord A’s name and address got landlords B’s postcode and so on and so forth’
‘ Oh, dear’, I replied, ‘No Chris, it’s the best thing ever!’, to which I replied, ’How?’
‘ Over thirty landlords rang me today, not complaining, far from it. They all sai…

When you try and persuade landlords to swap agents ....

Give up your job and start your own agency .. Jumping in at the Deep end!

Starting / Growing a Lettings Agency is a Herculean task

I was talking to a letting agent the other day who told me he was really down, as he had been going three or four months and was finding really hard to get off the ground. He started his lettings agency because he knew he could be different, he knew what landlords wanted. He said to himself he could create something great, to make something magical and he thought that to make it special and magical, he needed magical events to occur to get there. Cold starting a lettings agency is hard, a Herculean task and something I have a lot of experience with, helping open 26 cold start letting agencies in the last few years. It was quite obvious his intent was pure and his goal to create magic in his local letting market, by being the landlords champion, he in fact fell for the most common mistake cold starts make.

He believed that the towns landlords would agree with his good intent and support him. More specifically, that local newspaper would clearly, noisily and accurately tell…

Hoow to become your town's PROPERTY GURU!

Influence is a funny thing. Thirty years in Grantham, there were three big estate/lettings/surveying practices, William H. Brown, Goldings and Escritt and Barrell. People thought all the Directors all walked on water and the unclean of Grantham dothed their cap as they droveby in their fancy cars. They were Grantham Property Glitterati, the gurus of property their town. To get to that point, they had worked 25 years rising up the ranks, sweeping floors, working under the boss as a slave until they retired and they took the reins .. it had been like that for 100 years and it would continue like that for another 100 years .. wouldn’t it? 
However, the world has changed, technology democratises anything it touches, and now, thanks to internet and social media, you can have followers even if you haven't done the sorts of things .. you can be your town’s guru, the go to man or lady, the No. 1 influencer in your towns property market .. I am not jesting here and no bull either. Don’t get…

Landlords dont give a **** about your ARLA qualifications

If you are a letting agent, you need do something that will make landlords initially aware of you and what your company offers .. but awareness and attention won’t get the landlord to pick up the phone. Why? Well just like everyone one is aware of all the other banks on the High Street but indifferent to their own bank .. people still don’t swap banks. Just like landlords, obviously not your landlords Mr (s) letting agent, but the landlords of other agents who offer indifferent/rubbish service, those landlords areaware of the other letting agents (including you) on the High Street, but still those landlords don’t swap from those agents.
Awareness is one thing, but if you are not interesting,you don’t stand a chance. Now when I say interesting, I mean interesting to the landlord, not YOU Mr(s) Letting Agent. ‘Property of the Week’ is as interesting as watching paint dry to a landlord, every landlord knows they are wanted, so why keep banging on about it. I have a degree in Surveying .. …

Agents ... Why you should never open a second office?

Yet another estate agent opening in Grantham, that is the third in the last twelve months. Small one office estate agents and small letting agents rule estate agency row .. and some want to get bigger by opening new offices in neighbouring towns. Many successful businesses are easily scaled. The owner has created something that can be repeated, a service that can be mass produced, a method that can be franchised (like McDonalds). Scaling up serves more customers and benefits the original founding business owner 

But some businesses, maybe yours Mrs Letting Agency or Mr Estate Agency, are built around you and the decisions, new ideas, new thoughts and new work you do on a regular basis. You might be the top dog agent in your town, so also feel under pressure to scale and open another office and then another office, and that might be, in my humble opinion, a huge mistake.

To get bigger, how can you replicate your one office lettings or estate agency business to another office when your le…