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Showing posts from January, 2015

Letting Agents and making landlords spill their pint

I met a potential client last week in London. It was 5.30pm, and had already seen two clients in London that day. However, he was in London as he had come down to meet some old work colleagues for a lemonade shandy (or three) and it was the only time we could meet up. The plan was for his mates to have a beer on one table, whilst we chatted on the other, discussing what I could do for his letting agency. I could then go home and he could carry on with his friends.

Regular readers will know I strongly advocate newsletters as part of the ‘landlord farming’ strategy. I attach the example I showed him which is on Kingston upon Thames. One of the articles was about Cambridge Road Estate vs North Kingston River Road’s ..(its on the back page of the PDF) . My potential clients friend who unbeknown to myself, came from Kingston, was given a copy of the newsletter.

He nearly spilt some of his very unreasonably priced pint of lager (£9 a pint) when he read the he…

What Theo P and Duncan B could teach letting agents

Dragons Den .. love it! Great program, great ideas like the Reggae Reggae sauce story, and the success of the pitchers who managed to win the approval and financial backing of the Dragons. But then so had that chap who invented children’s suitcases that children could ride on. The issue was Theo Pap’ managed to completely pull a handle off the Trunki suitcase prototype. Everyone was out .... So what has happened since? Since then our chap has sold 1,800,000 Trunkies in the last eight years.

Have you ever noticed on Dragons Den, that some great business ideas don’t get any offers, whilst some get multiple bids? I read somewhere recently that a few of the Dragon’s wouldn’t invest in many businesses if not for the other four greedy dragons bidding on them. Once an entrepreneur gets one dragon to bite, he or she can count on a few more jumping and the ensuing feeding frenzy gets them the money they came in for. I even read the feeding frenzy continues when the episode airs, wi…

Post match analysis from the Landlord Farming Course - 22nd/23rd January 2015

Daniel, Sunny, Rob, Jenny and Craig give their feedback from the two day landlord farming course which finished Friday late afternoon

Ideal for agents who dont want me to write the articles but want to do it themselves.

Next course .. end of March 2015

I'm lovin' it ... McDonalds and Letting Agents

I used to work at MaccyDee’s (aka McDonalds). If you aren’t 100% satisfied with your burger, they’ll make another for you. That’s their assurance to you if the order taker at the ‘can I take yer order stand’, or the one with the all the Stars (yes, I had all the stars before you ask) makes the burger, isn’t always on top of his or her game... it will be sorted with a smile.

People make mistakes, estate and letting agents make mistakes. If to err is human, but to forgive is divine, surely this is a sign to empower our front line negs and property managers to make more honest mistakes. Humans aren’t perfect, and it is precisely this imperfection that endears us to one another. Surely our vendors, tenants, landlords and buyers would be the first to recognise this. Unquestionably empathy works both ways... doesn’t it? (unless you are tenant who rings you up at 5.25pm on Friday who says, ‘I haven’t had any heating for the last three days, and I am having my family round tomor…

99.998% of estate and letting agency marketing materials do not work

So how exactly should you go about getting more stock? Mass leaflet drop? Well, let me tell you a story about a conversation I had with another agent last week. He had been reading what I said, but his bosses still thought a mass leaflet drop was the best way to get more business for the agency. “What sort of success did you get?” I asked, to which he replied, “Well we dropped 10,000 leaflets and got ten market appraisals from it?”. “How many came on to the market?”, to which said, “Two, and before you ask, we have sold one”.

On the face it, at a total cost of £574 plus VAT .... made up £400 delivery costs (it was that cheap because the leaflets were delivered with the regular kebab and pizza leaflets and the agency bosses thought £800 to have delivered individually was a bit pricey) and £89 in printing costs and £75 to have the design made up the agencies logo .. for a return of a £4k fee wasn’t bad at all .. or was it?

Two free valuations from 10,000 leaflets is a 0.002% …

Does your letting/estate agency need a larger marketing budget?

If you think your lettings agency or estate agency needs a larger marketing budget, just before you go and spend £12,000 on a page a month in Kent Life for a year, just before you take an extra page in the newspaper each week, just before spend thousands of pounds on the next thing since sliced bread, maybe you, your team and your lettings / estate company just need to be less ordinary, a little less vanilla instead?

With my clients, when I look at what they spend on marketing, often I ask them to reduce their spending.

Reduce .... yes reduce.

Its not what you spend .. its how wisely you spend it.

Why do agents insist on saying things like ... Buy my services, I can prove it is different. All the other agents offer this, I offer this. They cost X, I cost Y.

The thing is fellow agents, you might come up with deeply thought out, uber focused and thorough reasons why someone should use you agency instead of the other agencies in your town, but most potential customers don't have the same…

Should you buy a letting and estate agency franchise?

So you want to be your own boss, you love Homes under the Hammer and when you go on holiday, Rightmove checks if their website has gone down because the traffic to their site drops by a third? Sound familiar?
If you have thought of leaving your job and starting your own lettings/estate business, I bet you haven’t even considered a franchise. Why? .. because they are a waste of money, you are shackled to something, your cant have freedom, your office has to look identical to brand .. the list goes on. But its not all bad ... here are four thoughts on letting / estate agency franchising
1. You want to work for yourself. 
Becoming a franchise owner is a great way to avoid ever having to deal with a tough job market ever again, but it isn’t a bed of roses. You will have the Head Office to deal with. I have seen that this isn't a relationship that will be likely to work for someone who is stubborn and independent. For example, if you own a Martin and Co franchise, while you can do things …

The No.1 reason why Letting agents fail.

Cold emailing does work ..if you do it correctly

I was forwarded an email yesterday from one of my clients who has been trying some new techniques on the 'landlord farming' technique.

This one invloves capturing the email addresses of all the movers and shakers in the town (nothing new there), but then (this is new) sending a specific type of email to them on a regular basis.

It is in essence a cold email ... but just look at the responce he got from one person. (names and place names have been removed to protect my client but I have an orginal copy)