If you have been a letting agent for over 5 years, I bet you had a good run in the 2000’s, you were beating them off with sticks (landlords and properties that is), then everyone jumped on the bandwagon of lettings. In fact I was talking to a lady only yesterday who said there were 4 letting agents in her town ten years ago, now there are over 40! I just want to clear up a whole bunch of myths about all of the different ways there are to market your lettings business and generate leads.
To put the record straight, if your lettings agency is 8 to 15 years old and has 200+, 300+, 400+ rental properties on your books but you aren’t growing your NET property book (aka number of managed properties) by at least 10% a year, if not nearer 15% to 20% a year, you are a business that is riding on the wave of previous successes. Sorry to be so blunt, but you know it’s true. You are treading water .. yes you are earning well from it, but you are treading water all the same.
So back to the cause, growing your lettings agency, the truth is there’s not hundreds of ways to grow a lettings agency, there are only three. So I’m going to talk about each of the three.
I was on our Facebook group for ‘landlord farming’, we call it Landlord Farming Club where we discuss things, share ideas, share wins, share and solve problems. Anyway, the other day the question came up about, “There’s just so many different ways I can grow my business, which should I pick?”
The truth is, there’s not hundreds of different ways. If you can look at it carefully there are really three ways to grow your lettings business.
- Spending Money ie Google Ad words/Linkedin/Rightmove/Zoopla / Facebook/ Newspaper Ads
- Joint Venture
The truth is, to grow your lettings business you don’t need lots and lots of different strategies running. You, Mr/s Letting Agent, need a startegy that works.
Show me a letting agent who has got a successful lettings agency (which is growing at those 15%, 20%, 25% a year) and I guarantee you, there’s a concise and defined lead generation machine which generates 80% of their traffic, 80% of their leads which comes from focusing on these three techniques.
I have some letting agents who follow what we do, and implement the landlord farming technique themselves, without my guidance and support. Great I say to that, and I know some of you who have done that have been successful, but some of you haven’t. Some of you have even had the guts to email me and ask where you have been going wrong. If you fall in to that camp, you are doing it wrong because I can guarantee you right now, you are not doing the landlord farming techniques enough times and improving enough times to get really, really good.
To recap, landlord farming works because you talk about the two things that really interest a landlord ... the local property market and where the next buy to let deal is in their town. This makes you your town’s Property Guru.
Landlord farming is not talking about the national economy, the national property market, it’s about talking about YOUR local property market. In the ‘Landlord Farming Club’ group on Facebook, we constantly talk about the first rule of ‘Landlord Farming Club’ ... What is the first rule of Landlord Farming Club? Well, you have to be in the club to know that ;-)
Rule one aside, which is something that takes minutes, yet so powerful, if you want more landlords to use your lettings agency, I guarantee and promise you it works, if you do it correctly. So let us return to our topic about our three different ways to generate landlords.
There’s free. If you watch my videos and read my blog on www.landlordfarming.com , in fact if you are reading this now, it’s free. It is a type of marketing called ‘authority marketing’. One of the core strategies that we (myself, my Wife and our dog Joey) run in our business is writing useful content for letting agents that they will find interesting and engaging, we then share it with Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter or Estate Agency Networking websites), because by being promoted through a whole bunch of the high traffic sites across the web, they in turn drive people back to my website. So this is free.
You would do the same, but talk about the local property market on a daily basis (or you ask me to write it for you) and that in turn world drive people back to your website.
2. Spending Money ie. Google/Linkedin/Rightmove/Zoopla / Facebook / Newspaper Ads
So in essence, it’s paid for ads. What I love about paid is that it’s so quick. But it has to be right sort of ad, otherwise you are wasting your time right? Sure you’ve got to spend some money. Free is free but you’ve got to invest some time so that’s not really free if your time is valuable (and it is).
Paid is brilliant because literally you can write an ad today, have it approved tonight and tomorrow morning be generating leads instantly. It’s so measurable, it’s brilliant.
Paul Tobias-Gibbins of M+ P Estates in Essex. He is a 'landlord farmer’ and has been doing so since the Summer (so he only 7 months into it)...he said this the other day about his Rightmove Featured Agent advert .. “ got 595 people clicking on my Rightmove Featured Agent advert in 7 days” .. yep 595 people .. most of you would be happy to get that half that in a year. See what he wrote below ... (and if you dont believe me, ring him up and ask him yourself)
Just a quick email to update you on my progress with featured agents. In a 7 day period I had 595 views to my blog through featured agent on Rightmove. In addition the (newspaper) editorials are working really well and I have had a significant number of potential clients either call me or drop into the office for a chat regarding their property requirements. Last week we sold 4 properties to new landlords. Also as an estate agent I have seen a significant increase in valuations from this time last year. In fact it is roughly a 20% increase.
More importantly we have seen an increase in rental valuations up 15% on this time last year with a 95% conversion rate to instruction. Clients really like the no-hard sell, free information and assistance in helping them with their property requirements.
It would seem that knowledge is Power.
PS thank you for your assistance with the articles and blog.”
3. Joint Venture
Joint venturing or partnering up with other people who have the same kind of clients as you and having you promote to their list. One of my clients has a local solicitor pay for her newsletter to be designed, printed and hand delivered to every house in the town ...and it costs her nothing. That makes sense?
What should you do?
You don’t have to do all three at once. The art is to start with number one, introduce number two when money allows, then drop number two and swap to number three, thus saving you time and money.
How should you do it?
Just start it, become a landlord farmer .. I tell you what to do here in these couple of three minute videos https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8EVjavxiDxinvvxrgaf8WjDHDztJe76F
... or you if you a new agent, with plenty of time but not much money, come on one of my courses, and I will teach you the techniques. The next course is booked up (late March), but there are a couple of spaces left on the late April course) (here is a video from five lettng agents who came on the January course https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDkVJR4KTdM )
... or if you an established agent, with not enough time, you can ask me to to do it for you.
The choice is yours Mr/s Letting Agent .. but remember this, what if another letting agent in your town becomes the 'local property guru', sets up the blogs and steals a march on you .... then you will copying them. Do you want to be the agent that is is copying another .. think about.