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Starting your own estate and letting agency?

I know a number of people who have decided to start their own estate and letting agents from the comfort of their own kitchen table in the last few months. They believe they can start a lettings/estate agency business and make it succeed because they are an awesomely good lister, and so that will make them an overnight success.

Yes, you might be a ‘Lady of Listings’, the ‘Caesar of the Conversion Rates’,  the ‘Maharajah of Market Appraisals’, the ‘Lord of Listings’, the ‘Prince of Puttn’ng’ dem on da market’.... but are you a good free valuation generation machince. 

How many of the free vals/market appraisals do you, as a Valuer or Lister, DIRECTLY generateyourself? The best Valuer/ Lister in the world cant convert free vals, if they don’t have the free vals in the first place.

A good valuer, a good estate agent, a good letting agent doesn’t mean you will be able to run your own lettings or estate agency.  

Start to think now how YOU (not the boss, the not the Area Manager, not the canvasser, not the Negs), YOU intend to get those free valuations. You know ‘landlords wanted’ leaflets or ‘property wanted’ leaflets don’t work, you wont have the brand awareness for vendor/landlords walking through your door or ringing you for a free val, let’s be honest - all agents websites are the same, all agents gone on the same portals, all agents have boards.. and brochures .. and accompanied viewings what makes you different.

My good lady Mrs Watkin (known as Senior Management to myself and my clients) is an awesome cook, makes the best cakes and food, but that doesn’t mean she would be any good at opening a restaurant or cake shop.

Think, what will make YOUR agency different? .. and let me give you a big clue, go up to a mirror and look in it .. there is your answer. You are the only difference.

You need to prove that you are different so people sit up and say, wow, I want to speak to this person.

To do this, you need to grab people’s attention, then talk about things that these people (your potential clients) would be interested in, then they will want to come and talk to you because you are the most interesting person when it comes to the subject they are interested in ... from that.. everything will follow.
... and what are homeowners and landlords of Battersea interested in?
... and what are homeowners and landlords of Kingston upon Thames interested in?
... and what are homeowners and landlords of Worcester interested in?
... and what are homeowners and landlords of Harrogate interested in?

Do you think they might be interested in how many properties you have sold this month? Or how many offices you have in your network? I bet they don’t stop up night to hear if you have won the monthly ESTA awards for the South London? 

Call me a voodoo mind reader, but The Zooploppy/OndaMeerkat/Leftmove debate is something that doesn’t keep them up at night? Also, I bet all your old vendors don’t send you congratulations cards when you post that you have smashed your target this month, and it’s only the 22nd of the month. PS ...don’t worry – the boss will put it up next month there’s no doubt about that ;-)
... but I think I know what they might be interested in ... it’s only a guess, so I am going to take a flyer on this ... but I bet the homeowners and landlords of Battersea might just be interested in what is happening to property values in Battersea (because they own a property in Battersea), .....  Ok, here’s another punt ... another long shot, but I bet Kingston landlords might have a more than passing interest to what is happening to rents in Kingston (not next door Surbiton rents – just Kingston’s – because again, THEY OWN a property in Kingston), ..ok, I am on a roll now ... I think it’s pretty fair to suggest Worcester landlords could be slightly interested if Worcester yields are rising or dropping, but couldn’t give two hoots about Hereford (unless of course they owned property in Hereford as well) ... and let me see if Watkin can go for the full house .... I have a sneaky feeling Harrogate homeowners, might spill their tea at the famous Betty’s tea shoppppe (fab place but make sure you book .. the queue’s are longer than a Russian supermarket from the late 1970’s), if they found out their town’s property prices weren’t the best performing in Yorkshire!

... but I could be wrong?  ... Nope, after the wind and the weather, property prices are what the Brits are interested in... but the more importantly, WHAT THEIR HOUSE IS WORTH. Every homeowner and every landlord looks up on Rightmove or looks in the newspaper to see what THEIR  house is worth, what rent THEIR property is achieving.

All I advocate that you should do is just talk about your local property market, become the property guru of your town, the fountain of all knowledge about the property market in your town. Tell people what is happening to rents, values, yields, how one area of your town has outperformed another area of your town, how your town has compared to neighbouring towns when it comes to the property market... you become the most interesting person in your town (after the town’s Metrologist)   

Do it like these agents ..

·         Derby
·         Croydon
·         Chelmsford

... and this is just, if not more, as relevant to existing agents as it is to people starting their own agency. 

Forget this online vs High Street agent argument ... just become the property guru of your town, city or suburb and you will be the daddio agent time.

 Whether you are an existing agent or just about to open your own agency, online or on the High Street, and you need stock, do you really think half price fee deals (that don’t work), with 10,000 leaflets announcing your arrival (that don’t work), newspaper ads with ‘landlords wanted’ or ‘free vals’ plaster all over them (which don’t work) will get you where you need to go?
Just become your town’s property guru.

I will warn you though, it takes time to become your town’s guru, it takes a huge amount of patience as it takes months and months for this to kick in (and we aren’t talking two or three months here, more like six to nine months). Many people give up after a few months and revert back to the old ways. The old ways that you know, in your hearts of heart (all that landlords wanted cheap fee rubbish) don’t really work.

 But if you are in the lettings and estate agency business for the long term, and you have persistence and patience, I guarantee this thing works. It doesn’t need to cost that much money to do and yes and you don’t need me to do any of this (I do help a lot of agents do it for them but many don’t).. you are perfectly qualified to talk about your town’s property market, so start talking about it ....

.. but dont expect results overnight, or next week, or even next month ... but with persistent and patience, this, if done correctly, will grow BOTH your letting agency by at least 20% to 30% within 12 to 18 months  AND, if you have an estate agency as well, GROW YOUR ESTATE AGENCY by the same 20% to 30% in the same 12 to 18 months.

It’s your call, but nothing in this world, worth having, comes easy.


·         Want to read more articles on attracting landlords and vendors to an estate/letting agency?  Over 100 articles here
·         Want to watch some training videos on becoming your town’s property guru?  Here are over an hour of them at the recent letting agent workshop in Lincolnshire
·         Want to chat with Christopher? Call me on O7950147572 or email on