One Common Reason Landlords Fail
Landlords should ideally think twice when they are considering doing the lettings administration alone and without the professional support of a competent lettings and management agency, as this is where most landlords fail.
A considerable amount of landlords try to manage the lettings process themselves, however they do not have the administration systems, efficient trades or teams in place to do it correctly. This costs you, as an already busy landlord, time, effort and money.
Which hat are you wearing today?
Being a landlord means you wear many “hats” – depending on how involved you are in your running and maintaining your investment property – and these “hats” could include:
- Advertising and marketing your property.
- Finding and vetting tenants.
- Dealing with any domestic emergencies.
- Rent collection and dealing with rent arrears.
- General property upkeep and maintenance.
- Dealing with keeping the books and understanding tax implications.
- Making sure you are aware of new legislation as it is announced, and that you comply.
It really is a full time job with many different skillsets needed – yet some landlords run their investment as a side-line on top of their full-time job, while others will try and manage a whole portfolio of properties on their own.
Why is this?
Some landlords believe they can successfully run their let property empire by themselves and are saving money on the costs of employing a specialist lettings and management agency.
We understand this but feel that for many DIY landlords, this could be a false economy. Why would you as a landlord want to create more work for yourself where you are doing tenant viewings, chasing rental payments and dealing with the trivial maintenance issues?
More importantly, if you are not up to date with the most current legislation – and this is changing all the time for investment property owners – you could find yourself facing high legal bills and / or fines for non-compliance.
You’ll also potentially be damaging your reputation – which is not a great situation to be in when you want to attract a certain type of tenant.
Finding the right lettings agency for you
This is why it is so important to find an outstanding, dynamic lettings agent who will manage your property smartly. The big question is - how do you find this type of letting agent?
There are a number of basic, important indicators that must be to taken into account when choosing your lettings and management agency, aside from the normal questions you would ask, such as whether they have professional indemnity insurance and client money protection in place. For instance...
- How do they treat your target market? - Pose as a tenant. Your first contact with any prospective agency should be as a tenant. How do they treat you? Do they do accompanied visits to properties? How responsive and professional are they?
- Check out testimonials – take a look at their website, and ask if they can offer you some direct communication with a current landlord. For example, at Villabela Properties we can typically provide direct contact with landlords, tenants and tradesmen who are happy to provide a testimonial.
- Does the potential agent answer the telephone? - When you call them do they answer the phone straight away? Or does the phone just ring and ring? A competent lettings and management agency will answer the phone quickly and professionally, ensuring that the caller, whether they are a potential tenant, a tenant with a problem, or a landlord – are dealt with efficiently.
- Question organisational skills - Checking out an agent’s organisational skills can tell you so much about their lettings service. A simple way to check is when they look for keys - do they go to them directly or do they hesitate looking for them? This alone will represent how organised they are.
- Systemisation – How systemised are they? What kind of estate agency style of CRM (customer relationship management) software do they use? Is it fully operational in every aspect of functional management, so if you have a query, they can directly go to it within your file?
- Legislation – as we touched on before, there are lots of ever-changing legalities surrounding being a landlord. How up to date is your prospective agency on current landlords’ legislation?
- Reports – check that when your agent visits your property whether a report is provided. After all, how do you know if they have actually been there if they don’t provide a report? The same with inventories – a lettings agency may say they provide inventories, but how will you know unless you see a copy for yourself?
- Property Redress Scheme – are they registered with a Property Redress Scheme?
- Services – what services are included as part of the contract? For example, will they arrange for your annual gas safety check etc.?
- Rent to Rent Legislation - Do they carry out Right To Rent checks? etc.
There is obviously a lot more to selection of a dynamic lettings facility than the above, but this is a very good starting point to weed out the duds from the strong contenders.
Once you have chosen your lettings and management agency, you can start to build a good relationship, and hopefully feel confident that your property/properties are in the best of hands for many years to come.
Take the easy way out &.....’Make the Switch’ Today!
Contact Villabela Properties Ltd & ask to speak to Gary Abela or Pamela Ferguson
‘Thanks for taking the time out’
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