Property Investment Q&A #3: How do I appoint my letting agent?

 

Now there is the million dollar question! Whether you’re letting or selling, the “letting agent decision” is typically purely made based upon either location relative to the property itself or referral from the developer who sold the property.

Word to the wise: neither option in my view is very strategic or standalone, nor does it offer the right amount of exposure from a marketing point of view.

https://www.buyassociation.co.uk/2016/12/21/property-investment-qa-2-freehold-rentcharge/

The estate agent closest to the property comes in handy for viewings and may well know his local market; however, it’s doubtful that they will be able to offer the property the exposure it rightly deserves no matter whether you’re selling or letting.

I have attended many property exhibitions over the years and my mind continues to boggle when it comes to appointing an agent.

Poor unsuspecting investors part with their hard earned cash and are herded in the direction of the “preferred” agent at the back of the room. I don’t care how good an agent thinks he is but if they are attempting to let, often in excess of 100 properties at a time in the same development, there will be trouble.

Our approach is fundamentally different. Why of course it is I hear you cry as I try to sell you my wares but rest assured it really is and indeed it is proven more to the point.

In my view, as an investor, when attempting to source a suitable tenant, exposure to the maximum audience is key. With the advent of the internet and many property portals, the marketing of property undoubtedly reaches a wider audience than it used to.

However, good old fashioned completion really does work wonders.

CRPI will firstly market the property to a global database of corporate employers whom we house already, then relocation agents and then we shall appoint multiple estate agents nationwide.

The reality is, in this day and age the tenant may well come from overseas or have relocated from another part of the UK. We essentially offer the property to the entire marketplace of which the net result is a better quality occupant paying an optimum rental.

We interface with all third parties therefore the client has a single point of contact at CRPI, rather than having to interface with multiple agents.

Furthermore we consolidate our clients’ portfolio as we let and manage property anywhere in the UK. Most of our investors own more than one UK property (albeit we are happy to act for just the one) and the common statement of “dealing with estate agents is very taxing” continues to ring in my ears!

The marketplace has changed dramatically as has indeed has the business of estate agency. My view from a letting’s perspective is to create as much marketing exposure as you can, especially in today’s market.

When appointing an agent for sale you generally pay a reduced fee for exclusivity, circa 1.5 – 2% sole agency and 2.5 – 3% multiple agency; my point being this does not apply when appointing your agent to let, therefore why not maximise your exposure?

https://www.buyassociation.co.uk/2016/12/07/property-investment-qa-1-furnish-not-furnish/

As an example, only this month we marketed a client’s fairly normal one-bedroom apartment in Surrey, which we had taken to the market and ended up having six estate agents bidding on. We made the decision to take the property to a “sealed bid” (we gave all interested parties a timeline to submit best and final offers) and the property was let for in excess of the asking price on very favourable terms – the full term rent was paid in advance, thank you very much!

A final note on the topic

The bigger the better? Not necessarily. It’s all well and good appointing an agent with national coverage, offices worldwide etc., but in my experience, in this industry the smaller agents are more hungry for the business.

Always look out for accreditation; it is good practice like most professional organisations to have this. Look out to see if your agent is a member of ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents), OFT (Office of Fair Trading), TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) DPS (Deposit Protection Service) and TPO (The Property Ombudsman).

This article is part of our “Expert Advice” series and features advice from Rupert Smith, founder of Complete RPI. For more help get in contact with CRPI here.

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Property Investment Q&A #3: How do I appoint my letting agent?

Property Investment Q&A #3: How do I appoint my letting agent?

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