MyPropertyPowerTeam
Find your next rated tradesperson
Find a Tenant The Business Pages for Property Investment Current and archived property articles Join in our Property Investment and Landlords Forum and have your say! return to my property power team home page Services for Landlords Buy to Let mortgages and legals Find your next investment Prosper with Property Education Property Investment networking opportunities
Article > Setting Up a Letting Agent Business - Part 2


Article kindly supplied by John Paul

www.thecastledenegroup.com
Suite 1, Easington Business Centre,
Seaside Lane, Easington, Durham, SR8 3LJ

01915878132

 


Part 1 of this article was published previously on the site HERE

Marketing
The hardest part of any making any letting agent a success is getting the all important landlords. So how do you do it? How did we do it? How did we go from no properties what so ever to over 1000 in 2 years? Why did we buck the trend, and grow faster than any other letting agent in the country?

Well, as I mentioned in the previous article we picked a niche. Our niche was LHA, very few people at the time knew anything about it (many still don’t). It was this taboo subject that even the councils were unsure about. We increased our knowledge and implemented systems that could cope with the procedures necessary to run and effectively manage LHA tenants and properties.

That aside we had to tell everyone, what we did and how we did it. After all you can’t buy something from some one if you don’t know they exist….right?

We quickly worked out that in our business, like many other in the property game, an important part of success is the size and quality of your database. We had to increase our database and fast, if we were to have the success we wanted. How did we do it?

Hitting the Boards
Hitting the boards is where, you see a rival letting agents “To Let” board outside a property and you find out who the owners are by going on the land registry. You have to pay £4 but you get some useful information as to who owns it, their home address, who the mortgage company was and how much they bought it for.

We then write a very professional letter explaining who we are, and that we can help in the managing and letting of their property. I will say that success will depend on how you come across in the letter. We have evolved the letter and we get a pretty good response. In our early days we got very little from hitting the boards, but as we achieve more, the more information that you can put in the letter.

You will get some landlords who have nothing better to do with their time, and they will either phone you up to ask that you don’t contact them and some even take the time to write an angry letter back saying the same thing. If they put the same amount of time into chasing their own letting agent to get the property let as they did telling us they were not interested in our services, they wouldn’t have any voids!

Some people, have said this isn’t the most ethical way to get business and that we shouldn’t be stepping on other letting agents toes. WAKE UP, if a letting agent isn’t delivering the goods then I will. This is business and its not all sunshine and rainbows out there.

Even if you don’t get any response initially, send them letters or leaflets every couple of months until they either tell you to stop or you get their business.
We get quite a lot of business from using this method for a pretty small initial outlay.

We do have relationships with some letting agents and they are off bounds but the majority are fair game in my mind.


Networking events
These are an extremely important tool in increasing your business. It isn’t a quick fix though and can be hard and tiring work. You can go to 6,7,8 or even a dozen networking events and not meet any one who has any intention of letting you manage their properties. You have to be ready for long drives homes, chewing the fat with seminar junkies who have spent tens of thousands of pounds on courses but don’t own any property. What it does do is get your face known, and people do recognise you.

In this game, referrals are extremely important and it might be that they don’t have any properties but they know some one who does have some in the North East. You then have to follow up the meeting over the next couple of days, some thing which systems will certainly help.

 

For a comprehensive list of forthcoming Networking Events
CLICK HERE


Advertising
We started advertising in UK Landlord magazine which was the NLA own magazine. We did this for 6 months and didn’t get a single call from any one with properties in the North East. Coincidently we did get calls from landlords asking us to manage their properties in London, even though it clearly said North East in our advert!!!

Personally I like the magazine and being a member of the NLA, look forward to getting it; however it didn’t work for us. There is no way of telling what will work for you and what won’t before you try. I know many people who advertise in industry magazines and swear by it. It just didn’t work for us

The advertising on MyPropertyPowerTeam brings us quite a few properties to manage and it increases our profile and that is of the utmost importance. You need to be known in your chosen subject, whether you're being controversial, boring or you just pop up everywhere, being known in this industry is important (for the right reasons of course).

Use your database
As you increase your database it’s extremely important to use it to its potential. You don’t want to be sending e-mails to your investors every day, as they will just get sick and unsubscribe. What you can do is send them special offers for referrals, say a free CP12 or EPC if they refer other landlords or give £50 for every property that their referral brings across.

Social Media
You have to get yourself known if you expect to pick up lots of business. Something that I have just started to do is Social media. I’m a big fan of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter and whilst it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea it does have its place along side the more traditional methods of marketing.

After only being on Twitter for a couple of weeks we picked up a landlord with 5 properties, on Facebook we picked up a landlord with 3, its not exactly setting the world alight, but everything helps in this industry. I’m also telling you what has worked for us, it might not necessarily work for you, but if you don’t give it a go, how will you ever know?

Social Media is on the increase and will be a major force in the future, like it or loathe it, if you don’t embrace it; you’re immediately cutting off a major marketing option. To me that’s ridiculous, you don’t have to understand why it works, just that it does work.

We are in the process of getting a new website made with the emphasis on technology. We will have video blogs, word blogs, links to Facebook etc new content on the site will increase our ranking and make us even more accessible to our target market.

Do some thing different
You need to standout from the crowd if you’re going to get noticed. I wrote an e-book and was very quickly known as the LHA expert, whilst im not comfortable with calling myself that, it was purely and simply a marketing gimmick which has worked.

As I'm not a marketing guy, although I am getting better, I was also told I had to stick my head above the parapet with regard to my chosen subject otherwise id be like all the other letting agents. It was some great advice and has certainly worked. I now get asked to speak at networking events or can I do some consultation on LHA and the proposed changes, even from councils and landlord groups.

Another angle which we came from was that we found a legal loophole in the overpayment regulation. The fact that we found this and have used it to full effect with 100% success rate has dramatically increased our standing with Landlords and councils alike. Look for things that other letting agents do and see what you can do differently, so long as it increases business.

I get a lot of e-mails every week asking for help and advice on LHA problems from investors around the country. I even get them from local landlords and on many occasions after I’ve explained what they need to do; they have said “Castledene might as well manage my property”, which is obviously great for us.

Conclusion
You will get different results to what we did and you probably have other avenues of getting business. The point is you have to get off your arse and go get it. Work won’t come to you if you just sit there.

If you try something that works, drop me an e-mail, we might use it. Also get yourself on Facebook and twitter etc if you already are, follow me, you never know we might do some business.

Regards

John Paul


 

 

 

 

 

Bookmark and Share

FEATURED SUPPLIERS
Get Insurance quotes at QuoteSmasher.co.uk
Property Investing Quick Start
The best BTL insurance.  Simple
Advertise Here!
 
© 2018 My Property Power Team | privacy policy | terms & conditions | contact us | advertise |