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Article > Setting Up a Letting Agent Business - Part 3

Article kindly supplied by John Paul
Suite 1, Easington Business Centre,
Seaside Lane, Easington, Durham, SR8 3LJ



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

Part 2 of this article was published previously on the site HERE

The most underrated part of setting up a letting agency is the training. Most people I know think that lettings is easy and that you can pick it up as you go along. Not many people realise exactly how hard it actually is, to keep up with all the legislation or best practices etc. I can understand WHY people think its easy and start up a letting agency. From the outside it doesn't’t look particularly hard, and the hardest thing is collecting the rent, right?

At the moment, anyone can set up a lettings agency, which in my mind is completely ludicrous. There is no legislation or regulation governing the industry, which is the reason why so many investors have so many horror stories. Apart from the fact this needs to change, there is also no regulation for training some one either.

As an investor you are giving control of your most expensive asset to some one hundreds of miles away who may think section 21 is a new boy band! And yet investors do it every day. How many times has anyone at Castledene been asked, What training do you have to manage my property? Have you been on any external courses? What organisations are you members of? Not very often I can tell you. Now obviously we are members of organisations and every single employee is or has been through NVQ’s and Diplomas etc but the point is we are too trusting with our property, considering we don’t know the person on the other end of the telephone or computer

As a letting agent you need to take responsibility for not only yourself but also the investors property and the only way to do that is by continually improving and updating your knowledge. It doesn’t mean you have to become a solicitor, but you need to know the basics.

How do we improve our knowledge?

There are so many good courses out there that can vastly improve your knowledge and make lettings so much easier. Anything by ARLA or the Letting Centre are very good and I'm sure there are many more. The point is you must take the time and effort to improve your knowledge base, I personally think you have a responsibility and whilst there is nor regulation, its down to us as responsible business people.

I’ve mentioned in previous articles that by joining the likes of ARLA and NALS you are initially putting your head above the parapet with regard to letting agents and you should be commended on that. But it doesn’t stop there. You must keep up the development of your staff, just as rules and regulations change, your training will also change.

We have individual training programme s that every person must adhere to in order to be a part of the company. Whether its Sage or customer admin or lettings based, we sit down plan out a training schedule based on the individual’s role and experience and that’s just courses carried out by external companies. We also train the staff on the software systems and internal policies and procedures. No one will be great the day they start or know everything immediately but by having a training programme in place you are improving your staff, your business and therefore the service you provide to your clients.

We have set up a training and development company that provides apprenticeships in residential sales or residential lettings for FREE and its NATIONWIDE.

What is an apprenticeship?
Its for any one at any age. The old preconception was that it was for 16-18 year olds, is still true but you can also be 100 and still be an apprentice. There is no age limit.

An apprenticeship is made up of 3 parts

• Key skills (English, Maths and IT – This is just to see what level NVQ you take)
• Technical Knowledge of the subject, which in this case is the technical award in lettings or sales

The advantage of the apprenticeship scheme is that you “earn while you learn” it is not class room based so its ideal for people already working in an agency and not wanting to take much time off to do the qualification. We come to your work place so there is little or no disruption

Who is it aimed at?
Every letting agent, every estate agent and every property investor who self manages in the country can benefit from this qualification

How is it funded?
The training is 100% funded by government (one of the few things they got right)
There is a small cost to take the Technical diploma exam that is not covered by the funding, but the cost is minimal

What do I get at the end?
You get an NVQ and a Technical Diploma in Residential Lettings or Sales. It’s a government backed qualification and is recognised as such.

What can I do with it?
Apart from the obvious that you, your company and your clients are benefitting, on successful completion, you can join Association or Residential Letting agents ARLA or National Association of Estate Agents NAEA. This alone gives you credibility and standing amongst your piers.

If you need any further information or want to take advantage of the limited 100% Funded course, please drop me an e-mail


John Paul






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