Letting your property can be a risky endeavour, and more so, if it is left on the market vacant. However, a poor-quality tenant may leave you with a bigger headache than you bargained for, especially if this is your first time letting. There are four main factors that every homeowner should look at when considering a letting agent. The first is Understanding - Their ability to take the market, economic climate, you, and your future tenants into consideration. Secondly, Marketing - Their knowledge of proper marketing channels, social media, and the strength of your letting agent’s website is important. Third, Due Diligence - This covers the finer details of contract creation, tenant investigation, and credit checks. Finally, Ambition - The need, want, or desire to let your property.
UnderstandingUnderstanding the market trends at the time and how the political climate may affect buyers is an obvious advantage when picking a letting agent. Good agents will be able to advise on comparable price-point, estimated time frame for completion, and even a fairly good idea as to how many inquiries you will get at any given time. A great agent understand that it may not be the right time to let your property as the timing or price may not be ideal at the time, likewise, a worth-while letting agent can tell you if you should sell, rather than let, if you should accept a lesser offer, or price your property higher. Understanding, leaves no money on the table. It also eases the letting process, which can be potentially disastrous.
MarketingIf you make the decision to let, you are under the impression it will be listed correctly, on the proper channels, and successfully let out quickly at the best rate. Although we don’t always get what we want, a good letting agent will do everything they can to get the right signature on the dotted line, but is that enough?
Is your agent sharing your property on social media correctly and properly to get the highest interaction rate and are they targeting the demographics that are interested in your type of property? With new social media sites being created daily, what platform are your future tenants using?
More than 90% of tenants start their house hunt online. Will your property be in front of eager renters? To ensure this, a savvy letting agent will know where to display your property and at little to no cost to you the homeowner.
Their own site should also be a beacon for new tenants. If organic search engine optimisation efforts are made, the agent you choose to go with could have a renter in their wings waiting for your property to be seen and listed. A good letting agent will know how to invest in the proper methods to please the large search engines and acquire the lion’s share of organic traffic searching for your property. Ask your agent how they are optimising their site for Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Are they working on it with their own staff, or are they employing a specialist marketing company to ensure optimum results?
Due DiligenceDotting the I’s and crossing the T’s is paramount in the estate industry. “No stone left unturned” should be the motto for the agent you choose to work for you. Legally binding contracts, credit checks, tenant referencing, and keen advice from years of experience are what you should be looking for. Don’t play games with what is most likely your largest and most important investment. Ensure quality by doing your own due diligence and checking ratings and reading reviews which is a great way to hear from other like-minded individuals who have already worked with the agent.
AmbitionLastly, you want someone that will go out of their way to get your property let. Need and ambition are worth their weight in gold. Many times, an agent with too many clients can’t give the attention needed for a first-time home letter. This is where finding an agent that understands, sympathises, and wants to work for you, is key. Asking questions about why they love the area, how they themselves became a letting agent, or if they had to let their own home, can sometimes reveal passion about their business and motives.
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