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Advice first, agency second?

by ARPM

The perception that property managers are there to make money from small administrative tasks needs to change. Thankfully, the industry is ripe for a fresh image, especially with wholesale reforms challenging the very concept of the private rented sector. Moving forward, landlords should feel compelled to use property managers for their industry-specific knowledge, market advice and safeguarding powers, as well as their ability to find a plumber at 2am.

Landlords lack the knowledge

There is a dire need for professional support in lettings. Research shows a shocking number of landlords fail to arm themselves with enough information about the process before and during their property investment journey.

Figures contained in a report by property expert Kate Faulkner for the TDS Charitable Foundation revealed 19.5% of respondents didn’t undertake any research before becoming a landlord. Almost 40% preferred to research lettings online – a place we all know is questionable in terms of accuracy. Interestingly, 24% of landlords questioned chose to use a letting agent so they didn’t have to undertake any of their own research.

This suggests a group of misguided and possibly lazy landlords may be at the helm of the private rented sector. With lettings compliance increasing and becoming more complex, property managers have a firm role to play in meeting legal obligations and upholding standards. It’s up to us as an industry to validate our position so professional property management is indispensable – a service that appeals to those who want all the buy-to-let rewards with none of the legal hassle.

Letting agents need to know their value

Let’s face it, the supply of tenants at the moment isn’t an issue but with the fee ban approaching, income needs to come from somewhere and full property management – and all the compliance support and legal guarantees that come with it – should be worth its weight in gold.

Boosting your current property management department – or complementing your tenant-find service by offering a full property management service – will give you the confidence to attract new landlords (especially the laid back types) and convert existing clients who use your basic services. Advice first, agency second? Definitely the path to follow if you’re looking to add value and win business.

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