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Outsourcing: your alternative to administration

by ARPM

There are property headlines a plenty but one recently caught our eye at ARPM “Recognising when a business hits the point of no return”. How sad is that statement? The trade press carried an entire article on weighing up the viability of your agency and knowing when to throw in the towel, citing that Covid-19 would take a number of casualties with it. We don’t agree that administration is the only answer now and in the immediate future.

For all its doom, gloom and notes of resignation, the author did point to drawing up a financial plan for the next 12 months as a starting point. For letting agents, the balancing of books revolves around the number of properties that are fully managed. It was alluded to that managed portfolios are highly prized and could fetch substantial sums if sold on to a competitor in order to clear debts.

Now, here is where ARPM does agree. A managed portfolio is a valuable asset and it should be kept hold of at all costs. Rather than offloaded as part of an administration exercise, it can form the backbone of a recovery if managed astutely. Lettings is a growth sector and demand is strong – why turn your back on it?

Property management can, however, be a drain on time and resources if you’re doing all of the tasks in-house. Letting agents have to factor in the unpredictable nature of lets too – there is no such thing as a ‘usual’ week, no two tenants are the same and each property will have its own gripes. The problem is staffing – a huge fixed overhead that, when factored into a 12 month financial plan, will sound alarm bells and send many agents into a spin.

At ARPM, we are usually quite subtle about the benefits of outsourcing property management to us but if it means we can keep just one letting agent in business, we’re going to be blunt and brutal. Outsourcing may just save your business.

Yes, you may need to slim down your staff list (natural wastage, voluntary redundancy or other). You may even need to shut your offices in favour of more remote working or a hybrid model. Your managed portfolio, however, is your prime asset and to put it crudely, your cash cow.

Outsourcing property management is how smart agents get a grip on wage bills and working hours. We operate on a strictly ‘pay only for what you use’ basis – you’re not forking out for someone to twiddle their thumbs or underperform. 

Outsourcing protects profit too – our fees are fair, allowing you to mark up our services and still offer landlords exceptional value-for-money and a fully compliant, reliable service. Don’t forget, ARPM offers a white label agreement, so there is a seamless transition of management. The only thing your clients will notice is an improved level of service, while you will see a reduction in your outgoings and improving profit margins.

Don’t grab the towel just yet. We’re offering free advice to letting agents who may have read the article about closing down. ARPM can offer an alternative that will help shore up your business and create a pathway for future growth. Contact us and we’ll work through the figures together.

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