Do You Need a High Street Letting Agent
Do You Need a High Street Letting Agent?
Well, that is a big question and I mull it over in my book, “Successful Property Letting – How to Make Money in Buy to Let”.
Plus, in the book, I also show you how to do the job of finding tenants using what are called “online only letting agents” or “EAgents” – a method that will still give you change out of £100. This compares nicely with the typical “tenant-find” fee that most agents will charge – which can vary from 4 weeks’ rent up to 6 weeks’ rent, a charge that is often repeated every year (even when the agent is not managing the property).
Now, I’m not saying, don’t use a high street letting agent.
Whether employing a high street agent or an on line agent to find (and manage) tenants is the better route for you will very much depend on the time you have available to do viewings, to check references and all the other stuff you need to do. It will also depend on your level of knowledge about how to do all this properly and in accord with all the legal requirements. Plus, of course, whether it is worth your time anyway.
But if you know what you are doing, using an online letting agent instead is well worth thinking about.
So what is the difference between a traditional high street letting agent and an online only letting agent?
Well, an online letting agent will not have a local office – they will operate online only. Sure, some will be able to provide some additional services to you, just as a traditional agent would – things like arranging to take good photos of the property, setting up gas inspections, arranging an EPC, doing an inventory etc. but for most of the work you will have the option to do everything by yourself. There will be an extra charge for any extra services provided.
The online lettings main role is to get your advert up on line on the major portals. We think approximately 40% of landlords using online agents will use them only to get their adverts online. The other 60% will buy a selected range of other additional services from the online agent.
How Online Letting Agents Work
For many years now we have used the services of an online agent. And we have always used a company called Upad, which is the UK’s largest online only letting agent. I have always found their service to be first class. Use the link here.
How it works is pretty simple.
We just take some good quality photos, write some good descriptive copy and upload it onto Upad. They then check it, and within a few hours, there it is – uploaded to Rightmove, Zoopla and other portals – in all its glory.
If the rent level for the property is priced right, the enquiries will come in quickly and they will be funnelled to you by the online agent to your email address and /or mobile phone by text. (With Upad, I can choose to reveal my mobile phone number and email address in the Upad response which is sent to all enquirers or I can choose to withhold it. It is up to me).
I always give permission to Upad to show my email address and mobile number as I want to make it easy for applicants to get straight in touch with me – the enquirers can call me or email me direct.
I then do everything purchase viagra in india else from then on in.
So, I first qualify the enquirers (about 50% of the enquiries are not suitable because they have not read the advert properly), then I arrange viewings with promising sounding applicants.
For those that pass muster and pass my reference checks, I can proceed to let the property to them, once they have agreed to a move in date and paid the cost of the first months’ rent and deposit. (I never take the property off the market or stop showing it until the first applicants have put their money down).
Of course, there is a lot for landlords to know these days and as landlords we have a whole lot of legal requirements, (and a load of admin) that we must comply with and take care of – and these are also explained in “Successful Property Letting”. If you use a letting agent, they will take care of all these things for you – at least they should!
But if you use an online letting agent, as I do, the rest of the follow up work, including complying with all the legal requirements can be done by you.
But if you are comfortable with taking care of all the legal requirements and dealing with a bunch if simple admin, you’ll save yourself a lot of money.
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We advise a range of organisations including banks, building societies, local authorities, social housing providers, institutional investors and insurers. We help them develop and improve their services and products for private landlords. David Lawrenson, founder of LettingFocus, also writes for property portals, speaks at property events and is regularly quoted by the media.
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