Britain’s two million buy-to-let landlords are facing an unhappy year ahead as the triple threats of tenant fees shifting to landlords, the Government’s attack on mortgage relief and tougher lending criteria start to bite.
However, with buy-to-let lending still managing to prosper in January, despite an initially dire outlook, it seems that there are still landlords looking to add to their property portfolio. Who they choose to manage their property with, is a different question altogether and with competition rife, letting agents must ensure that they are constantly adding value through their services. Here’s how to start:
2016 showed that the Government will not hold back on legislation and taxation changes
With a huge raft of changes made to the buy-to-let sector in 2016, it’s safe to say that the Government is not holding back when it comes to reforming the property industry. It is easy for landlords to get caught out by these complex changes, however, savvy letting agents can assist by utilising their existing links with local firms. Creating high-quality content by collaborating with a trusted partner, such as a lawyer or accountant will deliver three key benefits.
Firstly, by helping your clients and prospective clients with complex issues that they face, they are more likely to reciprocate and buy your services (as a landlord or vendor) in the future.
Secondly, your partner is also likely to reciprocate by giving you a section on the property market in their newsletter. This can extend your reach to prospective landlords and vendors.
Thirdly, agencies offer a professional service and building good brand association will further enhance your position as an expert and move negotiations away from price and back to service.
Top tip: Establishing a partnership in this way is a simple way to ensure that you are viewed as a well-connected market leader.
Think outside the box
With tenant fees likely to be banned in England, your top line may face a hit. To offset this, we are seeing an increase in the number of letting agents adding in sources of revenue by monetising new parts of the value chain. If the saying rings true, that the tenants of today may be tomorrow’s landlords, introducing them to local cleaning services and the like such as gardening, is not only helpful in creating a sense of brand loyalty but can also add new revenue.
Additionally, this can have the added benefit of reassuring buy-to-let landlords that their property is being regularly maintained and looked after.
Top tip: If you are a Fixflo customer, get in touch to activate our ‘tenant service’ functionality feature.
If the top line looks shaky, look to work more efficiently
With modern technology, there are many marginal gains that an agency can benefit from. It’s easy to reel off the typical benefits that arise from the use of digital channels such as the enhanced communication that it guarantees or the transparency that it gives your business. However, identifying the long-term benefits such as an overall reduction in paperwork or a saving in storage costs is also hugely important.
Top Tip: Lettings compliance software, Letflo allows letting agencies to create and store all documentation required by the 2015 Deregulation Act within a branded pack, which can then be directly e-distributed to both landlords and tenants. This great feature reassures any worried landlords that tenants have been provided with the right information, at the right time
With the required Section 21 documentation running at 20+ colour pages, think of how much money you could save on printing, stamp and ink costs by utilising your 10 free Letflo credits.