Studies have shown that most people have already chosen the letting agency they are going to use to let their property before the agent even sets foot in the property to do a valuation. So what is it that makes them decide on that agent, what can cause that agent to lose the potential rental listing and what should you be checking at a valuation?
During the time that a landlord spends deliberating over whether to engage a letting agent to manage their property they will have been observing the behaviour of their local letting agencies. How many ‘to let’ boards do they have around town; how quickly do those switch to ‘let’ signs; which agency is the largest; which one is most involved in the community or most active on social media. All of these things contribute to the near-foregone conclusion as to which agency they will choose to go with on valuation day.
Then finally the day comes when the decision is made to engage a letting agent to manage their property. The average number of valuations that a landlord will request before selecting an agency to go with is three. The agents turn up one by one. Logically it would make sense that two really need to wow the landlord to change their mind and the third simply needs to not do anything to put them off. However, both of those things are easier said than done. The reason is because while many people decide upon an agency to go with before a valuation they are actually just as likely to go with one of the other agents as they are to go with the one that they have chosen prior to them arriving.
So is it because of their qualifications?
It is worth noting that letting agents in the UK do not require any specific qualifications or licensing. Some may choose to undertake qualifications and that is always a good thing as you will know that they have taken the time to study and pass exams on the subject of letting your property which you may find reassuring if you choose them to manage yours. However, good grades don’t necessarily indicate that they are a good letting agent.
Is it their experience?
If they have been an letting agent for a while they will certainly have lots of experience dealing with any scenarios or problems that may arise while they are managing your property. It may make you feel comfortable to know that they have the knowledge and the experience to guide you through the entire process of letting your property. However, the length of time spent in a job doesn’t necessarily indicate that they are skilled at it.
Is it your gut feeling?
A little bit yes. After all, if you don’t like them then you certainly won’t want to be dealing with them for the foreseeable future! You also don’t want potential tenants being put off by a surly letting agent!
However, none of those things actually demonstrate that they are the best agent to manage your property. Instead, ask them about their marketing plan. How will they ensure that your property is seen by the maximum number of potential tenants? How will they be helping you to ensure that your property is let for the best price possible? How do they deal with any potential issues or concerns that tenants may raise? Ask them about local properties that they have let and ask how long it took for them to find tenants for them. Treat your valuation appointment like an interview to make sure that you select the best agent for the job of managing your property and then go with the agent whose plan you think is best.
If you would like a free no-obligation valuation of the rental price for your property in Hampstead and the chance to ask us why we think we are the best choice to manage your property in Hampstead please give us a call at 020 7759 2199 and we will be delighted to help.