2015: The Year That Will Change The Industry.

The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.” – BILL CLINTON
It has not yet arrived but there are strong signs that 2015 will fundamentally shift the residential property market.
In this short article Rajeev Nayyar of Fixflo looks at three of the key changes that are coming and will affect your business.

Buyers

From April pension holders over the age of 55 will be trusted to use their pension funds as they see fit.
With the FTSE 100 having fallen by more than 40% twice in the past twenty years (ie within the working lifetimes of those affected) the buy-to-let market looks set to be buoyed by an influx of new capital.
With comparisons between property investment and annuities increasingly likely to be made, agencies that can demonstrate that they can make property a passive investment are likely to prosper.
Our Tip:
Build case studies of retired landlords within your portfolio to show how well you protect their investment and how you help them to manage their property from the beach.

Vendors & Landlords

It can’t have escaped your attention but there’s about to be a new portal in town.  With an increased range of responses from agencies on your high street, it is likely that vendors and landlords will probe you and your team on your marketing plan more deeply than before.
Make sure that everyone in your team knows not only which portals you advertise on but also the rationale for your choice.
As vendors/landlords speak with competitors who may have a different marketing mix it’s critical that every member of your team can put forward a strong statement about the choice your agency has made.

Our Tip:

Prepare a fact sheet for staff members to ensure you give a consistent positive message about your range and use of different marketing channels.

Renters

The first stab at banning retaliatory eviction may have fallen in the House of Commons in December but it’s back on the political agenda for 2015.
If you missed the debate the first time, the proposal (in outline) is to prevent landlords from using a s21 notice to end a tenancy if:
  1. their tenant has submitted a written repair request; and
  2. the local authority has taken or is deciding whether to take enforcement action.
As with all legislation the devil is in the detail but with “in principle” support from the Government and the tenant vote holding the balance of power in the General Election it’s likely change to s21 will come in some form.

Our Tip:

Ensure that you have robust and transparent repairs processes in place.  With so much political capital riding on the tenant vote changes may be swiftly enacted.

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