Agents … are you impatient?

Yesterday I was in Northampton for my sins in the Midlands giving some ‘landlord farming’ training to ten agents from the area. I stood up at the start of the day’s training and said, ‘I guarantee that if you adopt the principles of landlord farming, in 12 months time your turnover will be 20% to 30% higher’. You should have seen their faces. Eyes lit up, shoulders back, beaming smiles. It as like asking a child if they wanted a triple flake 99 with red sauce, when I asked if that was of interest. Those agents all wanted a piece of that action.

You could see it in their eyes, they could see the end the end result, the extra business and pound notes that went with it 

… but I said, ‘ …. you will only get that 20% to 30% uplift if you are prepared to put in the many hours of work to get to that point with no immediate return, because it will work (and it’s been proved to work time and time again and you don’t need me to train you can see how to do it as I explain most of techniques in this blog).

If you are in the lettings game for the long term and you believe you are the best agent in your town, because you care, then this will work, because most landlords just tolerate their letting agent, just like people only tolerate their bank.. they don’t love it, they just can’t be bothered to move (its the same with landlords and their letting agents)

Lettings is a people business and people do business with people they like. All landlord farming is a way to make landlords want to come and talk to you BEFORE the tenant hands in their notice .. its as simple as that. If you can then build a relationship with that landlord over the following couple of months, that landlord will say to themselves ’I like that agent, I think I will try him next time one of my tenants hands in their notice’, and you know once you have one property and you have proved you are brilliant and trustworthy, the rest will surely follow.

But it takes time and a lot of patience. .. but I thought I saw you nod when I suggested to you a couple of paragraphs back you were in the lettings game for the long term? If you aren’t prepared to put in the hours in (a minimum 150 hours over the first two first months setting it up / preparing the foundations of the system (although an apprentice/intelligent teenager can do most of that foundation work for you), then when you launch; four hours a month writing, four half days delivering something and 30 minutes a day doing something else and spend a bit of money, it can be done for as little as a couple of hundred quid a month (although if you want it turbo boosted, it needs to be a bit more) .. then if you aren’t prepared to do all that,.. busting a gut to build the foundation of the system, writing the articles, do the blog about the local property market, produce the newsletter, send it out to all the movers and shakers in your town without any new business to show for it in the first four to five months, then I ask what are you willing to stand up for in your work life, drive forward, commit to and generally be unreasonable about? Because that’s what’s going to actually get it done.

Christopher Watkin

I teach, guide, support, mentor, consult, counsel, partner many hundreds of UK Estate and Letting Agents in their quest to grow their estate and lettings agencies business. Old school techniques of touting, landlords wanted leaflets, ring us for a free valuation, we have sold this in your street leaflets don't work anymore. There are too many competitor agents .. meaning cheap fees are epidemic, overvaluing is almost a norm to get the stock and don’t even mention about the online/hybrid threat. So a few years ago, I set about looking around the UK and spotted that certain agents (not many mind you) in certain towns were still seen as the ‘go to person on property’, the person the newspaper editor rang up every week for a comment and I looked at what they did and they were doing some thing quite remarkable…. Only one thing but they were doing it so well .. and reaping the reward in terms of decent listings and decent fees, happy staff, decent sales pipeline and exchange income, managed lettings portfolios in the many hundreds .. but more importantly, they really enjoyed the job… they enjoyed getting up in the morning and people looked up to them Over 400 agents around the UK are on a mission to change the way our Estate and Lettings agency profession is perceived and looked upon, doing it town by town, city by city. I guide these 400 agents, teach them, mentor them and support them to be seen in a different light, to be seen as the ‘go to person for property’, actually be the ‘local property expert’ and prove it. Christopher Watkin 07950 147 572 christopher@christopherwatkin.co.uk

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