How to deal with low fees in your agency

Recently, a few of my friends have made some big money purchases. One paid £2,000 for the latest TV with all the bells and whistles on. I would never pay that much for a TV. One has paid £2,500 to get tickets to the Rugby World Cup final this summer.. I mean really! A friend of friend has paid £2,000 for a pair of tickets (with a fancy tent they put up) for Glastonbury. Another has paid £260 for the first day of the Ashes ..in Cardiff (I mean, it’s not Lord’s is it!) …have all of them had a sense bypass?

The price of the ticket to sporting event or gadgets or show may seem outrageous to some, but you easily trade your money for the value that the event/thing creates for you, namely the experience. The value of the experience is far more valuable than the pounds notes.

Mr Letting Agent or Mrs Estate Agent, I bet you there is something in your life you might pay a lot of money. Some will be addicted to having the latest iPhoneSamsumgEdgy phone and will run two phones on contract at £45 a month, thus enabling them to get the very latest and greatest cutting edge mobile. Some people pay £80 to £100 a month for the full monty Sky package with Movies and Sport .. most won’t .. but plenty of people do. I know some people that will pay hundreds and hundreds of pounds on a bottle of wine. They will never drink and will never sell it .. so why buy it? I get cold sweats when I have to pay more than £8 for a bottle of wine.

Everyone (including you Mr/s Agent) has something in their life that most ‘other’ people would never pay what you pay for these things. Why? Well, Mr Letting Agent or Mrs Estate Agent, they don’t value them in the same way you do. Whatever you buy, be it mobile phones, gadets, fancy holidays, Sky Sports/Movie packages, fancy cars, wine, memorabilia, antiques .. it doesn’t matter, because whatever it is you buy, there are something’s in life you pay more for because the value it creates for you and make it worth the money you swap for it.

I really do pity you agents whose only USP is a low fee.

Yes, there are some landlords who want cheap and these landlords believe there is a greater value by paying less for something. They don’t see the value in having a good agent. They know what things cost, but they don’t have any idea what they’re really worth.

But here is the point Mr/s Agent .. your role is to help landlords make the right decisions to obtain the value that they want, to drive up the value created, not to help them focus to find a lower price. Its your job to prove to them your value… that you are worth the higher fee.

If you can’t prove you’re worth the fee, you deserve what you get

If you are as good as you think .. you care more, you do the job properly, you do the quarterly inspections, the deposit really does get registered, you keep the tenants happy , you go the extra mile .. you are creating value. You Mr/s Agent don’t have to create greater value and also have a lower fee.

So how do you create value – well that’s the difficult bit – it’s the chicken and the egg time .. you need the property in the first place to prove to the landlord you are better than the others and add value .. but a landlord won’t give the property unless you have proved that value.. no wonder the Corporate’s are busy buying up all the agencies in the UK

.. but what if there was a way to prove value to a prospective landlord, what if there was a way to make landlords come to you.. yes, they come to you?

Well it is quite easy to do.

I teach letting agents how to grab the attention of the landlords in your town, capture their interest and build up trust with them .. so eventually, the landlord wants to talk to that letting agent (note the landlord comes to the agent .. not the other way round). This isn’t voodoo magic – it actually uses techniques from the Victorian age and the best bit .. it works. Most of you reading this are connected up with me on Linkedin (My Linkedin profile here). Look at my profile and scroll down to the Experience section, where my jobs are listed out. Have a look, at the recommendations and testimonials on my current role and previous role. .. and if you were wondering what it is I teach, well there are even some videos on my Linkedin profile (in the Summary Box towards the top of the page, just below the Posts) that tell you exactly what you need to know .. you don’t need to come on one of my courses or even have me ghost write for you. .. just do what I advise you to do in the two videos).

The system is very old school, but uses the internet to help. It isn’t all about social media (to be honest social media is great for sharing pics of the dog with a funny bow tie on but not getting landlords). It creates a reason to make landlords want to walk through your door. It is however, something I teach you and help you with. It takes time and patience .. but if you are in the lettings game for the long term, what’s a bit of hard work and a few months between friends?

However, you could just carry on with what you have done for the last 12 months, last 5 years, the last ten years. Banging on about your company, your services, your USP’s, leaflet dropping 20,000 leaflets to get nothing back … wake and smell the coffee guys. If your dream landlords’ opportunities and challenges are important enough to cause them to consider changing agents, then it’s certain that the value created by changing is worth paying more for.

Bottom line .. if you apply what I teach you, you will get more landlords and better fees .. I guarantee it

PS .. If you are a Neg / Property Manager / Lister .. why not show the Boss Man / Boss Lady this article. Muchos brownie points for you and when you get more landlords, you will earn more money. Give them my name and ask them to look me up on Linkedin (a link to my profile is embeeded in article anyway)

Christopher Watkin
Author of the Landlord Farming Blogthe blog that shows letting agents how to get landlords to swap agents www.landlordfarming.com
07950 147 572

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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