How to gain the attention and trust of landlords

You believe are the best letting (estate) agent in your town or company, hell, you believe you are the best in the UK .. you are, as Tina Turner would put it, ‘Simply The Best’! That is what you believe, isn’t?

However, have you ever wondered why you aren’t getting the business you deserve? The reason being is this, it doesn’t matter what you believe, it’s what the landlord believes that is important (and when I say landlord in this article I also mean potential house seller vendors for the estate agents reading this – because this is just as relevant in estate agency as it is with lettings).

Whatever you believe, whatever proof you have to back up that belief, that belief and proof is simply not enough to get you the business.

If you want more landlords for your agency, you need to get the attention, the trust and the action you seek from landlords. Yet, here is the issue, the people you most want to reach (landlords) are likely to be the very people that are the most difficult to reach.

You can’t turn a landlords attention on and off like a tap. It’s not yours to control, it is not yours to take whenever you need it. Then there is the issue of trust – trust comes from within the landlord, their gut reaction, what they feel about you .. you can’t insist a landlord trusts you.

However, you can earn attention and if you do it right, you can earn trust. .. even without ever meeting someone .. and people do business with people they trust.

Don’t forget the story of the letting agent from Kent who had 30 landlords ring him up one day to tell him their postcode was wrong, because Mail Merge had put the wrong postcode on the envelope of 310 newsletters he sent the day before. 310 landlords he had never spoken to, never done business with, just 310 landlord addresses he had picked up over the years from Land Reg’ing and Tenant Referencing .

In fact, listen to the story here on this 3 min video ..

So why did 30 landlords bother to pick up the phone, because I’ll tell you now, I certainly don’t ring up Virgin Money Credit cards to tell them, “Hi Virgin Money, you know those fortnightly letters you have been sending me for the last three years, trying to sell me a credit card, I don’t want a credit card, but keep sending them anyway, because I know you will, but before I go, can you change the postcode, it’s incorrect … I would hate to miss out getting my fortnightly letter” .

Let me share with you why they did that.

Most agents Land Reg (for those of you who don’t know, you can go to Land Registry, type in an address and for £3, you can get the Land Registry Certificate (LRC). The LRC will 20% to 25% of the time tell you the home address of the landlord (the other 75% to 80% of the time it says the landlord lives at the property – a waste but something you have to accept – however, I do know of people who can find the home addresses of those landlords (the 75%/80% of landlords whose LRC say they live at the rental property – drop me a note to christopher@christopherwatkin.co.uk and i will pass on their details)

.. but aside from that .. have you ever wondered even though you have the landlords home address, the hit rate is still low? Let me share with you why writing to LRC’s doesn’t work, but did work for a friend in Kent?

All you need are three pound coins, a sales letter and a 1st class stamp …

you have everything you need to get your proposal in front of a landlord. You could send as many letters as you liked, to as many landlords as you liked as long as you had envelopes, stamps and kept pumping in three pound coins to the LRC making machine . All you needed to do was mail them.

If you targeted landlords of properties that had been on the market three or four weeks, that should be easy to get a landlord to swap as they would be getting very nervous, it would be like taking candy from a baby, this is low hanging fruit …. but still, why are the hit rates so appalling …why do agents find it hard to convert those sort of landlords?

It’s because the agents in the letters were trying to grab the attention, interest and trust of these landlords, by talking in the letter about themselves, their services, their company, their fees … but nobody in life likes anyone who just talks about themselves. Instead our friend in Kent was sending out a monthly newsletter like these ..

In Royal Tunbridge Wells https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0d59TaH3c33Tjd4MTllTGRhT1U/view?usp=sharing

In Tooting https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0d59TaH3c33X0JCX1lxd201bGc/view?usp=sharing

Or Kingston upon Thames https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0d59TaH3c33MWVEMjdZQllzZ1k/view

These agents are earning attention, interest and trust by delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them. (Landlords in Kingston love to read stuff about the Kingston property market because that is where they own their rental property – just change the word Kingston in that last sentence to your town … it makes sense doesn’t it?

Whatever you believe, whatever proof you have .. that means nothing to a landlord.

You have to EARN the privilege to make landlords listen to what you have to say, you have to EARN the privilege to make landlords listen to what you believe and you even have to EARN the privilege to make them interested in what proof you have…..   in a nutshell my friends you have the right to say whatever you like, you have the right to send as many sales letters, pump out banner advertising on the tinterweb to as many people as you like … but you don’t have the right for them to want to hear what you have to say, you don’t have the right to be listened to .. like all things in life .. you have to earn it!

The first thing you must earn in attention .. because if you can get landlords to pay attention to what you have to say, you are half way there. .. and that is the key thing .. getting landlords to pay attention. PAY is a key word here, because agents who adopt the principles of being the local property guru understand that when a landlord decides to pay attention, they are in fact paying you with something quite valuable…. their TIME. .. and unless you are Doctor Who, you can’t get that time back … Landlords (in fact all busy people) only have limited time to focus on things after they have sorted work and home life…. but everyone who is a landlord and homeowner is interested in their local property market. Talk about the local property market with interesting articles on your local property market and you will earn the attention of landlords …. don’t waste peoples time, because if that attention is a significant asset, something to be prized, not wasted.

If you then continue to write good stuff about your local property market, you will then start to earn the landlords trust … and if you stop writing it, they will miss it. The landlords will look forward to receiving this info, they are in fact then giving permission to listen to what you have to say.

Remember our agent friend from Kent with those 30 landlords that rang him. The reason they rang was that had received earlier editions of the newsletter, but on this third edition, because the Postcode was wrong, they were ringing the agent to correct their postcode , because .. and this is important …. THEY WERE WORRIED THEY WOULDNT RECEIVE THE NEXT NEWSLETETER IF THE POSTCODE CONTINUED TO BE WRONG  …. That’s permission.

You know we said you had to earn the right .. first you earn attention, then your earn trust .. and from trust comes permission, because permission is bit like trying to woe someone in the dating game of finding a partner. Just like on a first date you would not expect someone to ask you to marry them, you don’t start by asking for the sale at first impression. You earn the right, over time, bit by bit.

So, that is what our letting agent friend from Kent had to do .. he earned the right to be heard, the right to be listened to. The reason your LRC letters aren’t working is – you haven’t earned the right to be heard – nobody likes to be sold to, nobody wants to hear you spouting on about your services and how wonderful your agency is.

You as an agent are not entitled to attention and trust of the landlords who use other agents.

I am sorry to disappoint you , but there isn’t a ARLA panel in London, looking at every agent in your town, allocating landlords on the basis of some sort of clearly defined scale of worthiness.

.. but if you are prepared to put the time in, the hardwork in, and yes, I can help you do it if you need the help, then you can earn the attention, interest and trust of landlords in your town, because if you can patiently lead and contribute and demonstrate that the attention you are asking be spent on you is worthwhile.  .. then my friends, I guarantee you, if you do all these things, you will grow your lettings agency. I guarantee you will grow your lettings agency by 20% to 30% within 18 months and by the same amount every 12 months thereafter as this has been proved.

Kind regards

Christopher

07950 147572

PS . Of those 30 landlords who rang our friend, most were more than happy to give their telephone number, most asked for the agent to keep in contact with them and some even said they had decided to give this agent a call as soon as their tenant handed in their notice and they needed a new tenant

PPS If you need help on the writing of the articles, I currently ghost write for over 50 letting agents up and down the country (in fact I ghost all the examples above) – and as part of that, I help you by mentoring you in all the techniques to deliver that creative content. You can also gain access to one the UK’s most exclusive clubs for letting agents … membership of the LANDLORD FARMING CLUB facebook group, a closed group on facebook where fellow letting agents share with each other ideas on attracting landlords. Letting agents give their ideas and time freely to swap ideas, help each other .. it’s like being in a club with 140+ competitor agents .. but all of them are happy to swap ideas with no one trying to compete just help and advise their fellow agents.

PPPS Want to read more?  Visit my Library on Linkedin with all over 160 articles on attracting landlords and vendors to yourlettings and estate agency .. https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/102567620

 

 

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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