How to generate more free valuations

"start a lettings agency"

Find out how to get your phone ringing for free valuations with the right kinds of landlords (and vendors) so you can charge the fee you deserve.

Letting Agents, if you have been trading for a number of years, you will already have lots of landlord contact details and also landlords who have property with your competitors. Look at every application form you have had for your rental properties. Especially in the South, where landlords tend to use agents on a tenant find only basis, the tenant will give as their reference, their landlords contact details….. and those tenants who apply for one of yours, but live in a managed property, whilst they will put down the managing agent as the reference, they will give your their home address …. why not pop that address in to the Land Registry, as 20% to 30% will have the real home address of the landlord.

Estate Agents, think of all the years of mailing list data. I know Negs are really trigger happy at archiving potential buyers if an applicant doesn’t respond to a mailout within two hours, but I bet most of them bought elsewhere .. property owners who currently own a property in your town.

I have seen agents time and time again pour money into advertising to get new landlords / vendors to come in and then never spend a penny on getting them to come back. What they don’t understand is that getting new client’s can sometimes drive a business broke. You see, one of the hardest things for estate and letting agents to grasp is the importance of marketing to their past clients.

We have all heard the statistics that 8 out of every 10 new businesses will fail in their first five years. Of those that survive, 4 out of 5 will then fail in the five years after that. Now, there are many reasons why this happens, one of them is simply that they get too many clients, and this is especially true in estate agency.

What is that, I hear you say? You thought that what estate agency is all about? You need new stock, new vendors, because once you have sold the property, unlike lettings where you get recurring income, no new properties to sell equals no money! Well yes, you do want to get new vendors, new stock, more free valuations, but only if they come back and use you again.

Each time you market to a new client (be it landlord for lettings or vendor for estate agency) it costs you money.

You need to understand the importance of getting your past clients to comeback. Amazingly, estate and letting agents will, on average, spend ten times more advertising for new landlords and new vendors than they will to get past clients to come back.

… and when I say past clients, I don’t only mean actual past clients, but for letting agents, looking at every tenant application form and scraping the data, every lost market appraisal, anyone who has crossed your path as a letting agent, is a landlord… these are , in a very loose sense are past clients. And the Estate Agent’s amongst you, every last free valuation you have ever been on, every person who has been in a chain of yours, every applicant (live and archived) must be considered past clients.

The really surprising thing about it is its far easier to get someone who has already used you to use you again than it is to convince someone to use you for the first time. And those people who were lost free vals or people on the mailing list or landlords on tenant referencing forms, you still a have link … ok, its tenuous, but to the archived applicants, you know where they lived, they will have the same email address and will have probably bought in your town. (Check the land Reg to see if their original property sold six/nine months after going on the mailing list).

Just because people used you in the past doesn’t mean that they will continue to keep coming back.

There are a number of cost-effective ways you can use to keep them coming back, to ask you back constantly for lots and lots of free valuations and market appraisals .

Let us take a look at a one of the easier ways you can consider, with Paul Tobias-Gibbins, an estate agent /letting agent who has seen a vast improvement in his already well established business tell you what he does to generate business .. Paul set up his High Street based established estate/letting agency in a lovely little town in Essex in 1999. Paul was doing alright for himself, number three in the town. Then he started to do something differently in October 2014 …. nine months later, (as this was filmed on the 3rd July 2015) he has increased resi sales turnover by 113% (no that’s not a typo) .. 113%! Lettings wise, he is adding 10 new managed properties a month to his lettings book and turnover is 56% higher than October 2014. Let him tell you how he did it in this 6 minute video …

You see, when we started this technique of landlord farming, we thought it might pick up a few  sales free vals here and there, but it was really all about getting landlords. However, we were surprised that if you are an estate agent as well as a letting agent .. if its done in a particular way, it gets homeowners to ring for sales free vals .. double bubble!

If you want know more how to do it here parts 1+ 2 + 3 and 4 of training videos in the system we call ‘landlord farming’ ie what Paul Tobias-Gibbins did. Over 45 minutes of videos that start to tell you what you need to do …

Part 1 … 6 mins https://youtu.be/-ufIvIW9-5M?t=3m10s

Part 2 … 15 mins https://youtu.be/7y4s_bC6jzo

Part 3 … 9 mins  https://youtu.be/fmAiYnHtV2g

Part 4 … 16 mins https://youtu.be/xhp1WerR_x8

Kind regards

Christopher

PS My question to you is, now you have proof this works, (here is a short 2 min video of six other agents if you were still on the fence )

… what are you going to change in your estate and lettings business? Only a very tiny number of my readers will do anything different, but perhaps you’re one of them? Please, let me know, I would love to hear from you

PPS If you think this sounds great, but like an awful lot of work, that’s fine .. most of the agents who do landlord farming ask me to ghost write the articles for them .. in fact, some even outsource the other parts as well (newsletters, social media, newspapers etc etc).

PPPS If you want a chat about all this, drop me a line to christopher@christopherwatkin.co.uk .. I would love to hear from you

PPPPS if you are a Neg or Valuer reading this, why not forward a link to this article to your boss. They are probably way too busy to read this on this blog, so it will mean you will look good, by forwarding it to them .. because they are always banging on about getting more new business.

PPPPPS If you want to read more about all this, there is a blog with over 300 blog posts, dating back to 2013, on getting more business for a letting and estate agents .. here is the link .. http://how-to-grow-your-lettings-agency.blogspot.co.uk/

 

 

 

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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