How we grew our Lettings Agency by 500 managed properties in three and half years

Four years ago (2014), one of my first clients was Daren and Susan Cope, who started a letting agency in Derbyshire. They started in 2000 and gained some early success, growing to 900 managed properties under management by 2009. But the credit crunch hit in 2009, and all the corporate agents jumped on the lettings bandwagon to stay afloat. The number agents offering lettings tripled almost overnight, meaning between 2009 and 2014, as each year progressed by, it felt like they were walking through treacle to stand still, let alone move forward. They had tried all the techniques under the sun (landlords wanted leaflets, Google adword campaigns, SEO work, newspaper advertising, 50% of management fees, even 0% fees) – but by 2014 – they had only grown to 950 properties under management

Daren and Susan Cope needed help with growing their lettings agency, so we set to work. Their ultimate goal was to attract Derby landlords from other Derby agents, agents they knew were poor at customer service.

We started ghost-writing articles on the Derby property market (what has happening to Derby property values, what was happening to Derby rents and Derby Yields, where the hot Buy To let deals were), publishing our articles per month and hitting those landlords hard.

For six months they saw no improvement, but like most good things – its takes time and patience and within twenty-two months (middle of 2016), they were generating enough landlord leads that they had increased their lettings book to 1150 properties under management.

So, we ramped up the work and taught Daren how to use social media, which embeded and helped Daren to become a thought leader in the Derby property market, and he was even asked to be comment on the local BBC radio station and have a regular column in the local Derby newspaper – free of charge. He was sought out because of his perceived proficiency in the local property market, with landlords giving him blank cheques to go and buy properties for their portfolios. While we may have helped them generate the landlord leads, Daren and Susan were seen as the ‘goto’ property people and by the end of 2017, Daren and Susan had 1,450 properties under management. 

Daren’s story up to 1150 managed properties [filmed in Feb 2016]

Daren’s story up to 1450 managed properties [filmed in Summer of 2017]

Christopher Watkin

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 [email protected]

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