Is it ethical to poach other Agents stock?

If you were to deliberately target one competitor’s vendors because they are clients of that competitor … is that ethical?

If you were to deliberately target one competitor’s landlords because they are clients of that competitor … is that ethical?

Or is it a vital part of a free market that competitors are allowed to compete against each other in the market place. This would include but is not restricted to obtaining their clients. If this freedom is not upheld then poor businesses will succeed and good businesses will be held back.

Although on Wikipedia poaching starts ‘Poaching is the illegal taking of….’ so should be ashamed of poaching landlords?

.. but everything is fair in love, war and business?

Surely, if you are doing a good enough job as an agent, even if a competitor came knocking on your landlords or vendors door – they wouldn’t swap, would they? .. Or would they?

Estate agency touting is easy .. the owner lives in the house. But landlords – that’s a toughie because the landlord doesn’t live at the property and even if you got the land reg certificate – 90% of the time it says on the certificate that the landlord lives at the property (quite obviously they don’t – its a rental property)

In today’s increasingly competitive lettings environment, understanding and beating competitor’s agents is more challenging than ever before. The complexity of the current lettings market demands flexible and quickly executed strategies in order to gain landlords loyalty through superior customer relationships. These strategies must be carried out at the expense of defined competition, directly challenged one landlord at a time for landlord share and, in collectively, for market share.

I advocate a system called ‘content marketing’, where you write articles about the local property market and get those articles in front of the eye balls of landlords. That’s great in small to medium sized towns up and down the UK, as most of the landlords live in the same town they buy .. but not in the City’s

I carried out an exercise for an agent in Northern England on eight of the largest apartment blocks in the City Centre. A total of 1,800 apartments and and of the 1,250 landlords (the rest being s.106 housing association tenants or owner occupiers) , less than 200 even lived in the County, let alone the City itself .. the rest were from across the UK and even around the world. .. so content marketing wouldn’t work in these situations, as you couldn’t get your message to the landlord if they lived 200 miles away.

..until now.

Now there is something I have added to my arsenal of weapons to help letting agents .. Letting Agent Competitor Targeting

… putting aside the ethics,

I can find the whole stock list of any letting agent in England and Wales.

When I say whole, I mean the whole stock list, not what is on the market today.

  • Full Address of the Rental Property
  • Name of Landlord
  • Home Address of the Landlord (even if it says the landlord lives at the property on the Land Registry certificate)
  • Telephone numbers
  • Social media Accounts
  • Emails

Letting Agent Competitor Targeting  provides the tools necessary to wage and win the business war of being a letting agent.

Letting Agent Competitor Targeting goes beyond traditional competitive intelligence gathering and benchmarking and gives you the real data you need. We are like private detectives – like those BBC programmes like Heir Hunters that track down Heirs of lost relatives

This isn’t landlord database list to be sold. This isn’t a list of HMO landlords scrapped from every council. This isn’t a list of landlords whom ticked a box on a website. Each list is individually hand built and very labour intensive. For example, it takes 50 to 70 hours to build the list of a letting agent with lettings book of 200 properties.

.. and if you think targeting a specific agent is unethical .  That is fine because we can target instead a whole street, a series of streets, or an individual apartment block – so you aren’t going after an agent .. but an area .. (how would like like the contact details of every landlord in a particular street or huge apartment block?)

.. but the data on its own wont get you the landlords.

You then need the second part of the campaign to kick in of attracting the landlords to you. They aren’t going to swap agents because you wrote them a letter or called them.

.. that’s why I will then design a bespoke marketing package to ensure those landlords actually swap agents to you. This not an over night thing .. this will take months, seasons and even years .. but it works

My bespoke marketing plan, using Letting Agent Competitor Targeting will design an individual initiative to ethically, legally, and responsibly get you more landlords.

Now more than ever, survival of the fittest applies to the letting agent landscape. Those fleeter of foot, sharper of mind, better armed and better supported earn the right to live and fight another day and to evolve to a higher and yet more profitable state.

Letting Agent Competitor Targeting provides a roadmap for winning strategically, tactically and in real-time to increase market share and customer share.

.. and it isn’t cheap either ..

You are looking at a cost of around £15 to £20 per landlord but that does include a number of special things .. how much s landlord worth you agency?

In London, the average landlord is worth £1800 a year in years, and another £1800 in fees next year, another £1800 the year after … need I go on?

FAQ’s ..

Is it cheap? No

Is it expensive? Yes … an agent of 200 lettings book is going to cost £3k to £3.5k ish (although that is normally spread over a few months) and then there is the marketing campaign on top of that

Does it work? Yes, and I am happy to give testimonials and references so you can pick up the phone to agents who use the service

How does it work? Two stage process .. find the stock list then convert the land reg certificate to the landlords real address. I always tell my potential clients how its done in greater detail so they are happy with the process

Are you sure its legal? Yes, no websites are broken into, no data stolen.. Every piece of data I use to find those landlords is the public domain. You could what I do. Its like a jigsaw. Its so simple when you know how to put the pieces together … it took me 3 years to work out how to do. Existing clients of mine (big London agents) have had a solicitor and compliance officer look over the system and they couldn’t find any issue with it

Data Protection?  Again, not an issue .. all the info we use is the public domain

Would you allow another agent to target my stock?  No

Would I sell that list to another agent? No

So, is it ethical? That is your call…I am not here to judge. However,  you could always target a specific location (ie street/streets/area/apartment block) if you felt targeting a competitor was poor form

Christopher

07950 147 572

christopher@christopherwatkin.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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