Landlords Wanted .. roll up roll up.

Each morning, I love to have a quick look at the posts on Linkedin as i am connected with mostly letting agents, all I tend to get is stuff from letting agents … 95% of the stuff they post is utter cr*p .. let me explain.

I couldn’t give a damn that you had a busy March and you smashed your targets (don’t worry Sunny Jim.. your Area Manager will put them up next month – that will wipe the smug grin off your Corporate face). I neither care you have listed a property in a certain development. How many of you wrote dull, dull articles on OTM? I was mildly impressed with your article on Legionella though. It’s when you post an article which is basically an advert .. if you are a landlord in (leave space for name), we at (leave space for name of letting agency) can help, we offer ….. then a list of bullet points of the services you offer. Oh, the best are the articles about, ‘What to look for in choosing an letting/estate agent’.

You might think you have grasped social media .. but you haven’t. Think about it, all you are doing is hard sell marketing …and sales marketing is all about outbound, structured, measured and designed to pay for itself. (i.e. you pay for an advert and it returns so many landlords) .. which sounds awfully good …but it’s doesn’t work like that anymore Mr(s) letting Agent.

You have been given this powerful thing called the tinterweb, and of course, as you are in the sell sell sell game .. the tinterweb is fuelled by sales marketing thinking. What’s a click worth? What is your Click Thru rate? How much will you bid to have your Google adword on top of the webpage? How many clicks have you had from your Rightmove Featured Agent ad?

.. but some of you aren’t into all this voodoo magic of Click Thru rates and social media .. your marketing is all about brand awareness (adverts in the newspaper etc., etc.) or Rightmove banner ads saying you have been in business since 1870 or you have 67 years combined experience in the (insert name of town) property market. You are hoping these ads will, by association and word of mouth, create the new landlords and vendors.

Sorry guys … that’s all snake oil and voodoo magic and utter ballcocks.

You see marketing today is merely a process to tell people something they want to listen to, to enable you to tell THEM, then make and finally keep a promise to THEM…. it’s as simple as that. If your adverts talk about you, your firm or the services you offer .. the only person who is interested in that is you … and your Mum (and she only tells you she interested because you are her little one!).

While it seems attractive to build a lettings and estate agency with these direct, lets get the business, look at our fees, look at services, look at the number of properties we have sold types of techniques, just about all the world leading brands that are important aren’t built this way. Apple don’t tout their iPhone’s with lists of bullet points and how much better it is than a Samsung S6. When was the last time you saw a Starbucks advert with a price on it?

If you’re trying to build that kind of lettings or estate agency brand, it is important that you discard marketing with direct tactics, especially on the web. Don’t judge yourself on the clicks, CTR or visitors to your website.

Stop talking about yourself, your firm or your services and talk about something that will be interesting to the local landlords of your town … (it’s none of the above) … just talk about the local property market.

If you write Blogs like these, you will get loads more landlords using your lettings agency .. for example http://www.lettingssimon.blogspot.co.uk in Derby or http://canterburyproperty.blogspot.co.uk/ in Canterbury .. If you don’t come from either of these towns, they won’t mean anything to you …but to the landlords of the town, they love these blogs. In fact of my clients from Kent said he was stopped in the street the other day after someone recognised him.

This the science behind it ( ….a system we call .. landlord farming)

  1. ATTENTION

  2. INTEREST

  3. TRUST

  4. POUND NOTES

.. in a bit more detail …

1st Your need to earn the ATTENTION of the landlord / potential house seller.. Once you have attention, you can move on to the next phase (Why? ..Well if they don’t know you exist, how the hell can they buy from you).

2nd Next, you need to earn the INTEREST of the landlord / potential house seller. (Why? Because nobody has ever bought anything in this capitalist world if they weren’t interested in the product or service they wanted to BUY .. people buy with their hearts and mind ..people love to buy things …and therefore, you need to be interesting) … once you have their interest .. you can move to the next stage.

3rd..nearly there! …you need to earn their TRUST. With trust, you’ll have landlords/potential house sellers for life. Without trust, you may as well pack up and go home. Building trust takes time and a lot of hard work, yet is entirely achievable if you work on three of your most important core competencies: service, consistency and transparency.

4th .. and Finally – just sit back and wait for the landlords / free valuations / market appraisals to come to you. POUND NOTES

It takes time and patience .. and yes it may look simple, but you have to write these meaty articles each week and then there is the challenge of getting people to the blog in the first place. If you do it right, you will become your town’s PROPERTY GURU.

I can help with this as some larger agents ask me to ghost write for them, whilst some newer agents come on my courses in writing the articles and how to get the articles out to the landlords in your town. But you don’t need to do either (pay me to write the articles or come on my course) .. all you have to do is follow what I say on blog (link below)  ..it doesn’t need to cost that much to do .. just lots of time and a shed load of patience.

And does it work?

James Caley from Watford posted on the Landlord Farmers Group on Facebook (a self help group for all the people who do landlord farming) on Friday … “Hello Farmers. Just wanted to share my recent experience. I’ve got 12 landlords either just about to sign up with me or already have signed up and I put this down to ‘The Man’ Christopher Watkin and his advice. 6 of these are as a direct result of the farming (marketing) techniques and the other 6 are from various networking groups he recommended I get along to regularly. I’ve been farming since the start of October and its really starting to come together now. Some of the new landlords I’ve been talking to for months about investment properties and a few of them are just completing and instead of the selling agent getting the instruction I have due to the help and advice I’ve offered. I called/emailed Chris a few times during this process when nothing was happening and he advised me to hold my nerve. It’s really worth it guys so if you’ve just started keep at it!”

..and here are 40 more testimonials from other letting agents http://goo.gl/QVfVyE

Remember, there can only be one Property Guru of your town .. What will you do if another agent gets there first?

If you like this article .. you will love the landlord farming blog .. a blog with over 240 articles on attracting landlords to a lettings agency, dating back to December 2013 .. link here www.landlordfarming.com

Have a great Easter break!

Christopher

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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