Letting Agents Blogs – waste of time?

Yes they are…

They are a waste of time if they don’t get you any more landlords to use your lettings agency. Do them correctly, and I guarantee they work, I guarantee they will get you landlords, but only if you blog in a way that attracts and interests landlords.

For those of you who are still not sure what a blog is, in simple terms, they are kind of like a diary, but instead of writing on a piece of paper with 365 pages on it, this diary is on a computer screen, it’s just that that computer screen can be seen by someone else.

I see many of you blogging in the lettings industry, some excellent blogs, some good and the damn right awful. As a letting agent, if you want to grow your business, you need landlords to give you their rental properties to find tenants and to manage (obvious I know, but stay with me on this). You, Mr(s) Letting Agent, need to grab their attention of landlords (which is the easy part), but here comes the hard part, build up interest and trust to such an extent, they want to come and talk to you .. at which point you can weave the magic and show how brilliant you are, so they decide to use you and your lettings agency …

So, building up trust and interest in the landlord population of your town is the name of the game, isn’t it? So where does everyone go wrong? They go wrong because they talk about themselves, their lettings agency or their services .. sorry Mr(s) Letting Agent, no one cares (the only people who care is you and your Mum). The biggest mistake letting people make in blogs is talking about something that interests them, not the landlord.

Talking about what you have done today (a day in the life of a letting agent) isn’t interesting. Just because your ‘better half’ looks vaguely interested at the Dinner table, listening to how you sorted a problem out on an AST, how you sold or let seven properties today, how you listed four properties by Tuesday morning, how many awards you have won .. but let me tell you this … sorry, but landlords just don’t care about those things.

But there is an even bigger turn off….

the big trap that letting agents fall into, the biggest mistake nearly all letting agents do on their blogs, that is an instant turn off for landlords. Before I tell you what it is though, would you be interested Mr(s) Letting Agent on the differences between the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999? It’s so interesting, as they are the two of the most important pieces of health and safety legislation affecting property in the UK .. of course you aren’t .. so why the hell do you think a landlord is interested in the differences between a s8 notice and s21 notice, the law of EPC’s and other such technical issues. It might be interesting to you Mr(s) Letting Agent, but such conversations should only be expressed behind closed doors at your next ARLA meeting.

Landlords are only interested in two things ..

  1. How much is my property worth? (in terms of value, rent, yield, growth potential etc)

  2. Where is the next BTL deal to be made.

It’s a simple as that

So all you do is start a blog and commit to writing something for the landlord population in your town or city, not about you, but for your landlords everyday (Yes EVERY DAY.. which shocked one chap who emailed me last week to say Landlord Farming wasn’t working for him .. well it won’t if you have only put out three posts since November!), over time you will increase the footprint you have with your potential landlords and the trust your potential landlords give you. And the best bit … it’s free. Those landlords will email you and you will find out what they are thinking, which is at no cost to you. Then these interactions will scale which is FOC (free of charge). They’ll just keep presenting themselves over, over, and over again. It will never be perfect and it will never be proven… but it works.

All I can keep doing is piling up the examples of other letting agents (see my blog post from Monday) with plenty of examples of blogs from agents or see my 40+ testimonials/recommendations on Linkedin (or if you aren’t connected on Linkedin to me, they can be seen here http://goo.gl/QVfVyE)

You’re going to need to think really hard about what story do you want someone who hears you to tell?

If I said to you, “Tell someone who’s never experienced it what Apple products are like,” and you talked about Apple, most of you would say something that would make the late Steve Jobs happy. Same thing goes with Virgin, an iconic brand that has a monopoly on what it stands for. But, what if I said “Tell the person next to you about your agency.” Even though you (as does every agent in the UK) spend thousands of pounds a year on something they call marketing, everyone would all say something different based on some random personal experience. Many agents could pretend they have some slogan or hark on about boards breed boards.

They could pretend they have some integrity, but they have no connection. You see, I ask this harsh question, would anyone miss (apart from you), the No.1 and No.3 agent in town if they went out of business and it were replaced by two different agencies? No one would miss them. The key to what you’re building is, can you build something that would be missed if it were gone? (remember, the story of the letting agent where 30 landlords rang him up one day because they were worried they wouldn’t get the next newsletter because of co*k up on the postcode http://how-to-grow-your-lettings-agency.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/what-would-make-30-new-landlords-ring.html

….. and if you are going to start blogging, don’t fall into the trap that many make, that you have to build this perfect blog to make everything work, when in fact, maybe you don’t have to do anything of this sort. Maybe you just build the blog in Blogger. You don’t need to spend money with a web designer on development. You can set a blog up in 20 minutes if you want.

So I say this, just start a blog…..

I have given you five letting agencies you can use as a guide below, and just make reference from them (obviously basing it on your town). You don’t need me to do this, if you don’t want, but I have been doing this for over three years, I know where the quick wins are, where the traps are. (However, if do want help with all this, I offer two things. For the letting agent who doesn’t have much money but plenty of time, I run courses in the writing of articles, how to set up a blog etc (60 sec YouTube video – feedback from five agents on the last course http://youtu.be/LDkVJR4KTdM ) and then for more established agents, who don’t have the time, I can write the articles for you).

So whether you do it without my help, come on one my courses or I do most of it for you. Above all, the articles you have, need to be bang on the money. They have to adopt the four part principles I keep banging on about in the ‘landlord farming club’ on Facebook.. they have to be as good as these, for it to work.

They have to be written in a style that a journalist would write, because that is the ultimate test of whether the articles you write would cut the mustard.. if they do, I guarantee you will beating new landlords off with sticks, not in one week, not in one month… but give it six months and you will start to reap the rewards, small numbers to start with and they will grow from there as the months go by.

It will make you the property guru of your town.

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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