The Dummies Guide for Estate & Lettings Agents

Have you heard, there is a new No.1 Best Seller at Amazon you know, even a Sunday Times Best Seller and a Richard and Judy Book of the Week ! .. its called …

‘43 year old Estate / Letting Agent in South West London needs more stock’?

… but strangely all the sales of the book have been in Kingston-on-Thames and Wimbledon? Why, because if you are in South East London or Hertfordshire or Birmingham, the book quite clearly won’t be relevant and complete work of fiction.

If I had a pound for every time an agent said to me ‘my town is different’, I would be a very rich man. Yes your town, your suburb is different to the next town or suburb .. but fundamentally, you are in the same position as all the other agents in other towns.

All of you are all the same boat and you can all answer YES to all three questions

  1.  You are an agent!
  2. There are landlords/vendors needing properties let or sold!
  3. There are too many competitor agents in town!

Stop whinging .. you are in a bloody tough town as an agent .. but is every other agent!

I am sorry Mr(s) Agent, but no one is going to write a book about your specific situation in your specific town, but you are surrounded by examples and lessons and case studies that clearly aren’t exactly about your lettings or estate agency that you can learn from, if you are prepared to learn. There has never been a book written precisely about the exact situation you are facing right now nor will there be fact or fiction!

If you want more stock for the resi sales dept or more landlords to use your agency to manage their property, there isn’t a  ‘Dummies Guide to Getting more Stock for Lettings/Estate Agents ’ with loads of checklists, there isn’t a Haynes Manual with loads of checklists. Getting more business is both an art and a science. Like all forms of art, it requires us to learn to see, because by seeing what is working and to adopt it, adapt it and improve it.

As a boss, it’s way easier to just give your staff a manual or one day course, thus helping them avoid thinking for themselves. Instead of going on a course with checklists, why don’t you listen to other agents and learn from them?

You owe it to yourself, your team and your family to grow your agency. By listening to other agents stories and ideas, there is an opportunity to find the similarities and get ever better.  If other agents make the mistakes and if they are prepared to talk about their ideas and what they have learnt, you Mr(s) Agent are letting others go first  – not with what you have got, but with something you can learn from. But will they (other agents) talk, share their ideas and findings, hell yes, because this can become an invitation to care – and that’s what we all want – for people to care about our ideas.

So where can these ideas come from, with agents that are prepared to share their ideas?

Firstly, Rightmove have set up a resource centre called Rightmove Hub  There are weekly webinars on the best practices of other agents, how to get more free valuations, more listings, how to use RM to get more business, more viewers, more price reductions .. all page one stuff that is very helpful to every agent. But if you can’t be bothered to go on the webinars – well more fool you Mr(s) Agent. There is plenty of other great stuff on there and in the future, I will be recording some videos on how you can turn RM and RM-Plus from Ford into a Ferrari .. there is so much that system can do to get you more business (ie more stock for sales and lettings) (like a list of every rental property that is void and ready for plundering, or produce a list of every property out of sole agency agreement for the res ales team, how to have a featured agent advert with click thru rates 1880% (yes 1880% higher than the RM average),how the full address is hidden in a code on most listings, oh, the possibilities are endless!).

Second, for those agents who adopt the principles of being the ‘local property expert’, by either them writing (or me ghost writing) local property market articles about the local property market, (a technique we call ‘landlord farming’. We have set up a Facebook group called ‘LANDLORD FARMING CLUB’ –  A group of 95 (and rising) letting agents owners from around the UK, some big ones (some agents having stock levels of 600+ under management through to people who are about to launch). We all share ideas on improving and growing our lettings business.  There must over 10 posts a day some days with a shed load of replies and comments (my emails fill up a treat). We also have monthly webinars and are currently planning a day’s workshop/seminar for everyone (or as we call ourselves, ‘farmers’, to meet up and share best practices). The best bit is it is like being part of a club and because no-one is in competition with each other (we have strict rules on that) .. everyone gives their advice freely.

Third .. or you could join a franchise network and give 7.5% to 12% of your turnover to the franchisor. Dont dismiss it – it works for some!

It’s sometimes too easy to provide the manual and a set of steps to help someone learn something new. And it can work. But it can also represents a missed opportunity.  By framing ideas at a higher level and using other agents ideas, we can discuss the ‘why’ first and show other agents a new way to think about the new ideas of getting more landlords, more stock to sell; why an idea makes sense, why it matters.  Like I stated earlier-  that’s what we all want – for people to care about our ideas.

kind regards


PS As always,  if you have liked this blog post, there are over 260 similar blog posts on this blog. Click on this link  LINK TO THE WHOLE BLOG , and you will see a shed load of articles on how to get more landlords for your letitngs agency and more free valuations for your resi sales dept.

 PPS For thos e of you visited the blog for the first time, if you wonder why I write stuff like this, I help letting agents get more landlords to use  their lettings agency. Some of my clients are estate agents as well and they tell me they get more free valuations for the sales dept as a by-product of doing it .. so letitngs improves and sales does .. winwin!

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

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