When in-house isn’t always best
If you work in lettings, the last thing you want to do is rile both tenants and landlords, but it appears a leading online estate agency has done just that. How? It has taken its property management service in-house.
Until May 2018, Purplebricks outsourced its property management to High Street agents under a white label agreement. Everything was running smoothly but when the number of managed lets reached a certain scale, the online agent felt it could justify taking the portfolio in-house under its control.
As reported by a property news channel, the transition has elicited a number of complaints from both tenants and landlords who have tried – and failed – to communicate with the online agent, with unanswered calls, ignored emails and call-backs that failed to materialise.
Communication is critical in property management – poor relationships will lose you clients and that’s not what’s needed it the current lettings climate. Relationships between tenants, landlords and agents is already fragile, with PRSim – LSL’s PRS and Build to Rent consultancy – revealing in its latest annual tenant survey that 10% of renters were concerned about how their letting agent or landlord communicated – which is a rise of 3%.
If a client – tenant or landlord – is ignored, they feel undervalued and will question your professional integrity. A landlord may weigh up whether your service justifies the fee and a tenant may be quick to leave negative reviews online, damaging your brand along the way. It’s highly likely that you’re actually a competent property manager or letting agent who’s over worked, under resourced and has merely taken your eye off the ball.
Today’s consumers are used to instant gratification thanks to live online chat facilities and messenger services. Lettings, however, is somewhat behind the curve. If you can’t respond to emails and calls in normal working hours – let alone evenings and weekends – the perception of your business is altered forever.
If you know communication is your weak spot – perhaps you don’t have enough staff to keep in regular contact with clients or your opening hours restrict when you can respond to queries – outsourcing will bring your level of communication up to a professional and expected level, as long as you partner with the right company.
Partner with ARPM Outsourced Lettings and we will give you the reassurance that a team – working under your agency name as part of our white label service – is always available to answer questions, deal with emergencies and pacify clients. We offer a 24/7 emergency maintenance helpline and a fully staffed centralised office that’s never compromised by sickness, annual leave, Bank Holidays or under resourcing. Outsourcing worked for Purplebricks and it can work for you, so contact us today.