Why are agents so rubbish at getting more stock?

Growing and expanding your lettings or estate agency is all about brand awareness .. it’s all about selling you as a top agent, selling your firm, selling your firm’s USP’s … isn’t it?

No, quite the opposite .. it’s nothing to do with brand awareness and it has completely nothing to do with selling. Landlords and potential vendors want to communicate with someone who wants to solve their issues, solve their problems and more importantly, fulfil their wants, needs and desires. Any lettings or estate agency, any Valuer, any Area Manager or Director who doesn’t think like this is living in another time and place, while attempting to do business in a world that’s already passed them by.

It’s about establishing trust, understanding and creating value with your potential vendor or potential landlord ….and you must do that without selling. You have to communicate with your potential vendor or potential landlord, you need to engage with the potential vendor or potential landlord, you need to solve the issues they have. Even more importantly, you need to create opportunity for those potential vendors or potential landlords … but whatever you do, no potential vendor or potential landlord could give a S**t about you or your brand.

Forget you are an agent for a second .. in all aspects of life,

… nobody likes to be sold to .. but they love to buy.

Like all 60 million Brit’s … don’t try and sell me – it won’t work. If someone tries to attempt to sell to me, that just insults my intelligence and wastes my time. Think about it; do you like to be sold? Hold the phone page, stop what you are doing on facebook for 2 micro seconds – nobody does. Now ask yourself this question, do you like to be helped? Most reasonable people do. The difference between the two positions while small …. is very meaningful.

The conventional practice of selling yourself, your lettings/estate agency or your USP’s as a way to do business has become at best fruitless, and in many cases out of date. You see, in lettings as in estate agency, good business practices don’t stand still. Many MD’s and CEO’s of agencies, be they lettings, estate agency or both adhere to a fusty ways of doing things . The problem with many letting or estate agencies is the bosses still operate with the same principles and techniques they were taught as junior negs in the 1980’s. What about Rightmove Chris? Yes, whilst the t’internet has clearly helped agencies to evolve, all RM/Zoops/Onthe Meerkat are an electronic replacement for the traditional newspaper, as a tool to show your stock to tenants and buyers alike.

Trust me when I tell you that your existing and potential landlords and sellers have heard it all before, when you say ‘landlords wanted’, ‘more properties required’, ‘half price fees’, ‘we are the biggest agent in xxxx’. None of this rubbish works .. you know that, so why do you lot still do it?

Stop trying to sell yourself, your firm or your services.

The agent with the most bullet points on their A5 flyer with what they have to offer won’t get the most landlords or houses to sell … no, all you have to do is merely do the right thing in putting your potential landlords and potential vendors needs first and trust me they don’t need, let alone want to hear about your firm, your services and how bl**dy marvellous you are as an agent and how big your ego is!

Let us focus on just the lettings market for a second .. Yes, in the last 15 years the lettings market has doubled in size, but the number of letting agents has tripled. I hear complaint after complaint that agencies just don’t have the time, effort or money to spend, and that landlords simply don’t swap letting agents. If you are experiencing this type of reaction from potential landlords, it’s not because they like their existing agent, it’s because you are selling and not adding value. It’s because you are talking and not listening. It’s because you just don’t get it…

It’s not about you, your company, your products or your services. It’s about meeting potential landlord’s needs, obtaining trust and adding value. When you start paying more attention to your potential landlords needs than the need for you to increase your income line on your Profit and Loss Sheet, you will find you no longer have a lack of income problem to complain about.

You see, landlords (and potential house sellers) are not fish. If you think your job as an agent is to bait the line, to lure them to you and your agency and get them on the hook, then I am sorry, I bet your lettings managed portfolio is probably roughly the size as it was two or three years ago. One agent recently announced lettings income was 5% higher than last year ..in most towns rents have risen by that level .. that is stagnation in my eyes.

If you hate to be sold to as a person (take your agent hat off for a second before you answer that) .. how does a landlord feel about what you do to try and get them? How does a potential vendor feel? Therefore, the only avenue you have is to establish trust attempting to understand the needs of a potential landlord or vendor? …. and here is the answer … the thing that turns on a landlord or potential houseseller is this …


Think about it, that applies to landlords and homeowners alike.

The truth is that all the corporate agency’s and regional mini corporate (those with 5 to 20 offices) players have very established and entrenched pecking order. The MD’s and Area Managers sit at the top the food chain, followed by the Branch Managers, then the hot shot Lister/Valuers and at the bottom of the food chain, you will find the good old Neg or Property Manager. Hot shot listing machines are revered as demi-gods with their Branch of the Month awards, whilst those hard working front liners who go the extra mile but don’t pull trees up are just about tolerated.

Irrespective of the titles that are doled out from up on high, ten a penny, this entire concept of agency (be it lettings or sales) is so antiquated it is ludicrous. Let us be honest, most people I know would rather talk to a knowledgeable neg or property manager over a slick, smooth talking TOWIE lookilikey wide boy (with fake RayBan’s bought from Camden market) shiny suited 22 year old whippersnapper Lister any day of the week. The reason for this should be obvious – the perception is a neg or property manager is providing information and helping them meet their needs whilst a valuer/lister is trying to SELL them something.

It’s time for big, medium and small (and yes I also mean independents here) to realise that landlords and potential sellers have become very savvy and very demanding. Today’s landlord or potential seller does their homework, is well informed, and buys…they are not sold.

Until you realise that a potential landlord or potential house sellers knows you care more about meeting their wants, desires and needs than yours, you Mr Letting Agent or Mrs Estate Agent won’t even appear on the radar.

By the way, in order to understand my wants, desires and needs you have to actually know something about me . Since a huge proportion of all buying decisions either start or finish on the tinterweb, you better be online .. but just having a website doesn’t count if it doesn’t hit the needs, wants and desires of potential landlord/vendor.

Look at your website … apart from your listings for sale or to rent .. it’s just a shop window for YOU, what services YOU offer .. how marvellous YOU are .. it’s trying to SELL YOU and nobody cares about YOU

But I have told you what landlords care about ..

  1. How much is my house worth
  2. Where is the next one I want to buy

Just do what these agents do … and whilst you won’t get any new business for a few months, I guarantee you, if you adopt the principles I teach in my own blog and on my training courses/ 1 to 1 coaching, I guarantee this works.

.. but don’t take my word for it … as Paul Tobias-Gibbins (agent from Essex) said after six months of doing this ..

Just a quick email to update you on my progress with featured agents.In a 7 day period I had 595 views to my blog through Rightmove. In addition the editorials are working really well and I have had a significant number of potential clients either call me or drop into the office for a chat regarding their property requirements. Last week we sold 4 properties to new landlords. Also as an estate agent I have seen a significant increase in valuations from this time last year. In fact it is roughly a 20% increase. More importantly we have seen an increase in rental valuations up 15% on this time last year with a 95% conversion rate to instruction. Client really like the no-hard sale, free information and assistance in helping them with their property requirements. It would seem that knowledge is Power.



Here is his blog … http://southockendonproperty.blogspot.co.uk/

I also ghost write for Jeremy Bullock, letting agent in Derbyshire, who has been publishing articles about his local property market for over 12 months, putting them in the newspaper, newsletters and his blog .. and now is CONSISTENTLY  getting at least 4 new landlords EVERY MONTH bringing him property to let  … 4 new landlords, every month, worth at least £4000 a year in fees …

This is his blog  http://www.jeremys-property-blog.blogspot.co.uk/ and this is an example of one of his newsletters   Let him tell you why he is getting, each and every month FOUR new landlords, MONTH IN MONTH OUT without fail, DIRECTLY from writing these articles…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5LTcaeUHtak
You can grow your lettings agency if you choose to do so. The most important factor in improving your agency (be it estate agency or lettings) and building it so it continues to grow is to focus on potential landlords and potential house sellers needs, wants and desires. If you don’t build and focus everything around the client, your client relationships will vanish before your very eyes. Don’t be just another agent, become a trusted advisor and advocate.

Stop believing the lies that you want to believe. Avoidance isn’t a growth strategy. These two THREE minutes videos tell you how its done

Yours as always ..


Christopher Watkin  www.christopherwatkin.co.uk

What do I do? I can teach you how to write these articles on a 2 day course in getting more landlords or I can ghost write them for you… simple as that .. see the link to my website next to me name

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 [email protected]

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