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5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Letting Agent

12th January 2017

Choosing the right letting agent can be a difficult task. Many landlords dive in without giving it much thought. After being in the industry for as long as I have, I know how to separate average agents from the exceptional ones, and why would you settle for anything less than exceptional? The right letting agent will make you money and free you from the day-to-day tasks that stop you from doing what you’re good at.

Make sure you pick the agent that will give you everything you need.

When it comes to choosing a letting agent to invest your trust in, I’d like to share with you 5 key lessons I’ve learnt over the years. These are factors you should definitely consider to ensure you make the right choice.

1) Are they members of the ARLA?

  • Unfortunately, lettings is still an unregulated industry, which means it’s so important for you to ensure that the agent you choose is a part of either the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), or another regulatory body that ensures agents comply to a set of guidelines. You can learn more about these guidelines, and find a more extensive checklist of my guidelines for picking the perfect letting agent here.

2) Do they have Client Money Protection Insurance?

  • This is the minimum requirement you should be willing to accept, especially if the agent you’re considering is not a part of a regulatory body such as the ARLA. If your agent were to close down, and they didn’t belong to ‘SafeAgent’, you could risk losing both yours and your tenants’ money.

 3) Are they both qualified and experienced?

  • This is your livelihood, and you wouldn’t place it in the hands of the wrong people. With the ever-changing legislation and the complications that come with the letting industry, your agent needs to know what they’re doing and be clued up on any changes. Make sure they have a management team too, because you want the right people to be looking after your business.

4) Do they have a dedicated management team or property manager?

  • The Property Ombudsman have stated that the majority of their complaints come from clients who are dissatisfied with the property management services they receive. Complaints regarding calls that haven’t been answered for example, highlight that sometimes there can be an issue with upkeeping a good service once it goes beyond making the sale.
  • The problem lies in whom the task of keeping the wheels moving is assigned to. Lettings negotiators for example are hung up on making their commission through sales, rather than keeping the clients happy. It’s not their fault either; where commission is a factor, naturally their attention is turned elsewhere. A dedicated team member for this service will ensure that all the admin is done - and done well.

5)  Are they organised and trustworthy?

  • Again, this might sound like an obvious one, but if you want to make sure you’re paid on time, you’ll need to ensure your agent has a client account manager. If not, you could end up getting what you’re owed processed when the office is quiet, and not when you’re expecting it to be.

If you’d like to find out the final five important factors you need to consider when picking your letting agent, simply click here to download my checklist.

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