It’s good news on the rental front, as HomeLet’s July Rental Index reveals that rents rose in nine out of the 12 UK regions covered by the research.
But that doesn’t mean that letting agents can rest on their laurels and assume that landlord satisfaction has been met for the foreseeable future.
One surefire way in which to satisfy client satisfaction is to be a font of knowledge about your local community.
In fact, one independent agency attributes its long-running success to its team’s local community knowledge, which it establishes from day one of them joining the business. All team members must take a local area knowledge test before being allowed to undertake any client facing work.
Why not use the quieter summer months to brush up on your local area knowledge and show clients, old and new, why you should be considered the local agent of choice and either entrusted with their property to sell or perfectly placed to help them find the right investment.
But, where do you start?
- Learn the basics
What’s the average sale price or rent in your community and what type of property could that secure a client? What’s the average rental yield and which type of rental property is currently most in demand in your area? What are the local council tax bands and what is the average service charge and ground rent for apartments?
This is basic information that you should be able to supply to tenants, buyers and landlords alike (without referring to your iPad), to help shift the property on your books. It’s your job to help clients and buyers and tenants alike to make an informed decision about whether or not to invest or rent in your area.
- Understand the demographics
What type of community do you work in? Is it populated with young, transient professionals or long-standing families, or perhaps retirees? Are residents predominantly British or a mix of expatriate communities? Which languages are most widely spoken and which of these can your staff speak?
- Know the local transport links
This is one of the first things that property hunters will expect you to know about when they first engage in conversation with you. Could you tell them the average length of time it takes to walk to the local tube, train or bus station from each of the properties on your database? Can you talk them through the local transport links in enough detail to help inform their decision-making around whether and what to buy?
- Research local development plans
As part of these conversations, could you inform property hunters about any local future development plans in the pipeline that may impact upon their investment, be that building-related or around the local transport infrastructure?
- Know your support structure
Equally, if not most important, is ensuring that each and every one of your team members knows what your firm has to offer your clients. Do you offer in-house mortgage advice or conveyancing services and if not, do you have a referral service? Do you offer a rent guarantee scheme and if not, should you?
All staff should be on the same page and offering the same information to clients to present a joined up and professional proposition that sits heads and shoulders above your competitors’ efforts.
How well would you score with the questions above? If there’s room for improvement, what are you waiting for?