Landlords guide to choosing a letting agent
The market for renting out residential property has dramatically expanded in recent years with the strong growth of buy-to-let and the increasing popularity of rental property as a long term investment[LT1] .
Becoming a landlord can be a daunting process, first you must invest wisely there are rules and regulations you must abide by and most importantly you need to find tenants to live in and look after your property.
Choosing the correct letting agent can be as difficult as finding the right tenants. Letting agents aren’t regulated so start by looking for an agent who is a member of a nationally approved lettings scheme as they are all bound by a code of practice.
Personal recommendation is a good way to find a suitable letting agency. Ask for advice from someone you know who has experience of dealing with local agents. When looking at which agent to instruct it is vital that you think about what is important to you as a landlord and what level of service you require. For example do you want an agent that will take care of every element of letting and managing your home often known as fully managed or are you a hands on landlord and require a tenant find service only. There can be significant differences in cost so it’s important you decide which is right for you.
How an agent proposes to market your property should be a deal breaker, most agents will have access to all the well-known property portals and you need to make sure they list on the biggest ones out there such as Rightmove to ensure your property receives maximum exposure. In addition to this challenge the agent and find out if they do anything different to help your property get noticed? For example do they use social media advertising, produce video tours or blog posts or mail out to customer databases? Photography is a key part of presenting your property does the agent turn up with the right equipment or use a iphone – these are all tell-tale signs of how well your property will be marketed.
Finally do they know their stuff? Don’t be afraid to ask questions, local knowledge, current market trends, have they let property in this area before? An agent should be knowledgeable and willing to advise whenever possible. If you have recently become a landlord are looking for a new letting agent or want to find out more speak to one of our expert lettings managers at JW Wood.