So, perhaps you have a number of properties and want to outsource your landlord duties to an agent; maybe you have one property and you need an experienced company to help manage it. Whatever your reasons for appointing a letting agent, here’s some pointers to help you focus on value for money and help manage the risks associated with being a landlord.
1. Achievable Rental
With house prices rising over the past few years, rental prices have followed suit increasing the attraction of the proposition. This has obviously led to a rise in competition between landlords and the letting agents servicing their properties.
But, true value is only realised if the market rate and management cost works for you, which is why it always pays to retain a letting agent who fully understands the area in which your property is and one that has the experience to truly understand what’s important to your strategy.
Yes, marketing a property to maximise rental income is important, but if a tenant does not feel they are getting value over time, your re-marketing and management costs will ultimately be higher. It’s much wiser to assign a relevant market rate and let your property with a longer-term approach in mind, minimising your overall cost and the potential risk.
2. Getting The Right Tenants
In an area like Basingstoke, finding tenants is not hard. But, finding the right tenants for your property takes a more detailed approach, otherwise you could find yourself with a loss of income AND the additional cost of managing a specific tenant that starts to cause you problems.
Ensure your letting agent has a thorough vetting process for any prospective tenants, with contracts and checks that ensure your property creates a decent yield, rather than generating unnecessary expenses that leave you relying on asset value growth alone.
3. Proactive Tenant Management
The landlord / agent / tenant relationship should generate a positive outcome for all parties. By ensuring your tenant is catered for in terms of your landlord obligations, they will remain happy. Likewise, happy tenants pay their rent regularly and appreciate your property more.
As a letting agent, we take a proactive approach to ensure that the business relationship between landlord and tenant is watertight in terms of minimising your financial exposure.
5. Dilapidation Management
Your property is your asset: You understand that and so do we. But, your tenant probably doesn’t think of it that way. Managing the risk involved with your property investment is essential to ensure that your property remains in good order, maintained over the long-term to preserve your investment.
A good letting agent will ensure your property is maintained during a tenancy and will have a strict process at the end of a tenancy to ensure your property is returned in the appropriate state. This will minimise your landlord obligation and ensure you have minimal periods where the property does not have a paying tenant.
5. Communication & Understanding
The key to any successful business relationship is communication. You may be an active manager of your property portfolio, or it may be an investment that sits in the background; a good letting agent ensures you understand any issues and opportunities as and when they arise so that you can take the appropriate action.
A good example is when a tenant change is happening. A full understanding of current market conditions up front, combined with well documented communications, can lead to increased income opportunities. The same applies for local building plans and issues that may arise from time to time. Ensure you are kept in the loop with your letting agent. If you are forever chasing them, they are not acting in a proactive way that is essential to you for realising value for money for their services.
There is always a choice when it comes to letting agents, either with local branches of national estate agents with a letting department, to local specialists. Letcom fall in the second category with an experienced team you can rely on rather than getting passed between staff.
What’s more, we only do lettings. Our team have many years experience dealing with the problems that can arise over a property rental so when it comes to letting your property, what price would you put on peace of mind?
If you’d like to speak to one of our team, why not get in touch today?