6. Does one size fit all? - The Rich Durrant Series | Kerfuffle

6. Does one size fit all? - The Rich Durrant Series

I was recently asked what I felt the best agents did to get more landlords? The usual answers jumped to mind; touting, landlord farming, and everything else that I would deem ‘business generation’ tasks. But, after giving it more thought, the answer became very clear - put simply, - the best agents get more landlords by delivering a fantastic service and user experience. If the service you offer is poor, then regardless of how great your marketing is, or how convincing the listers are, customer retention will always be an issue for you. Which is a huge opportunity missed when you consider the lifetime value of a lettings customer (see one of my earlier blogs on this)

How do these top-performing letting agents consistently deliver a great service and user experience? A number of factors contribute to this such as employing the right staff (paying the right salary for the importance of the role), by providing ongoing training and support, but, the one factor which trumps everything else is……. 

They all have bulletproof processes in every part of the business.  The very best agents will put as much, if not more time, effort, and spend into the processes than they do into the marketing. 

The exceptional agents will not only create processes, but they understand that one size doesn’t fit all, they will dissect landlord profiles into the most minute detail, create user journeys and then create processes for each stage of the journey dependant on the landlord type. 

The wants and needs of each landlord profile is researched and processes are planned and documented, and as importantly, rigorously followed.

For example, take an accidental landlord; it is likely that they have previously lived in the property they now rent out, they may have raised their family in it, they are likely to know the neighbours and have local friendship groups. All of this creates an emotional attachment to the property, and because of this,  I would argue that they care as much, if not more about the type of tenants the agent puts into the property as they do about getting the maximum amount of rent in the shortest space of time.

By understanding this landlord profile, every stage of the process needs to be different from that of a portfolio or B2L landlord. Segmenting your landlord types and then writing the processes accordingly makes it a lot easier to persuade a landlord to use your service when you are speaking the language that the landlord wants to hear, often addressing their concerns before they have highlighted them, or are even aware of them.  

Now let’s consider the valuation process. For an accidental landlord, the valuation needs to be an education piece - they want their mind put at ease. The agent needs to clearly and patiently explain the processes they follow at each stage of the journey and explain that they prioritise finding the ‘right tenant’ who is going to really look after the property rather than agreeing to let to the first tenant who comes along.  They need to showcase how they are going to manage the property, how they undertake routine inspections and what they look for on inspections (prevention is better than cure), how they handle property maintenance, how much input the landlord wants and so on. 

In contrast, this isn’t a portfolio landlord's first rodeo; they care less what you do on a routine inspection and more about speed, void periods and rent. As such, the pitch needs to focus on what the agency does to fulfil this landlord’s priorities and assists in improving their ROI. 

Similarly, the move in process, the renewal process, and property management will all have a different approach. The best agents will go as far as matching the personality types of the property managers with different landlord types. Analytical property managers work well with portfolio landlords whereas amiable property managers work with accidental landlords. 

So in answer to the initial question ‘What do the best agencies do to attract more landlords to use their services?’ They understand the different types of landlords, and by doing so they understand what attracts each type of landlord, where they hang out (physically and virtually) and then they follow the processes. Not only are they attracting them but also retaining them- retention is the ultimate growth strategy (remember the blog I mentioned earlier with some amazing lifetime value of a landlord stats).

Processes are how you get to delivering consistent quality – get your team to do what you inspect rather than what you expect by having ridged processes so that you can easily monitor each stage, make improvements and manage staff accordingly whilst maintaining service levels. 

Read the previous blogs

Read the first blog in the series here: Lifetime value of a sales customer vs lettings customer

Read the second blog in the series here: A simple script to help generate more revenue from lettings

Read the third blog in the series here: A very popular question with a very unpopular answer!

Read the fourth blog in the series here: Let Only - To renew or not to renew, that is my question!

Read the fifth blog in the series here: Do you grade your stock?

Read the seventh blog in the series here: How can you get landlords instantly?

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Rich Durrant

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