A mother-daughter letting agent team from Coventry have recently transformed their business, adding £120,000 profit in just twelve weeks.
Debbie and Melissa Austin, of Suttons Estate Agents, said they were ‘running the business like a charity’, not daring to increase fees and instead feeling guilty about charging landlords for their expert services.
Having joined her mother’s business at the age of 15, it was Melissa’s plan to learn the ropes and eventually inherit management of the business, allowing her mother to retire and enjoy a new chapter in life. But, this was not a viable option.
Debbie explains: “It was always my hope to pass down a profitable and successful business to my daughter, providing her with the resources to continue its successes, whilst making it her own. But, it was neither of those things. I couldn’t possibly retire or take a step back. All I would be passing to her was the overwhelming stress, anxiety and sleepless nights.
“We never truly recovered from the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act in 2019. We were still playing catch up, and it was a real struggle.”
After Debbie joined a Facebook support group for agents, both attended a conference and bootcamp in a bid to transform their business.
Melissa added: “I was reluctant to attend the conference – at the time, I hated events like these and I was adamant that it would be a waste of time. I truly felt that no one would be able to help. But, we were desperate. We needed a solution. And, fast!”
“Upon arrival, I was shocked. The atmosphere was electric. My fears and apprehensions disappeared, and instead I was welcomed by supportive individuals who we quickly discovered were experiencing similar problems to us.
“It was then that I understood that the business wasn’t failing because of me. Instead, these problems were being experienced by other letting agents across the UK, too. We just needed to find new ways to progress and advance the company.
“We realised we were severely undervaluing our knowledge and expertise. Our landlords were in fact making a lot of money for a service we were essentially giving away for free.
“Not only did we learn new strategies to implement for our business, but I also discovered something much more valuable. I felt empowered. I felt confident. And, we gained so much trust – in ourselves, and each other. I walked in as my mother’s daughter, but I left with a business mindset ready and raring to take control of the business and strive to make it a success.
“Over the past 12 months, we have completely overhauled and restructured the business from the ground up, thanks to the training and support we received from Agent Rainmaker. Not only is the company now profitable and successful, but mum is about to take a step back from her role in the business and live abroad for five months of the year.
“I have all the tools and resources I need. I feel in control. And, I’m looking towards hitting our next milestone of £250,000. Watch this space…”
To join the Rainmaker community just like Debbie and Melissa, you can find the Agent Rainmaker Facebook group here.
Find out how Agent Rainmaker can help your agency here.