What should you consider when instructing a letting agent?

Wed 15 Jul 2015

Selecting the right letting agent can make all the difference in determining the level of success you enjoy as a landlord.

Adam Hills, lettings manager at Leaders in Worthing, says getting it right when it comes to finding an agent to work with is important for a number of reasons.

“Your property is an extremely valuable asset, so firstly it is crucial to pick an agent you can trust. If you make a shrewd choice, a quality agent will help you to enjoy the highest possible return on your investment, provide great tenants and take all the strain out of being a landlord,” he explains.

Adam has offered five top tips to help those of you who are looking to change agents or who are considering a buy-to-let investment pick a letting agent with the ability to help you achieve your goals as a landlord.

1) Prioritise professionalism

A professional letting agent is more likely to attract professional applicants, so factors such as high street branches and large teams of property experts should be looked upon favourably. These are signs that an agent is reputable and able to put your property in front of a large audience of prospective tenants.

2) Face-to-face contact is crucial

Having an agent you can meet in person at a moment’s notice is important, particularly if you want to discuss prospective tenants, authorise repairs to a property or query a missed rent payment. Some online-only agents cannot offer this valuable service.

3) A comprehensive service provides peace of mind

Another of the major downfalls of online-only agents is that they are typically unable to provide a fully managed service. So choose an agent that can take control of every aspect of a tenancy, from finding and vetting quality tenants to maintaining your property and collecting rents.

4) Look for maximum value

Cheapest is rarely best in the lettings market, as agents that offer headline-grabbing low rates often fail to deliver even basic services such as conducting viewings. Spending a little more on a quality agent with a track record of success and the ability to get the highest rent for your property is likely to provide the best value for money.

5) Marketing is key

Putting your property in front of as many people as possible is a priority, so try to avoid agents that do not invest adequately in marketing. They may offer the lowest rate, but if they cannot match your house or flat with a tenant as quickly as possible you will lose out.

Adam says: “Plenty of factors determine the credibility of a letting agent, so finding one that ticks all your boxes might be a challenge, but it will ultimately be worth it as you will enjoy higher rents, lower void periods and peace of mind.

“At Leaders, we invest heavily in marketing each year to ensure we successfully connect people with property, offer a wide range of services to suit every type of landlord and have a network of more than 100 branches across the country, so you are never far from the support and advice you need.”

If you would like to learn more about your options as a buy-to-let investor and how Leaders can help, contact your local branch today.