Letting My Property
I’m currently trying to let one of my properties. Ball ache! What makes it worse it’s where I’m living. Talk about trying to live in a sanitised environment. Anybody who has sold a property will know exactly what I mean.
My property isn’t letting
I have had my property up with my letting agent for several weeks but…it’s not letting! I know why. The front garden has morphed into a mini rain forest and I’ve not attended to a minor job of re-tiling in the bathroom (just not had the time!) So, slightly disillusioned with my normally very good letting agent, I came to the conclusion that I should go for another letting agent closer to where the property is located. I was all primed to go with the rather posh local letting agent (I’d even signed the agreement). A final call to my old letting agent (out of politeness & to get them to take the details off Rightmove ). Then wham! Talking to Nick a very personable young man, who highlighted something that I kind of already knew anyway. "It’s all about getting on Rightmove" he said with all the confidence of a young man getting one over on the older generation. He went on to kindly inform me "Chris it doesn’t matter where we are all our decent enquiries come through Rightmove. If you are a respectable tenant you’ll look online during your ‘lunchtime’. We don’t get any decent tenants coming through the paper." Of course he’s right. If I was looking I’d be straight on Rightmove or Zoopla or one of the other major property portals.
Paying a premium for a posh letting agent
Nick’s assertions made me think. Why should I pay twice the amount for the letting services of a posh letting agent who is on my door step when all the real work is done through the Internet? The only reason would be if you thought you were going to get a much better service or more importantly for me a better tenant, more quickly and paying a higher rent. So to be honest, I’m happy with the level of service my existing letting agent provides. So with Nick’s pearl of wisdom ringing in my ears, I’ve now emailed the local posh letting agent to tell them I’m giving my original agent the benefit of the doubt and several more weeks to deliver whilst I sort out my minor landscaping and maintenance issues. It’s worth noting that after I read the small print of the contract I had 7 days to change my mind under the Cancellation of Contracts Made in a Consumers Horme or Place of Work Regulations 2008.
Getting on Rightmove without a letting agent
It is now of course perfectly possible to get you property on Rightmove without directly employing a letting agent by using a so called virtual letting agent. These portals such as Letting a property will list your property on Rightmove, which means you catch the tenants attention, but you are then in turn responsible for carrying out all the viewings yourself. I’ve written recently about the advantages of meeting your tenant before you let your property
It is also possible to advertise your property for free all over the Internet, but how many real tenants will end up looking at you advert is the issue. I can say that I’ve been quite successful at letting out some of my spare garages using Gumtree (not so successful with the actual properties though).
Which method do I recommend?
Well I guess it’s horses for courses. Personally, I’m not convinced that paying a premium to an upmarket letting agent in this age of the Internet is necessarily going to bag you a premium tenant. The existence and success of the likes of Foxtons in London stands testament to the fact enough landlords think that they do (could these be small scale or novice landlords?)
For me as Nick pointed out so eloquently "it’s all about getting your property on Rightmove" STUPID!