Working With a Letting Agent to Find Tenants
Many homeowners prefer to seek professional help when it comes to advertising their residential properties. Working with a letting agent can help reduce the amount of time and effort a homeowner puts into the letting process, but this partnership should never be taken to mean that the homeowner can remove him or herself completely. If you are considering working with a letting agent to find tenants then be sure to discuss your requirements, use many letting agents, inspect each letting agent’s materials regarding your property and stay in contact with the letting agents throughout the process. With your consistent input the letting process should go smoothly for everyone involved.
Discuss Your RequirementsLetting agents provide a wide variety of services for homeowners, everything from advising about the letting process and setting rent to advertising the property to arranging viewings and even preparing tenancy agreements and overseeing the property once a tenant is installed. Make sure you know what you want from a letting agent so that you can discuss your requirements, and how a particular letting agent will meet them, on your first meeting. Don’t be afraid to “interview” a letting agent, after all he or she will be working on your behalf and you will want to make sure that you can trust him or her to do what is best for both your property and your pocketbook.
Use Many Letting AgentsMany letting agents work on the basis that homeowners will only pay for their services if they successfully let a property, so don’t be afraid to work with many letting agents at one time. Select one that is local to your property, that enjoys a good reputation and that can advertise your property in a variety of mediums (print ads, online ads, on their website and office windows, etc). Also make sure to work only with agents who are members of professional organisations such as the Association of Residential Letting Agents, National Association of Estate Agents or the National Approved Letting Schemes. These letting agents are required to conform to codes of practice as part of their memberships as well as carry professional insurance. Membership in a professional organisation also offers you, the homeowner, a venue for complaint should a letting agent fail to meet industry standards.
Inspect Letting Agent MaterialsSome letting agents may advise homeowners to leave everything up to them. This may be done in the nicest way, after all it means less work for the homeowner, but it doesn’t mean that homeowners have to remove themselves from the letting process. On the contrary, homeowners should stay involved throughout, especially when it comes to inspecting the materials a letting agent prepares for a property. Be sure to check over the pictures an agent uses in ads, the information and wording of an ad, if ads are run in specific outlets (newspapers, websites, etc) when the agent says they will run and if they will be submitted to online property databases as well as the agent’s own website. If a letting agent will also interview and select potential tenants, check in with them about how they will conduct these interviews and what the selection criteria will be.
Stay In Contact With Letting AgentsHomeowners who don’t hear from letting agents for a little while should always contact them to find out the current status of the letting process, what comes next and if the letting agent believes anything needs to be changed to speed the process along. Lowering rent and loosening tenant requirements are two easy steps that might allow a property to be filled more quickly. If a letting agent balks at these ideas or makes a homeowner uncomfortable for getting in touch then a homeowner must decide if this is an agent with whom they really feel comfortable continuing to work.
Working with a letting agent can be a great way for homeowners to more widely advertise their properties and find new tenants. Discussing your requirements, working with many letting agents, inspecting each agent’s materials about a property and staying in contact with all letting agents are steps you should take to make the most of this partnership.