If you have been working in property sourcing for some time then you may have already come across some difficulties in building relationships with agents and getting them to work with you. You might go into a first meeting thinking that it has gone really well. The person in the estate agents that you have spoken to appears to be really on board with what you are trying to get them to do. They tell you that they will keep you in mind when the right types of properties come up and you think you have achieved success in getting them to work with you.
Then you hear nothing from them. This isn’t unusual; in fact this is more likely the norm. Agents tell you they will contact you but then they never do and this is because you haven’t built that relationship yet and they haven’t seen the benefits you can provide to them.
So don’t expect instant success off the back of one meeting with them. You need to nurture the relationship, call them, drop into the office if they are local and build up a rapport. Ask them about the properties that landlords might be struggling to rent and enquire whether they would consider a long-term rental. If you keep those conversations going, eventually you will get a deal and that is the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship between you and the agent.
You need to be mindful that you are working for a landlord through an agent, as it is quite a different way of working than going direct with the landlord. You basically need to provide the agent with the best kind of deal that allows them to make the landlord happy. So they will usually want the maximum amount of rent, in the shortest possible time, to the best type of tenant. What you can offer them is an immediate rental and guaranteed rent, so they will never have to worry about voids. You can even offer to refurb the property and look after reactive maintenance. This will often be exactly what the landlord wants to hear.
However, the problem that you still have is getting that message over to the landlord in the way that you want it to be written. So at this point you need to show the agent the benefits that they will be getting from the deal. If they manage the property, as a thank you, you can offer to take on responsibility for 12 months’ maintenance. If they don’t manage the property, you can offer to double the fee that the landlord pays as a finder’s fee. The agent will then be getting double fees for hardly any work.
Then they will be willing to let you write the email to the landlord, including the offer, terms and conditions, benefits etc. and they will just forward it onto the landlord on your behalf. So, very little work for the agent with a good return for them. You might even be able to get the email address for the landlord if the agent forwards the response back without removing it. This means that if the agent becomes a bit of a problem later on, you can contact the landlord directly.
Another benefit that you can provide to the agent to get them on side is helping them to hit office targets, especially if you can commit to multiple lets. For corporate agents, this will be particularly attractive to them.