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A lack of landlords isn't the problem

12th January 2011

Featured in the January 2011 edition of PROPERTYdrum

LetMC.com explain that to combat a lack of growth, an agent doesn’t need a better advert; they need a new perspective.

Many agents are attributing the difficulty in growing their business as a result of a diminishing number of landlords and a lack of new rental properties. However, Cardiff based software supplier LetMC.com have suggested that the struggles that agents are experiencing are not due to a lack of landlords, but instead due to increasing numbers of letting agents who are all trying to appeal to the same landlord. LetMC.com, who provide residential lettings software across the United Kingdom, received statistics from their sister company Pinnacle Letting Agents that highlighted an increase of letting agents in the Cardiff area over three consecutive years. In 2007 they estimated that around twenty five percent of estate agents in the Cardiff area were also involved in lettings. Now if we fast forward to 2010, Pinnacle have found that in the same area there are sixty eight agents who deal in sales compared to sixty nine who deal in lettings. It is fairly safe to assume that the majority of agents who do sales now also do lettings.

With a trend showing an increase in letting agents it is clear to see why many are finding new landlords and rental properties harder to come by. It is not because there are fewer landlords but that there are more letting agents who are fighting to get a landlord’s attention. Glyn Trott, Director of LetMC.com and owner of Pinnacle Letting Agents, advised “When presented with these figures I don’t find it surprising when an established agent tells me that they are having trouble growing the business. However, I’d argue that it is not due to a shortage of buy to let investors or landlords in the market but because there are now twice as many agents that a landlord can choose from.” He went on to say, “When there are more agents vying for the landlord’s attention the solution cannot be to spend more resources in advertising, since everyone else will be doing the same. Instead, a new perspective is required by chasing the landlord’s empty properties through checking the advertised properties on Rightmove and then finding the landlord’s contact information through the UK land registry. Show the landlord how much work you have done to find them and that you have applicants ready and waiting for a property like theirs.”

So, with predications flying around about the industry in 2011, how do LetMC.com consider these statistics will affect the market? Glyn Trott stated, “Many are speculating that 2011 will be a good year for landlords. The evidence that we’ve collected shows the same; landlords will have a very wide choice about who will manage their property. This sets the challenge for a letting agent to stand out from the crowd as they enter the New Year. My recommendation is that they stop chasing landlords through adverts and instead get their attention through chasing their empty properties.”

Trading since 1997, LetMC.com is a web-based cloud computing software solution for residential lettings and property management. They provide software for 230 clients and approximately 300 branches across the United Kingdom; the software manages 120,000 tenancies and over £185 million of rent. LetMC.com clients vary from start-ups and independent agents to multi-branch and networks such as Peter Alan Estates and Xperience Group, consisting of Whitegates, CJ Hole, Parkers and Ellis & Co. For more information access www.letmc.com or contact 0870 870 8282.

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