All letting agents want to find landlords for their letting agency. With so many avenues to get landlords, it’s important to know where to focus efforts and budgets.
But tactics to find landlord leads isn’t the end game. Letting agents are then tasked with converting leads into instructions.
The contents of this article will cover the key aspects of a letting agent marketing: Where to find leads, tips to convert leads & common issues letting agent face with leads in general.
How to generate landlord leads
You can provide incentives for past or current landlords to refer you to other people. Landlords know landlords and they are likely to talk often.
Getting a landlord talking positively about your services can work wonders for your marketing
Word of mouth is extremely effective for growing your instructions for free. On the other side of the fence, bad news travels fast. So if there have been any dissatisfied landlords on your books, go out your way to get them back on side to stop the new spreading
Lead generation sites to find landlord leads
While a letting agency has many facets: getting leads, managing landlords, marketing, looking after staff, finding tenants and keeping on top of legal work… referral companies have one job: getting leads to agents.
Their sole purpose is to market to landlords, capture their details and pass the details onto agents to get the deal done.
Some referral firms take a cut from the final deal as part of their model.
However Rentround has a monthly listing fee, regardless of how many deals you make.
At Rentround, we find landlords by giving them the opportunity to compare letting agent fees and performance, to make an informed choice on which letting agent to select.
Our background is digital marketing and we’re experts in hitting Google the right way so the right results, at an efficient cost, are delivered.
The price is £49.99 a month, which can be cancelled at any time, if letting agents aren’t happy for any reason.
There’s currently a 50% discount on your first month available. Use code rentround13 when signing up
Social media allows you to boost your audience and client base. Set up social media accounts on networks such as Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Google+ as these are all very popular social media sites.
It gives you a chance to interact with users, promote properties and its good press.
Apps such as Later, allow clients to schedule posts. This is valuable as you can spend an hour or 2 setting up your posts for the rest of the month.
Create Pinterest Boards
Landlords use this social media website to look at other houses for inspiration, so Pinterest is a great way of advertising your letting agency and attracting landlords.
Furthermore it’s a great way to provide images and information on listings. Pinterest boards can highlight benefits of a certain areas.
These photos will instantly attract the attention of landlords. Poor quality photos for other properties on your books, will deter landlords. They wouldn’t feel confident you’d be presenting their property in the best way.
This may seem like a daunting approach but its extremely effective in finding landlords.
Leading agencies have built up substantial databases and have grown their client base significantly by doing this.
Getting blog followers, purchasing data & leafleting are common ways to enter discussions with landlords.
Create a presence
Think about places where landlords, tenants, sellers or buyers go and create a presence there.
In order to attract landlords, you could consider placing posters or business cards in DIY stores, flats, banks and more.
Attend Networking events to find landlords
Local business events you great to find landlords and these events can be a great way to attract more clients.
You can attract landlords this way by telling them about your agency and explaining how they could benefit from joining your agency.
Getting face to face when finding landlords adds a personal touch which goes beyond interaction with a website.
Get in touch with old clients
Get in touch with people who have used your services in the past is another great way to find landlords.
Many rental contracts last 12 months and if the tenants look elsewhere, landlords could be struggling with finding someone new to fill their property. By keeping in touch with previous landlords, it could remind them that they may be in need of your services again.
Find landlords through paid Social Media Ads
Popular social media networks such as Facebook offer a chance to advertise with them – paid Facebook ads are an effective way to present your agency and find landlord leads.
Facebook ensures that you are only paying to get in front of your targeted audiences as they have tons of great targeting features.
Know your USPs
When trying to retain or attract a landlord it’s important to inform them of your USPs as a letting agency.
For example; knowing the area well, carrying out regular inspections or explain your full list of services. Research your competitors to identify your own distinct USPs.
This is a good skill to use when attracting a landlord as you are conveying the unique points of your agency and makes you stand out against the others.
Ensure that you’re easy to contact
Provide you contact information on every website page, business card or anything advertising your letting agency.
Landlords want someone that’s easy to get hold of and wouldn’t want to wait too long be able to talk to you.
Your opening times are therefore a key focus point for potential landlords.
Find landlords through organic presence
Long term, getting Google to recognise you as the best in class for your niche is the most valuable marketing tool you can have.
For your business (the rental market) and your area, you want Google to pick you as the most relevant to landlords. If you’re based in London, imagine how valuable it is being the number one result when ‘the best letting agent in London’ is searched for?
This would result in more leads coming to your business via your online presence.
Unfortunately getting to the top isn’t easy and takes time & effort. No doubt you’re letting agency has been bombarded with marketing firms promising to get you ranked at the top of Google. While this topic is a multi-layered, often complicated discussion, the basics are to:
- Write blogs consisting of the key words you want to rank in (letting agent, best letting agent, property management etc).
- Get industry recognised companies to write and link to your website.
- Boost your online presence. Make sure you’re on rating sites (and getting rated), on sites like Trust Pilot as well as Google business.
- Push social media posts which Google factors into their rankings
- Sign up to directories (Yell.com for example) directing Google to make sure it knows you’re around.
Writing blogs, asking companies to post about you and listing your business on multiple sites takes time and must be managed constantly. Although the most difficult and time consuming activity to accomplish, getting ranked highly by Google is essential.
Pay Google to find landlords
Instead of the above method, you could just pay Google to be number one!
You can setup your Google advertisements to look out for when certain terms are searched for, then your letting agency website appears.
So you’ll basically be configuring Google to point to your website when words ‘letting agent’ and your city or town name are searched for.
Of course there are pitfalls. Number one, this option is extremely costly. You’re competing with your rivals who’ll also likely be paying Google, so it’s your budget vs. theirs.
You’ll also need to understand Google AdWords too. Negative key words, conversion tracking and maximum bidding are terms you’ll need to get to grips with and manage on a regular basis.
If done badly, Google can start producing poor results for you at a high cost. We’ve see examples of letting agents competing to be top of results for house sales 200 miles away from their jurisdiction, not the best way to find landlords for their agency at all!
You can pay firms to manage the running of your Google account for you, but again, they’ll also hit you with an invoice adding to an already costly option
Find landlords via local sponsorship
Sponsoring your local kids football team or social clubs are great ways to get your brand and services recognized by your local community.
There’s the element of goodwill too. If the local community see you invested into good local causes, it increases their inclination to provide you’re agency with business.
Sponsorship’s are difficult to cost up. How much do you pay your local kids team to have your letting agency name on their t-shirt? What about tracking their effectiveness – how do you know how much business you received via paying £500 to your local social club?
Using this method, you need to be prepared to wait while the benefits come into effect.
With Google and other digital means, you can see how much traffic was pushed to your business, how many phoned because of your ad and how much you ended up paying for each click on your website.
USING YOUR WEBSITE TO CAPTURE LEADS
Every letting agent in this day and age has a website. A website is the focal point in getting noticed by landlords & gaining instructions.
Letting agents to maximise the number of landlord leads they find, will need to ensure their site is setup as best as possible.
A few examples of how to ensure your website is adding the most value to your letting agent marketing campaign are below.
Your letting agent website
Make sure your website is easy to navigate. If your website is hard to navigate around, people will just leave.
You need to ensure that your visitors have a good experience and can do what they need to without any problems. The more professional the website looks, the more people that would like to do business with you.
Common pages that should be clear on your site to attract landlords include:
- Your letting agency location
- The fees you charge landlords
- How landlords can contact you
- What sort of services you offer
- A way for the landlord to leave you their contact details
Your website responsiveness
How responsive your site is, is critical to finding landlords. You want the site to open fast to avoid landlords moving on. Looking at standards across the web, speeds times vs the rest of the web are:
- 5 seconds, it is faster than approximately 25% of the web
- 2.9 seconds, it is faster than approximately 50% of the web
- 1.7 seconds, it is faster than approximately 75% of the web
- 0.8 seconds, it is faster than approximately 94% of the web
When thinking about how fast your letting agent website should open, the answer is always as fast as possible.
When it comes to page speed, there are many factors to your success: the browser, device, web hosting provider and content on the page, which is why you need to focus on your visitor’s needs.
Is your site compatible with the most popular browsers, Internet Explorer, Chrome & Firefox. Testing features & speed of your site should be done across all the popular browers.
Where your website is hosted will impact your page loading speed. If in the UK, you want to ensure your servers are hosted in the UK, otherwise in Europe. If you’re server is shared, your site will be on the same server as other websites, which may result in site slowness
High resolution images, funky features & videos may reduce your site loading page. If you are experiencing slow loading times, reducing these features may help.
Mobile Friendly websites
In recent surveys it’s shown that 80% of Internet users use their mobile phone for any online activity.
By making your website mobile friendly, you are increasing the chance of the user being satisfied. Long sections of text & large image sizes that users have to scroll through are deterrents for mobile users.
Lead capture forms to find landlords
On your site, there should be a point where landlords can enter their personal details, for you to then contact them at a later stage.
The form should be available easily on the site. Commonly capture forms pop up after a user has been viewing a site for a certain period of time.
After a period of time, you are expecting the user, in this case a landlord, to have learnt the information they need.
For example what services you offer, your fees & where you’re based. At that point, the landlord is more inclined to want to hand over their details.
If your form appears right at the beginning of the users journey on your site, they are less likely to want to enter their details.
Letting agents should also consider how many questions are posed to landlords. If a form requires 3 fields, that’s far more likely to get filled in vs larger forms.
Details such as name & contact number are vital. However items like the number of rooms in the property, when will the property be available & what services are needed, can all be discussed over the phone.
The less onerous your lead capture forms are on landlords, the more likely they are to be filled in.
FIND LANDLORDS: COMMON MARKETING CHALLENGES LETTING AGENTS FACE
The rental market is a difficult one. Regulation is advancing and the environment is changing. When capturing leads, the environment needs to be considered so marketing can be constantly refined.
Location, Location, Location factors when finding landlords
Being letting agents, you’ll already know about the importance of location.
If your location is on the high street, you’ll benefit from higher footfall and therefore drop in leads. But letting agents with leases on the high street now face a different problem.
The high street is dying. Less shops are operating with consumers preferring online shopping. This means less footfall (therefore less letting agent leads).
The challenge to letting agents is now ensuring their expensive high street rent costs remain cost efficient. With less demand for vacant high street property, letting agents need to negotiate better rates to ensure the cost of the premises doesn’t outweigh the walk in business.
Letting Agent Swaps
The average landlords is aged 40-55 years old, live close to their rental property and a proportion of which have multiple buy to lets. With the ‘older heads’ they already have contacts in the industry.
When they get a new property, they’re likely to use the same agent to avoid having to talk to multiple different agents across their portfolio, rendering a lot of your marketing pointless.
When one of their properties or a room in their property does become vacant, even if they were unhappy with their current agent, landlords rarely switch providers.
The main concern for them is to get a tenant in as quickly as possible as opposed to taking a pause and shopping around for a new letting agent. This is a problem that is difficult to overcome, adding further importance to keeping landlords you have happy.
Getting to landlords before they have an agent is essential. Letting agents, who have an estate agent arm are of course at an advantage.
Offering your rental service for a landlord that has just purchased a property from you for rental purposes, gives you first dibs. Alternatively, a possible partnership with an estate agency that doesn’t have a rental arm would be a real asset to get to know recently sold properties.
The new generation of younger landlords have been brought up on different terms.
Loyalty to companies has reduced and personal relationships with companies come far below in the priority table as compared to price.
The new generation has been brought up on comparison sites. Home insurance, car sales, mortgages – they all are now easily comparable, with price differences & ratings all available in a few clicks. Sites like Go Compare & Money Super Market save people £1,000’s.
This is why an online presence is critical (yes we are banging on about it), including being high on google ratings. Rentround is the Go Compare for the letting industry.
We offer landlords the chance to compare letting agent fees & ratings, then choose which agent to pass their details onto.
Online Letting Agents
Online letting agents are cheaper. They often offer fixed prices & have expensive digital marketing budgets.
Just Google ‘Letting Agents’ and you’ll see PurpleBricks, Howsey, OpenRent etc paying to be top of the search results.
Traditional letting agents need to be able to have these conversations with their landlords. “Yes we know there are cheaper alternatives, but….”
Local expertise goes a long way. Demonstrating you know the area, aware of upcoming profitable purchase, know local pitfalls etc go a long way.
Keeping the current landlords happy
A very high proportion of landlords go into obtaining multiple properties. So expanding the number of properties your letting agency manages, is easier through existing clients than finding new landlords with property.
It’s key that landlords heads aren’t turned by other letting agents, creating doubt their next property will be handed to your agency.
First and foremost, the properties your managing for landlords must be managed well. Rent passed on in time, issues fixed quickly & documentation dealt with efficiently.
Letting agents can also ensure they are keeping landlords happy with information. Ensure if you have a landlord in Kensington, you’re feeding them information about the Kensington market.
How are property prices looking in Kensington?
Any new properties like their own current portfolio available on the market?
Did a new competitive mortgage offering just open up which can help the landlord finance a new property?
Staying close to existing landlords is essential, demonstrating local knowledge and your appreciation of their business goes a long way.
MANAGING LANDLORD LEADS FROM RENTROUND
To assist managing landlord leads, we’ve put some tips together for our letting agents & property managers.
Now this isn’t telling you how to do your job. But as Rent Round leads are sourced differently than what your used to, there might be some things you need to consider to stay ahead of the competition.
Speed contacting landlord leads
We do limit the number of agents per area so letting agents and property managers get value from our service.
But you will have competition. Depending on the comparison ran by the landlord, they may have selected multiple letting agents and property managers to contact.
In this situation, being the first to contact the landlord will show your sense of urgency and the landlords importance to you.
This goes along was putting you in favour of managing their property. If you feel a number of your leads are selecting other Rent Round letting agents or property managers, contact us so we can review your profile
Know the competition fighting to attract your landlord leads
The landlord may have researched your competition within and outside of Rent Round.
This means they may have seen that you charge more, offer less services or are further away from their property than a competitor.
Therefore going into a conversation with a landlord knowing how you compare to rival agencies will put you in a good position. You can call out that while you’re more expensive, you’re closer to the property.
Therefore can respond quicker to situations that need you to visit the property. Knowing your competition is of course normal, but ever more important when Rent Round is involved as we increase visibility for landlords.
Type in your agency postcode into our homepage and take a look at who else is in your area and what their fees and performance looks like.
Check your rating to help find landlords
Ratings are more important than fees, based on the contact made to 5 star letting agents compared to lower ranked competitors.
Check your ratings regularly as they do change. Your rating is determined by numerous factors including but not restricted to, Google ratings, Trust Pilot & All Agents.
ATTRACTING LANDLORDS FAQ
What do landlords want from letting agents?
Landlords want a good service at a competitive price. Landlords fear that they have to get involved more in the running of the property than they have to. In addition, they don't want to be hit with a list of hidden charges.
How do I reach out to my landlord?
When reaching out to a landlord, ensure that you showcase your expertise in the letting market and the local area. You should be able to confidently answer questions about expected rental income and how quickly you can find them tenants. The more knowledge you display, the more receptive they'd be to signing up with your letting agency.
How much do letting agents charge?
Letting agents typically charge between 8-12% of the monthly rent for finding a tenant. For full management of a property, fees can increase to 13-20% of monthly rent. Many letting agents are now offering lower fixed fee charges of between £100-500. These fees however aren't dependent on the letting agent finding you a tenant and will be paid upfront regardless.
How do I start a successful letting agency?
You need to ensure your fees are competitive and you can offer a quality service to your landlords. You also need to have a steady pipeline of landlord leads. This can be achieved via referral systems, advertising and lead generation sites like Rentround.
Why do landlords use letting agents?
Landlords use letting agents as they may not have the time to deal with managing their rental property. In addition they may not have the expertise to deal with finding tenants, property regulation and property repair work