How to Find Your Letting Agent
Are you entering the world of real estate as a landlord and need some guidance? Some people think that being a landlord is easy. All you have to do is purchase a property, find some tenants, sit back, and collect a paycheck, right? Not exactly.
While some rental situations eventually develop into passive income, they don’t start out that way. And it’s certainly not easy.
Most people don’t realize how much time, effort, and paperwork go into creating a tenancy agreement, vetting potential tenants, and maintaining the property, among other things.
But this shouldn’t deter you from trying! It just means that you need a little knowledge and experience to get started. This usually comes in the form of a letting agent.
Not sure what a letting agent is or where to find one? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you navigate the rental world and find a reliable letting agent that has your best interest in mind.
What is a Letting Agent and Why Do I Need One?
Before we get into where to find a letting agent, let’s quickly cover what it is and why you need one. Letting agents act as the middleman between you, the landlord, and your tenants.
They help you find and reference tenants, draft all necessary paperwork and agreements, maintain the property (including repairs), perform inventory for furnished properties, and handle evictions and all other complications related to the tenancy agreement.
After understanding everything a letting agent does, there’s really no question as to why you need one. To simplify your life, of course.
While you’ll have to pay letting agent fees, these are a minimal cost when compared to the time and aggravation hiring a letting agent will save you. No calls in the middle of the night to fix a faulty A/C unit or heating system.
No performing endless background checks or property showings. And no trying to draft paperwork and contracts that meet current rental guidelines and laws. For many landlords, the letting agent fees are a small price to pay for peace of mind and the ability to collect rent with virtually no strings attached.
Where Do I Find a Quality Letting Agent?
Now that it’s clear why you need a letting agent, let’s discuss where to find one.
1. Take the High Road (or Should We Say High Street?)
When it comes to doing business, there’s nowhere better to turn than the High Street. In other words, talk a stroll through your city’s business district. Here you’ll find up and coming businesses, professionals, and plenty of letting agents.
There are two types of letting agents – high street and online (more on these in a minute). There are pros and cons to using both. The upside of high street agents is that they have first-hand knowledge of the local area and real estate market.
They offer insight that online agents simply don’t have since they’re in the thick of the community and business industry. The downside is that most high street letting agents have hire letting agent fees.
That’s because they have the overhead expense of office space, something online agents aren’t burdened with. These letting agent fees are passed onto the landlords. If your rental property hinges on locals, a high street agent might be the way to go.
2. Search Online to find your letting agent
Let’s switch gears from hitting the pavement to hitting the keyboard. When looking for a quality letting agent, take to the Internet. Online letting agents are often less expensive than high street agents and have a pulse on online marketing, listings, and letting property in the digital age.
Another benefit of using online letting agents is that they have a wider reach in terms of prospective clients and properties. Just like high street agents have more intimate knowledge of the local market, online agents are growing in popularity nationwide, giving them first-hand experience in the international market.
They also have access to numerous clients and can reference tenants from across the globe.
Searching online for letting agents is also fast, easy, and convenient.
You can do a Google search and read reviews or use resources like Trustpilot.
This means no walking around, knocking on doors, and making small talk. You can easily message the letting agent, get a feel for their techniques, and read-up on their history and experience without ever leaving the comfort of your home.
3. Use Rentround to find your letting agent
At Rentround, not only do we help you search for letting agents, but give you essential tools for choosing the right one for your needs and budget.
Rentround is the perfect answer to how you find your letting agent. You can compare letting agent fees for free, which is one of the most important factors in choosing the right agent.
You need to consider the cost of maintaining your rental property, filing all the necessary paperwork, performing repairs, and paying a letting agent to help you keep everything organized and aligned with local laws and regulations.
Find a letting agent whose fees don’t cut too drastically into your profit, after all, you’re in the rental business to make money.
The best part about Rentround is that it’s free to perform searches and compare agents. Our platform is simple, easy to use, and could save you a lot of money and valuable time.
4. Ask for Recommendations From Other Landlords
Where is the first place you turn when you need a recommendation for something like a doctor, lawyer, or even a restaurant for dinner? Your friends, colleagues, and people you know and trust.
The same goes for finding a reputable letting agent. Reach out to other landlords you know and trust for advice and suggestions. Ask important questions about the agent’s reputation, track record, and professionalism. You can also inquire about their letting agent fees and what those fees cover.
A good friend won’t mind answering questions about how the letting agent conducts business. A few other questions to ask are:
- Do they respond to phone calls and inquiries quickly?
- Have they had any complaints about the agent from their tenants?
- What are their letting agent fees?
- Do they have a good reputation in the industry?
- Are they up-to-date on new laws and regulations?
Although your landlord friends may not have all the answers, they can at least provide you a vague idea about the professionalism and reliability of a prospective letting agent.
5. Attend Local Events
One thing landlords quickly learn is that the real estate world is like a small, tight-knit community. Landlords, letting agents, and even property managers often mingle in the same circles and attend the same events.
Which is why you should too! What better place to meet quality letting agents and other professionals in your field than a local event for people just like you?
Property events are a great place to meet and learn more about letting agents in your area. Not only that, but these events also offer other information and resources for landlords.
Outside of these events, professional seminars introduce and explain the latest landlord and letting regulations and guidelines. This guarantees that your business dealings are legal and your reputation remains intact.
Knowing How to Find your Letting Agent Simplifies the Rental Process
Now that you know where to look and what resources to use, you can find a letting agent that fits your specific rental situation and budget. Don’t limit yourself to just high street agents in your local area.
Although these are great options, you might miss out on some awesome online letting agents that have a lot to offer. On the flipside, sticking with just online agents might mean the missed opportunity of working with a letting agent that doesn’t have a strong local presence.
Ultimately, it’s about keeping your options open, doing plenty of research, and using your professional instincts.