As we continue forging ahead into what is becoming known as our ‘new normal’, some things don’t change: the need for lettings businesses to win more landlords still remains up there.
There’s no easy fix, it takes a combination of hard work and good marketing to get landlords on board, and now more than ever whilst people are taking advantage of working from home and looking to move to properties with more outdoor space, perhaps further away from the office, having enough properties on your book is paramount!
Understand their fears and frustrations
This is really important whenever you’re selling anything. What problems do your potential clients have, and how can you help solve them?
This doesn’t just mean the problems you think they have, constantly marketing to people who are fed up with legislation changes. Whilst this might be one annoyance they have, it also might not be. Some people might be more than happy with keeping up with what’s required of them, but need the
The most recent example of this is the extension on the eviction ban and the 6 month notice period which came into force last week. There are lots of different fears being talked about by different kinds of landlords including accidental landlords who rely on the rental income to pay the mortgage on their property, and landlords who had been considering moving into their property themselves, but are now unable to for a considerable length of time.
There are all sorts of different situations here, so rather than just assume all landlords are annoyed and stressed out by legislation changes, take time to listen to the worries your current landlords have, as well as reading comments from landlords online to get a better idea of the specifics.
Be an expert
This isn’t something that happens overnight, you can’t just declare yourself an expert and expect everyone to believe you and flock to your agency doors accordingly.
I mean, you can do that but you probably won’t have much success.
Becoming an expert in your local area is a long-running thing. The aim is to become THE local go-to for market information, be a face people come to trust, and do things which get your name out there.
Talk about real facts and figures, how they compare with what’s going on nationally, any local issues which affect landlords – once people learn how much value you’re giving for free, they’ll return time and time again to listen to what you have to say.
Here are just some of the ways you can do that:
- Do regular update videos (even better if they’re live and you can take questions) on social media. Make sure they go out on the same day at the same time if you possible can, it’s all about consistency with this approach.
- Collaborate with other local industry professionals. Is there a Conveyancing Solicitor you work closely with? Can you get them to write a guest blog post for your website, or work with you on a joint webinar? Maybe even a Q & A session?
- Tell people you’re available to answer questions, and mean it. It might sound counter intuitive to be giving landlords free advice when you could be charging for it, but a 10 minute chat to help them out of a sticky situation will likely stick in your mind, and they might return to you as a future client.
Communication, communication, communication
As with what I’ve mentioned above with regards to being an expert, the common thread really is communication. Whether that’s being available on the phone, spending a bit of time on social media answering questions you see arise from landlords, or following up with landlords you’ve spoken to previously asking if the issue you’ve helped them with has been resolved – they’ll love you for remembering.
Don’t be invisible, and keep the dialogue going!
Know your unique selling points (USPs)
Do all your staff live in the local area? Do you have a cabinet filled with great awards? Do you have a huge number of prospective tenants on your books just waiting for the right property? Do you only deal with landlords who allow tenants to keep pets? SHOUT ABOUT YOUR USPs!
If others are very clear about what you do, the level of service you offer, and what exactly sets you apart from competitors in your local area, then this will also help with word-of-mouth advertising. There’s nothing more trustworthy than a recommendation from someone you know and trust!
Reflect all this in your marketing
It seems like a lot, but sit down and make a bit of a plan which consistently covers a few of these things, and you’ll be making an excellent start.
We work with the wonderful Maxine Lester Lettings in St Ives, Cambridgeshire and they get fantastic results from their marketing.
Maxine does regular weekly live updates with news, facts and figures – this is especially important in the current climate where so much is changing on a regular basis due to the effects of Covid-19 on the market.
She also has a group on Facebook specifically for local landlords, which is updated with all of the relevant information they might need. This works really well, as a way of making sure that the main Maxine Lester feed doesn’t become overwhelmed with information specifically to landlords, when a considerable portion of their online audience are also tenants.
They also put out regular blog content covering updates and legislation changes, as well as newsletters. They also have a really good relationship with their landlords, as evidenced by all the ESTAS they have won – which are awarded based on landlord and tenant feedback.
If you’re looking to attract new landlords and you’d like some help putting together and implementing an action plan, then please do get in touch with us. With Jane’s background in lettings alongside our experience in digital marketing with agents, we get results!