Although they are not the easiest things to do, establishing and following robust work processes is important for any business. This is especially so with letting agencies. They not only help win landlords but also very effective for the retention of landlords as well.
Private Landlords always prefer reputed agencies
We all know the importance of ensuring property compliance is up to date. With the correct processes in place, regulatory compliance will never be an issue as nothing will be missed.
A compliant agency will build a good reputation not only with landlords (never underestimate the power of recommendations) but also with tenants and professional bodies. Who wouldn’t want the The Property Ombudsman or Tenancy Deposit Scheme on their side?
Private Landlords are more likely to stay if costs are kept to minimum
Having well thought out and resilient processes in place will allow each department to work at their optimum efficiency. Over time, they will have a “right first time” mentality. This means the agency can keep its staffing costs to a minimum. Keeping costs down helps improve the bottom line on the balance sheet, and reduces the need to improve revenue by increasing landlord fees. Winning landlords with great service at a low cost is just the first step, keeping landlords by avoiding price hikes is key to retention.
Consistent service quality wins private landlords
Processes should be written and accessible to all staff members. This ensures everyone is aware of how their job role fits into the process and which job role is responsible for the stages involved in each workflow. There is less likelihood for confusion and as a result, less likely that something will fall through the cracks.
When your team is confident within their roles enough to follow the same standard operating procedures every time, landlords will have more trust and confidence in your agency. They will be more likely to instruct you to support them throughout their letting journey. For landlords with multiple properties, delivering a consistent landlord experience is especially crucial. A landlord who has confidence in their advisors is more likely to agree with your suggestions. You will find it easier to implement repair and maintenance tasks in the future and remain compliant.
If understanding role-specific processes is built into new employee’s onboarding, your new starters can hit the floor running quicker. This will limit the impact of people changes on your landlords, and existing team members. Staff members will also feel valued and confident which will help reduce staff turnover. That is never a bad thing!
The importance of well-written processes and procedures should never be underestimated, and are most definitely worth the time and effort it takes to put them in place. Once established, invest time in training so that they stick within your business operations. Constantly review them to spot any opportunities to streamline and optimise costs. It is important to explain the reasons behind a particular process, listen for feedback and not to be afraid to optimise based on customer feedback. Don’t forget processes are there to help, not hinder!
They can also help set your agency apart from the competition. Consider going the extra mile and obtain accreditation like Investors in People and ISO 9001 to show your landlords that you are committed to ensuring their experience is the best. It should never be forgotten that they are trusting you with what may be the single biggest investment of their life.
This is a guest blog by Christie Hughes, owner of Hughes Consultancy Service.
For more on the subject of winning new landlords, download this How to Win New Landlords: Strategy Checklist now.