New business is the lifeblood of any lettings agency, and competition for it is fierce. In order to stay ahead of the pack and generate more new business, any decent agent should be spending the majority of their time – at least sixty per cent of their day, on generating valuations and winning instructions. We polled successful agents up and down the country and the same five tips kept coming up. So for those looking for effective ways to convert more valuations into instructions, here are five simple hacks.
Location, location, location
Before you conduct a valuation or try and win an instruction, make sure you know the area the property is situated in back to front. Don’t just rely on google maps - take some time before the appointment to walk around if you can. Imagine you’re using your knowledge to try and sell the property back to the landlord – they’ll be impressed that you already know how far the nearest station is, which supermarket is closest and whether there is a café in walking distance. In addition to the stuff on the ground, make sure you’ve read up on local rental prices and have a comparison property already on your agency’s books to use as a reference. Doing your homework is the best way to win a landlord’s trust, and the instruction that goes along with it.
Branding doesn’t just have to mean big names in the market; any agency with a clear sense of identity has a brand. The key is working out what your brand is, and making sure that all your staff and interaction embody it. Being aware of your brand and promoting it will give your agency the sense of direction and authority it needs to grow business.
Knowledge is power
One key element that your brand can’t afford to skip is authority – every member of your team should speak with it. Agents should know the company inside out and have the facts and figures that a client might be interested in at their fingertips. The trick here is to put yourself in a landlord’s shoes, anticipate what topics they’ll raise – typically fees and planned marketing - and be sure that you have an informed answer ready. Every client will be impressed if you can tell them what sort of tenant you have in mind for their property, and what leads you already have in place. And it goes without saying that you should be able to accurately recall all agency fees on the spot, without having to check back in.
Convert your USP into client benefits
When it comes to the pitch, it isn’t enough to list your agency’s strong points; clients need to know how these advantages will affect them. It’s not enough to mention that your letting agency has a string of offices across the country or international connections; you need to drive home that you often attract tenants who are relocating. Don’t mention that your agency is open late on weekdays or that you man the office on a Sunday, without letting the potential client know that translates into a greater footfall or more capacity for viewings. You need to connect information to the client to turn a pointless fact into an added benefit.
It’s nice to be nice
The lettings industry is built on reputation and word of mouth so never forget the social niceties. Be punctual, polite and well-informed in all your interactions, not just your valuations. Today’s tenant could be tomorrow’s landlord so accord everyone the same respect and courtesy that you would a potential client. In a world where everyone’s on the move, you never know what’s around the corner.