The future of the lettings industry...
WITH 2019 anticipated to be a huge year for lettings (the Tenant Fees Bill and the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act are just two of the changes headed this way) now seemed the perfect time to take the temperature of the industry. Sitting down with our panel of industry leaders (under Chatham House Rules, all insights are be reported anonymously), we asked our experts to share their thoughts on the industry going forward.
Despite the raft of incoming legislation and Brexit uncertainty, their message was one of optimism, with the key advice being to turn things that might initially seem like negatives into positives.
Key areas of opportunity highlighted included:
Legislation – while the increase in industry legislation does mean more administrative legwork for agents, it can also provide new business opportunities. Research suggests complex legislation intimidates smaller landlords (who may also be holding down separate day jobs) meaning they may be more likely to use a property manager to assist them. By focusing on their compliance expertise, agents can demonstrate the value add of property management to lettings-only clients and expand business opportunities.
Technology – although sensationalist headlines are constantly warning us technology is going to steal our jobs, automating large swathes of administration could actually be the way forward for the lettings industry. Automating smaller tasks like logging repairs and engaging contractors will free up staff-time and increase manpower, helping agents do more with less.
Brexit uncertainty – rather than focusing on the negative impact of a potential decrease in European renters, our industry leaders suggested that the uncertainty over Brexit is actually causing an upswing in homeowners renting rather than selling. For agents, this is a positive as it means more potential new business. And a lack of sales strengthens a rental market, meaning that rents should either stay steady of increase.
Focus on existing values – our experts emphasised the importance of effective customer service, which is rapidly becoming a market differentiator. Agencies that offer optimum tech savvy, rapid response customer service will find favour with the millennials who are beginning to make up the majority of the industry. Agents that are able to inspire brand loyalty through quality and convenience will find that in 2019 there’s everything to play for, no matter what changes lie ahead.
If you’re interested in learning more about what our industry leaders had to say about the future of the lettings industry, please download our FREE E-book, ‘The Past, Present and Future of the Lettings Industry’.