In 2018, the increase in the Bank of England base rate combined with the additional 3% stamp duty applied to second homes means most landlords will be looking to streamline property holdings rather than expand them.
Over three quarters of landlords polled in a recent survey* admitted they were not planning to add to their property portfolio, while one in ten said they were actively looking to reduce the number of properties they owned. But while the number of properties a landlord owns may fall next year, expectations won’t – the squeeze on their profits means landlords will need their letting agents to do more for less.
So what will landlords expect from letting agents in 2018? Here’s where you should be focusing in 2018 to keep your landlords happy while growing yourbusiness.
Taking care of increased legislation
The UK’s foremost professional body for landlords, ARLA Propertymark, estimates that landlords now have over 100 pieces of legislation to comply with when letting their property. Letting agents who employ the right compliance software can ensure their landlords keep up to date with all compliance issues at the click of a button. Automating the process saves both the agent and the landlord time and money.
Assistance in finding tenants
Almost 10% of landlords surveyed* expressed concerns about tenant demand for their property in 2018. Letting agents should focus their energy and resources on tenant search and invest in growing their social and online presence to reach the growing numbers of people who search for property online (80%* of all home buyers search online with figures similar for rentals).
Improving relations with tenants
Improving relations with existing tenants is the best way to ensure landlords a steady return. The average duration of a tenancy is 18 months, but creating an environment that encourages tenants to stay longer is an achievable way to maximise a property’s return. Providing a means of 24/7 contact and guaranteeing all tenant issues an immediate response through the right repair reporting software is one way for letting agents to influence this process – and prove their worth to landlords.
ln an era of stagnant rents, with both Brexit and the lettings fee ban hanging over the property industry, most landlords will be looking for a way to cut costs. Letting agents who streamline their administration by automating repairs reporting, contractor chasing and the invoice of issuing will increase profitability by saving on staff time. This increased productivity will allow them – should they choose - to pass the cost cutting onto their landlords. As the majority of new business comes from referrals, this agent altruism may end up leading to new business opportunities, making 2018 a very happy new year all round.
Why not click on the link below to find out what else you should expect in the lettings sector in 2018 and ensure that the impact of 2018's changes affect you as little as possible?
*Homelet’s 2017 Landlord Market Survey polled 4,000 landlords on their attitudes to the market.
** Figures from Contactually.