If you eat out on a shoestring, you’d expect to find bog-standard food instead of a fine dining experience. Similarly, the rental market can leave you cold and hungry for a better service if you take on a cheap lettings agent.
Around the UK, landlords are spoilt for choice in bargain agencies. All of them are priced as such for a reason – they take the good taste out of your relationship, and do an ‘okay’ job when five-star services could be on the table.
Don’t believe us? Here’s why your yield could suffer from a cheap and decidedly not cheerful lettings agent…
Close contact is a hardship
No-one should have to struggle for me-time when they’ve paid for ongoing advice. But by slashing their price tag, a lettings service has no reason to provide a sincere level of attention when you need it.
They know that you’ve come to them based on physical currency; therefore, they’ll assume you won’t go anywhere else, because their rates are still the lowest around. Battling through other callers on the phone could be a nightmare, as will arranging a catch-up to see how they’re bettering your portfolio.
There’s a distinct lack of local expertise
Often, the most ‘reasonable’ lettings agents are nationwide, with offices smattered over all sorts of towns, cities and rural areas. Their expanded presence has, in many ways, accounted for cheap rates i.e. the cookie-cutter approach has worked for them up to this point, and they see no merit in changing it.
Yet any landlord worth their weight in brick and mortar must realise that regional specificities are key. Agencies should be able to wax lyrical on what makes a neighbourhood special for every viewing. That might take in information about schools, shops, transport networks, and how reasonable the advertised price is, by comparison to other rental homes nearby.
You’ll risk a slow or untrustworthy performance
As we’ve said, budget estate agencies don’t see much cause for going above what you expect. Yet beyond that, they can court shady tactics, designed to make up for the fact that you likely won’t be over the moon with what they deliver. A common issue, for instance, is the upfront payment – a great service should only charge you on a ‘no let no fee’ policy, reflective of their proven track record.
So you could be paying for meagre results, or none at all, just because the initial price was lower than expected. Unfortunately, poor service might cross over into the nitty gritty of their agreement, such as contractor repairs (forcing long delays in sending someone out to the property) and background checks for tenants (they may just approve without looking, to up their rental numbers).
At the end of the day, it comes down to a question: do you want to use foresight or knee-jerk instinct when choosing a lettings organisation? The cheaper they are in the here and now, the less they’ll do for you when it really counts.
As chartered surveyors, our lettings agents give you confidence when renting out properties in Manchester. Call our friendly team today, and let’s talk about your portfolio in the North West…