How do you choose which agent to help you to rent out your home or other property? Are all agents the same? Should you be a do it yourself landlord?
All these questions have different answers but there are a number of things you need to ask yourself first.
For example; are you up to speed with all new landlord rules and regulations? – In England and Wales, a landlord must be licensed in order to rent out a ‘large house in multiple occupation’ (HMO).
There are over 400 rules and regulations to let out a property (and needless to say, a number of fines for contravention or non-compliance as well). Do you have the time to dedicate to learning all of these? – If the answer is yes, then you can save on letting agent fees by doing it all yourself. BUT, if the answer is no (you don’t have the time), then you need to pick an agent who can do it all on your behalf… Obviously for a fee.
OK, let’s assume for now that you are either a professional landlord with multiple properties, or you are an enthusiastic DIY landlord with one or two properties to rent out.
In both instances you will need to get your head around how you market your property.
Given that the first place potential tenants will look is online, what is your strategy going to be to create interest in your property? – Will you advertise in local online directories? Will you set up your own website and advertise it? Will you partner with local estate agents? (This last one is probably a non-starter nowadays unless you want them to manage the property as well).
The problem with local directories (like Friday Ads, or Gumtree etc) is that they tend to lag behind more relevant listings when ‘rental property’ is searched for on Google. – Local estate agents along with one or two larger national chains tend to rank higher. – But they are usually a lot more expensive.
So is there another choice?
Well you might want to consider going to a specialist that focuses on marketing rental properties both nationally and locally.
Whatever happens you probably need to list with either Rightmove or Zoopla. (You can’t list with these portals directly; you have to use an agent).
If you opt to go with an online rental specialist, the good ones will be able to get your property listed quickly and at relatively low cost (compared to high-street agents).
A few online agents also provide other services such as contracts, valuing your property, organizing viewings, managing feedback, and managing offers.
Renting your property online is one of the fastest growing areas of the property market but that doesn’t mean that all the participants are providing the same services. – Like all markets, you are going to find good agents and not so good ones.
My best advice is to take your time and talk to a few. Then settle on one that you feel most comfortable with. – Ask for testimonials and referrals and find out if they are rated by a third party rating organisation (like Trust Pilot).
Remember, trust is everything.
Managing Director of revolutionary online estate agency MyHomeGroup Ltd (SellMyHome, RentMyHome & ManageMyHome), Will Clark is a highly regarded property professional with 11 years’ experience in the industry.
After graduating from Edinburgh University, and armed with an MA in Property Valuation and Law from Cass Business School, Clark, started his career with Knight Frank LLP as a Graduate Trainee Surveyor in 2007. Clark qualified as a RICS chartered surveyor in 2009, before taking on a role as Sales Negotiator in Knight Frank’s Marylebone branch. Following this, he spent a year as an investment manager at bespoke search and development company Banda Property, before founding MyHomeGroup Ltd in 2013.
Clark’s wealth of experience in the residential property market, and his invaluable insight into the role of a traditional estate agent, makes him uniquely qualified to steer the sector into its online phase. Having been involved in the transaction of over £40 million of London property before starting SellMyHome.co.uk, Clark has since overseen £650 million of sales since the launch of the site.