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Editor: Shaun Callacher
4 Tips To Get Better Results From Estate & Letting Agents
Being able to get estate and lettings agents on your side to bring you opportunities can multiply your lead generation activity. Agents have spent a lot of time and money to set up their own marketing systems to bring sellers and buyers into their network. If you can tap into their network it goes without saying you could see the amount of opportunities that come your way shift in a massive upward trajectory.
In this post I have shared 4 tips that I guarantee will help you get better results from estate & letting agents & ultimately will get them on your side to bring you more opportunities. All tips have come from first-hand experience. Many agents we work with now, we see as good friends, often, they may even ring us to ask for advice! Which is a fantastic position to be in.
1/ Get an Introduction Through Word Of Mouth
There is nothing wrong with cold calling/visiting an agent and discussing what opportunities they have, especially if they already have something on their books that you are interested in. Sometimes cold calling is the only option.
However, from my experience if you wish to build a long working relationship with an agent, the foundations of the relationship always seem stronger if you get an introduction to them through somebody who already knows them well. Especially if that person has already made them money previously, by either buying or selling with them. People invest in people and by being introduced to the agent by somebody who is already creditable will allow you to leverage that person’s creditability.
So before you try and build that new relationship with an agent just take the time to take a step back and ask yourself ‘who do I know who has worked with X before?’ if you do know somebody ask them to introduce you, if you don’t, get out there and network!
2/ Be Concise As Possible
Agents often will just add you to their email campaign and send you every single property under the sun that comes their way. Once the agent has added you to their hit list it is very important to be concise as possible to what type of opportunities you are looking for and give them feedback on opportunities they send through. If you are looking for large terrace properties with 4 or more bedrooms – tell them. If you are looking for properties that are run down so you can refurbish them – tell them. Give them feedback and remind them of what exactly it is you are looking for. The more clear and concise you can be to the agent the quicker they will bring you deals you are interested in.
We have found some agents take longer than others to drill the message home but once they understand what exactly it is you are looking for it puts you in a very powerful position. So understand what it is exactly you are looking for and be concise!
3/ Be Consistent
Having a regular routine to contact agents to remind them you are there is very important. Even if they do not call you, call them every few days to tell them that you are still on the hunt, and ask if they have any news of new properties coming on the market. If they don’t hear from you, they will assume you are no longer looking. Equally, always respond to their emails and telephone calls even if it is just to explain why you are not interested in a property.
Often many new investors try and build a relationship with too many agents at a time. In my opinion it is much better to have quality over quantity so in other words concentrate your efforts on building the working relationship with just 3-5 agents really well rather than multiple half-hearted attempts.
4/ Tell Them What Is In For Them
When I first started looking for opportunities from estate and letting agents I remember I once got told to F*** OFF out of an letting agents office! (I was looking to do a lease option and they had no idea what one was!). This was a massive learning for myself and I realised it was because I didn’t discuss the opportunity from their point of view. I told them how much money I could make and how beneficial it would be for the landlord. But I never told them what is in it for them.
If you go into any estate or letting agent with the approach of ‘what’s in it for the agent’ they will listen and bring you deals. If they want a commission from the sale, give them the commission for the sale. If they want a monthly management fee for managing the property, give them their management fee. If they want a fee for finding tenants, give them a tenant finding fee. Obviously just be sure this works within your numbers on the deal.
If you take just one thought away with you from this post please let it be ‘what’s in it for the agent’. Be very clear and tell them upfront exactly what is in it for them, this especially applies if you are using less conventional methods of investing such as lease’s and lease options, where it may be a little unclear for the agent to see. If you are unsure and don’t know what you can offer the agent, ask them what they are getting from it if they were to do a deal in a traditional method.
I know people who have gone into agents giving them a full power point presentation which illustrates how doing a deal is beneficial to them. I personally prefer to arrange a viewing on a property I am interested in, then after the viewing go into the agent’s office with the numbers for that property. I ask them if they are selling it or getting a management fee for it, then using my numbers I demonstrate to the agent how beneficial doing the deal will be for them and also for the landlord.
I have found agents take a little more energy up front compared to the other deal finding methods, but once you find agents that trust you and want to work with you they will constantly bring you deal after deal. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day! The more consistent you are, the more you will see your hard work compound into results.
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