What are the best ways for a letting agency to generate additional revenue and stay ahead of the competition?
Management fees are a crucial source of income for all letting agencies but as you will be aware, there are other ways to add value to your proposition, whilst positively impacting your bottom line.
This year has been tough for most sectors and although the lettings market has bounced back impressively from an enforced seven-week shutdown in the spring, the majority of businesses will have taken a financial hit in recent months.
In this article we focus on activity that diversifies your revenue generating activity whilst reducing your admin.
1. Tenants want help with media and utilities
We’re obsessed with the customer journey for the move out and the move in process. Over the years we’ve optimised the activity that we carry out on behalf of letting agents. On the back of our quality tenant referencing service, tenants actively opt in to hear about the offers that they could access for their home move.
Services like Broadband, TV or utilities are all important to tenants when they move home, as a qualified reseller of great brands such as Sky and Virgin media, we’re able to provide tenants with special offers that they can’t access directly.
We see ourselves as an extension of your service, we use a mix of programmatic digital activity alongside our experienced and professional Tenants Services team to contact tenants at the right time in their moving journey. Tenants get great deals and you get commission to drive additional income.
As you know, having TV and internet up and running is likely to be one of the first things many renters want sorted for when they move in. If you can help them to achieve this by getting the ball rolling before they relocate, this will improve their satisfaction.
The Covid-19 pandemic means we've all been spending more time at home. Therefore, having the best deals and service when it comes to TV, internet and utilities has become absolutely crucial and agents can play a key role in facilitating this while boosting their income at the same time.
2. Tenants Insurance Commission
For many years, there has been an assumption that contents insurance is only for homeowners - this couldn't be further from the truth. A more diverse tenant population and people renting for longer means contents insurance is something tenants are considering more.
Most people will have a range of contents and personal possessions that they might want to cover, the other consideration is protection against accidental damage to your landlord’s items. Tenants can take out Tenancy Liability cover to reduce the risk of ‘end of tenancy’ deductions.
As an FCA regulated business, we offer tenants comprehensive cover, with the option to protect their own items and accidental damage to their landlord’s items. Our experienced team will contact your tenants and take care of the process for you, again providing a valuable service to the tenant whilst generating your business commission income.
3. Economic conditions highlight why Rent Guarantee is important
The combination of stricter lockdown measures, the end of the furlough scheme, an economy in recession and the impact of legislation, such as the evictions ban, is making it harder for tenants across the country to pay rent and for court proceeding to be processed normally.
This means that over the coming months rent arrears could increase further. As you know, if landlords aren't receiving rent, your own management fees could be at risk. It also causes a huge strain to you and your relationship with your landlords.
Therefore, you might want to have the measures in place to offer protection against tenants defaulting.
Our rent protection proposition ensures the monthly rent payable, for up to six months, is still received if a tenant defaults. It also includes up to £50,000 to cover legal expenses and has no Covid-19 restrictions.
Offering a quality Rent Protection can also help you improve client retention rates. By building rent protection into your management package, you provide landlords with another reason to stick with your services.
Moreover, when tenants are in arrears, your team's workload will increase. Therefore, you need to make sure that this extra work is not being made worse by not receiving management fees. Our experienced in-house Legal and Claims team will manage the eviction of tenants. We’ll guide you and your landlords through the complex eviction process to ensure compliance at every step.
4. Generate revenue from managing void periods
For the properties you manage, you have a significant opportunity at the change of tenancy, to reduce your admin, provide a service for your landlords and generate income.
When a tenant vacates a property there’s a lot to consider and admin that needs to be done. We offer a free void and utility management platform which takes care of a few processes for you – saving you time.
Through the platform you simply enter the move out and move in details and we’ll:
• Manage all of the energy notifications for the property
• Arrange energy for the void period for the property
• Manage all of the notifications for council tax and water on the property
What’s great about this, is that you can see updates on all of the above in one place for each property you manage, from when councils are contacted to when the energy supplies are switched. Your landlord will benefit from clarity around payments for energy during void periods.
When you let us know about a change of tenancy, our system will prompt your team to provide the key information required. You can then submit all notifications with the click of a button and monitor the portal to keep a full record of all the actions for each tenancy changeover.
You don't want your staff to spend hours on the phone to utilities companies when everything can be managed online for free with the opportunity to earn additional revenue - it's a win-win opportunity for you and your customers.
We also have the option to hook up this great service directly with your existing software provider – to make the service even easier to integrate with your proposition.
We’re here to support your business, not only through trusted and reliable tenant referencing, but through products and services that enhance your proposition whilst driving additional income.
*Chris Turner is head of account management at HomeLet