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By James Dilgul

Head of Marketing, Fixflo

OTHER FEATURES

Countdown to Christmas: Letting agent's guide to a stress-free holiday

While the Christmas season is usually heralded by an influx of terrible Christmas adverts, the launch of Starbucks’ gingerbread lattes, Adam from accounts getting a bit too excited about the upcoming Christmas party and absolutely zero chance of snow, in the lettings world, it can often be more hassle than the holiday.

Our Christmas checklist has everything you need to do to help your occupiers through the season.

Week One

When it comes to Christmas, preparation is key – and we don’t mean giving your loved ones a wish list. By informing and educating your occupiers about their festive responsibilities, you can make sure the only thing giving you a headache this year is the eggnog. So, in the first week of Christmas:

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- Create and share templated flyers to remind occupiers to check boilers, bleed radiators and examine appliances for signs of faults that might trouble them over the Christmas period.

- Warn your occupiers to check where their landlord stands on decorations. While it’s lovely to have a house that resembles the inside of Santa’s Grotto, decorations can require holes in walls, leave blue tack marks or play havoc with soft furnishings. All of these could affect an occupier’s deposit. These restrictions are usually outlined in the tenancy agreement.

- Advise occupiers in flood-prone areas how to prepare themselves and protect their properties. They should check there are no gaps in windows and doors, relocate valuable items to higher in the house and consider getting out the sandbags to make sure the only flooding they receive is well-wishers at their door.

- Send them a greetings card. Little touches like this can really make a difference to your occupiers’ experience.

Week Two

- As Christmas creeps closer, so too does the chance of opportunistic crime. Check whether your occupiers are likely to leave their property Home Alone this season. If they’re travelling elsewhere for the holidays, run through a home security checklist with them and suggest they keep valuables out of sight, check their door and window locks are all working and put lights on an automatic timer.

- Remind them gently that although Christmas is the silly season, they have to stay sensible on commitments such as paying their rent on time, not hosting wild parties and generally behaving as if Christmas is just another day.

- Try and book in a periodic inspection so you can address any concerns they might have before Christmas Day.

Week Three

- School might be out, but now is the time to educate your occupiers on how to report repairs. While Christmas usually signals companies closing shop for the festive period, Fixflo’s online reporting service never closes, no matter how many late-night Brussel sprouts it might have scoffed.

- Remind your occupiers of your opening hours over the Christmas break and who to contact in case of emergency. It might have worked for the nativity, but these days ‘no room at the inn’ just isn’t going to cut it. 

Week Four

With the Advent Calendar almost emptied, we’d advise not trying to supply occupiers with any new information this week. Instead:

- Resend your templated flyers to remind them to check their appliances.

- Remind them about the importance of home security.

- Resend them details of how to report repairs

- Make sure to engage with them so that their memory of your interactions is a positive one as they go into the New Year. Thank them for a great year and wish them good times ahead.

That’s this year sorted, but how about next year? Get to grips with everything you should be doing to manage your properties with our Property Management Calendar Pack.

*James Dilgul is the Head of Marketing at Fixflo

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