The Negative Stereotypes Of Letting Agents That We Need To Get Rid Of. Generally, letting agencies have a bad reputation. Recent studies deemed letting agents the least trusted profession other than politicians, bankers, and journalists. Why and how did this happen?
Reputations earned because of bad traditions – Letting Agents
Traditionally, letting agencies have assigned priorities to the short-term profits of the owners and considered the renters’ profits much less significant. This is a misconception from the public opinion that comes from the fact that owners choose the letting agency and pay the agency’s fees, however, this narrow view doesn’t take into account the position of the renter as the client in the supply chain. The traditionally accurate negative generalization is that letting agencies try to maximize owners’ interest by doing the minimum required by the law for the renters. It is not difficult to see why people do not trust letting agencies! The exploitative and old-school way of treating owners and renters totally differently couldn’t be more short-sighted and flawed.
Unfortunately, this stereotypical strategy still prevails nowadays across most of the private rented business area. During the largest annual industry conference in London, the voluntary regulator claimed to an audience full of letting agents that the renter fee ban in England could be considered as a confirmation that renters aren’t clients of letting agencies. This unhealthy view of the business area and the owner, renter and letting agency relationship is common, however, this doesn’t reflect the view of all letting agencies.
It is clear that renters are the clients in the rental relationship and with the multiplication of online reviews, the letting agencies that promote the “renter as a client” strategy are easy to distinguish from those that don’t. This has an important impact on the growth and strength of different letting agencies for one simple reason: most of the owners understand that the renter is a client better than their letting agent does.
Owners see renters as clients
When new owners appoint a letting agent to manage their real estate, they are guided by a large amount of renters reviews more than by the lower amount of owner recommendations. In 2018, most of the new owners chose their letting agency due to a strong service record and renter strategy.
Change is happening – Letting Agents
Because of the slow-moving nature of the letting agency market and the low levels of customers lost, the market takes time to transform but change is happening. The letting agencies that consider renters as clients are growing whereas the agencies that keep going to take the exploitative and one-sided strategy aren’t. Letting agencies that keep going to treat renters as second-class citizens will have to change their strategy or they’ll have difficulties to survive in the changing market.
Build-to-rent will accelerate change
Build-to-rent will bring another important transformation to the private rented business area. Big corporates are building purpose-built rental lodging blocks across the UK. In this model, the number of service renters receives as part of their rental payment is a significant part of the business model. In most of the build-to-rent developments, the renter pays a higher lease payment for the service, which comes with the lodging. Because build-to-rent becomes a bigger part of the private rented business area, the power of the renter’s voice and the service provided to renters will have never been more significant.