I recently went to a local Landlord event in Edgware, where I met and spoke with many of the people who attended about what landlords expected from their Estate Agents. The responses I heard where not exactly surprising to me, as an agent who has been established in Edgware for the past 15 years. The Landlords I spoke to said they often felt that whilst they were courted and given special attention when the agent was trying to win their business, once they’d signed on the dotted line, this attention vanished, along with the level of customers service provided.
These landlords all dealt with a range of different agents in the Edgware area, some more established then others, but it seems they all followed a similar pattern. These agents appeared to concentrate so hard on trying to win new business, that as soon as they have won a new landlord over and rented out their property, they pretty much forget about them and start the chase all over again.
Wouldn't it be great if they took the time to at least got to know your name, your preferences regarding your property management style, and what makes you feel comfortable as a landlord?
With almost 200 properties on our books and over 80 landlords, at Benjamin Stevens, we are always in contact with a vast number of those people about one thing or another. Knowing your clients and their preferences, not only adds a personal touch, but can in many cases, removes a lot of the strain and can buffer the requests we get from tenants.
For example, where one landlord might be quite liberal and easy going towards the actions of his tenants, another may well have stricter standards – for example, some will allow tenants to decorate to their own style, fix furniture to walls or undertake other improvements such as fitting extra radiators yet another landlord might not allow any of this, with the property having to stay magnolia and with a limited number of picture hooks put into the walls.
So, if we get a request for a new fridge for one of ‘John’s’ properties we already know his answer and how to handle it, whereas for ‘Jane’, her answer and approach will be different and on any given day. When Landlords call us, we immediately recognise their names’, where their properties are, what their tenants are like, and the on-going issues and relationships both have with each other. All of this means we can tailor our approach towards the very specific nature of the matter at hand and the people involved. We can do this because all of our staff are located in one location, and we are all constantly over-hearing and getting involved with what is going on within all of the other roles within the office - there is no outsourcing to a remote call centre, no subcontracting of responsibilities, and you can always reach the same person who has been dealing with an on-going issue at any time.
We don’t offer a ‘one size fits all’ approach because, clearly it doesn’t! We are all different. Properties are of varying age, condition and specification, and sure as anything, we get to see the whole spectrum of human nature demonstrated by tenants (which is in itself a whole blog article for the future). If you were to call your existing agent today, out of the blue, would they have a good enough relationship with you that they could already pre-empt your requests and the way you would like such an outcome to be achieved? Would they even remember your name?
You see, I realised very soon after I started out in this industry, Estate Agents are not just about property, but about customer service. Who would you trust to look after your best interests – someone in it purely for the money, or someone prepared to dedicate the time and effort to building a relationship with you such that consists of trust and confidence, and where ultimately, a smooth transaction will naturally follow?
You know my name by now, I’m Steven Wayne. Myself and my team are always giving advice to our existing and new landlords in Edgware on what to buy (or not as the case may be). Having this level of detailed information at our fingertips allows us to spot trends in the local market which then enables us to give the very best advice to our clients. We don't charge for that advice as there will be plenty of opportunity to earn our income by finding the best tenants for the landlords in the years to come, so if you want to discuss your options then pop along to our office we are based at 194 Station Road Edgware Middlesex HA8 7AT– the kettle is always on!
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