Good relationships are key to achieving excellent results, especially as far as letting agents and renters are concerned. After all, who doesn’t like everyone to singing off the same hymn sheet and perfect harmony to kick start a relationship?
An agent-renter relationship can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few years, so it’s vital that everything runs smoothly. This is especially true during Covid-19, when renters will need more assurances than ever before.
As a letting agent, you want to provide a five-star service, which is only possible when your relationship with renters is tip-top.
That’s why we’ve listed our top five tips to put you on your way to forming a better relationship with your renters. Read on, and find out how to be the agent all the renters want to swipe right on.
1) Be transparent
Renting can be a long, drawn-out process. And many stages need clearing, from finding a place to going through the copious amounts of paperwork and signing contracts. Then there's holding deposits, security deposits, inventories and, well, you get the point.
As a top-notch letting agent, you can get things off on the right foot and foster good relationships with your renters with transparency. Explain the process, ask if they have any questions and, most importantly, make sure they understand everything that’s involved with renting a new home.
Being transparent is especially important with first-time renters who won't be as clued up. Remember: you may have let a thousand properties, but Susie and Jim, who like that two-bed maisonette in Notting Hill, probably don't know the ins and outs about actually renting it.
2) Promptness wins the day
Remember the Firestick you ordered from Amazon Prime that arrived two hours later? It was marvellous, wasn't it? You asked for something, and all of a sudden it was there. That's the feeling renters want when they interact with agents.
We’ve all become accustomed to a world that provides instant gratification. Busy renters expect the same when they're renting a home, whether they’re asking questions about the property or want an update on when they’ll get the keys to their new home.
Being efficient in your response to renters’ queries will certainly put you on the right foot to having better relationships. It will also help to build your reputation as one of the quickest agents around when it comes to dealing with queries.
3) Embrace technology
These days, renters are tech-savvy, which is why you need to embrace the use of technology. They rely on apps and the internet to sort all of life's problems, including finding a new home. Whether it's ordering food or chatting to agents about their next home with live chat, people want online and efficient solutions.
Technology and an ability to be prompt go hand-in-hand, with the former enabling the latter. You can take advantage by using apps like Movebubble and enjoy better relationships with modern-day renters who expect speed, convenience and ease-of-use.
Whether it’s the process of renting a home or reporting maintenance issues once they’ve moved in, renters favour a tech-led approach. If you’re a digital-savvy agent, you’ll be best placed to provide them with the type of service they expect.
4) Understand their needs
Compassion and understanding go a long way to harbouring excellent relationships. People prefer personalised experiences, and it’s no different with renters. You don’t have to be available every waking hour, but providing a more personalised service will go a long way to improving relations.
Renters might be dealing with multiple agents, who are all trying to help them find a home while suggesting new properties. You can be the agent who does that little bit extra by understanding their needs and situation.
A high level of personalisation will help you stand out from the crowd and can also smooth over any hiccups along the way. Renters are more likely to feel less aggrieved about minor issues (a hold up with paperwork, for example) if they have a stronger relationship with you.
5) Be flexible
The majority of renters need to juggle finding a new home with a hectic lifestyle, so it’s always helpful when agents can be flexible. Give renters options for viewings, even if it means one-off out-of-hours appointment.
We know arranging viewings can be tricky, especially if you’re relying on current renters in the property to be home. But showing some flexibility will help renters feel at ease. If it’s hard to arrange a time to view a property, provide alternatives like conducting a video walkthrough.
If you show renters flexibility, there’s a good chance they will do the same in return. The result will be a healthy relationship where you’re both working in tandem towards the end goal: finding renters a great home and boosting your profile.
Bonus: A reassuring presence
We currently find ourselves in a climate like no other. Almost overnight, everything was turned on its head, and the government essentially froze the sales market. But people still need to rent homes.
As a letting agent, you can be a reassuring voice in times of uncertainty by letting renters know they can still move, explaining how the process works with social distancing and by offering video walkthroughs.
Even being on the other end of the phone to take their queries and help where needed can help you on your way to creating an excellent relationship with your renters.
We’re not suggesting that you become best friends and go on hiking trips with renters (unless for some reason you strike up a bond over the great outdoors, in which case, go nuts). But having a professional, yet friendly, connection is an essential component to being a great letting agent — one that is well respected by renters and builds a reputation as one of the best around.