Demand for rental properties is high, with a quarter of all homes set to be rented by 2021. Letting agencies would currently be forgiven for collectively rubbing their hands at the idea of finding great homes for professional renters.
If you’re an individual letting agent or have a genuine interest in the rental market, you might suddenly be thinking about starting up your own agency. And it’s not a bad idea at all. Why not cater to that demand by getting a mini-empire going?
You may be wondering, then, how to set up your own letting agency and what’s needed to start winning instructions and finding great renters. If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got everything you need to know about setting up and running a letting agency.
Bricks and mortar or virtual office?
The first item of business concerns your location and if you should opt for a physical high street office or go down the route of a virtual one. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated working from home measures, and for the first time, many letting agents found themselves conducting business form their home.
High street option
There’s no doubt that a high-street office (HSO) looks the business. But it’s a costly resource, especially if you’re starting from scratch. It might be worth going opting for high-street office option if you’ve got cash to burn and plan on hiring lots of team members. Otherwise, the idea of a HSO may might work better as something to aim towards.
Working from home option
While the world slowly gets back to normal, some lockdown scenarios may just hang around, such as remote working. Having a shiny letting agency is all well and good, but think about much you can achieve without one. Most aspects of letting a home can be conducted via emails, phone calls and even video viewings. As long as you equip yourself with top tools, a high-street presence isn’t necessarily needed.
The wildcard option
Working from home isn’t for everyone, and a high-street presence is costly, so what’s the in-between option? You could always rent an office space, using it as your base while you build the business up. That way, you get the presence of an office without the overheads associated with an entire high-street store.
Getting the legals right?
Setting up any business requires going through legal processes and ensuring that everything is above board. It’s no different for setting up a letting agency, especially as you’re dealing with people and bricks and mortar.
You should register the company with Companies House and also apply for VAT if you believe earnings will surpass £87,500 per year. When interacting with landlords and renters, you’ll want to have the necessary documents in place, such as templates for ASTs and contracts between yourself and the landlord.
Tapping into previous contacts
Starting from scratch is hard work, so it’s always a good idea to tap into your network. If you’ve already built a career as a letting agent and are venturing out by yourself, those clients you’ve spoken to over the years will come in handy.
Perhaps you struck up a particularly good relationship with a portfolio landlord, or maybe you built up contacts in other sectors of the industry, such as referencing companies. The best way to ensure you get off to a good start is by calling on all your previous contacts within the industry so that you’re not starting from a completely blank canvas.
Another way to cement a smooth start to your letting agency business involves working with partners. We’ve already touched on working with those in your network, but it’s also worth exploring working up with companies who can push your agency onto the next level.
You will need to market your properties, which is why working with a partner like us here at Movebubble can get your stock in front of eager renters. We have a network of over 700,000 professional renters and use cutting-edge tech to marry everything together.
Renters can find your homes, view them with Home Walkthroughs and then make an instant booking to secure the property without even leaving their sofa. And you don’t need to do anything other than uploading the property to our app, which takes no time at all.
Starting your own letting agency
Starting a business can be a daunting experience, but now is an exciting time in the world of lettings. With new technology and an increase in demand from renters, setting you your own agency could be a shrewd move that sees you entering a new chapter in your career.