At Movebubble, we're here to make renting better. As part of this vision, we know it's super important for those amazing agents out there to look after as much of the property stock as possible. But it's not easy to win new landlords and their properties right? It's an ongoing effort to continually think up new ways to differentiate your business. And how does an agency survive without new properties to advertise? Not very well we'd guess! We've explored this topic in more detail, to really get to the bottom of why it's so tricky to find those new landlords. They must be out there somewhere!
Being able to win more landlords is key to building a successful business in the rental industry. According to our CEO and founder Aidan Rushby, who previously worked in the industry, this challenge of finding new landlords can be quite hard.
"Getting new landlord instructions requires a massive effort in terms of marketing, and a very good brand reputation. It's critical to your success, as one single landlord can be worth up to £25k, if they stick with you over the years!"
CEO and Founder of Movebubble, Aidan Rushby
If you don't have time to read the article, don't panic 😎 you can check out the video below!
What do landlords want?
London's rental market is very fragmented, with over 3,000 agencies and brands for landlords to choose from. From our research, landlords tend to be most concerned about:
- Finding quality, reliable renters
- Minimising the time the property is empty
- Minimising repairs and cost
- Rental value that can be achieved
- Inside info on where to buy their next rental property
The challenges with findings landlords online
Targeting landlords online is a tricky one, because how do you go about finding them?
1. You can't define a landlord by any specific demographic targeting. Are they young? Older? Single? Have children? Living in London? Have specific likes or dislikes? Who knows! A landlord can be anyone, from a young student who's parents have set them up with a first rental property, to an older couple with a substantial portfolio. Digital paid advertising can be hugely expensive and yield few results. The algorithms need time, clicks and conversions in order to learn and optimise, and this is almost impossible with today's targeting options.
2. GDPR hasn't made life any easier! Like many other companies, we've had to wave goodbye to our mailing lists of thousands upon thousands of contacts. Not many landlords will be setting up business specific email accounts, but what does that mean in reality? Basically, if you've got their personal email address stored, but you did't specifically ask that person to opt-in to receive marketing emails from you, then it's bye bye contact details! They must be removed and you can't contact them anymore. Read more about the impacts of GDPR on your mailing lists!
3. Estate Agents still suffer from a long-standing negative stereotype, and this doesn't help when trying to create a compelling and truthful marketing campaign. Have a few terrible agents ruined it for the rest of the industry? It's possible. We know there are loads of great agents out there, just check out the stats on our top partner agents! These guys are going above and beyond and are really starting to prove that they can offer amazing customer service. But you've got to build your trusted reputation online, from a credible source.
Keeping this in mind, we've put together a list of tips that will help you build your reputation and, consequently, help you to win more landlords! 🏆
Follow our step-by-step guide to become a champion of the London rental market!
Step 1. Generate positive word-of-mouth 💬
Nowadays, personal referrals are a very powerful way to create buzz around your brand, and to help attract new customers. But practically, where do you start?
Leverage your existing relationships: if you go the extra mile for your renters, they'll be more than happy to leave a positive review online about you, and recommend your company... Don't be shy, you can:
- Ask renters you've helped in the past to promote you! Get them to talk to their current landlords, from the property they're moving out of, about the great job you’ve done finding them the perfect place, the great services that your agency offers, and what you did that stood out above the other agents. Download our template email to send to your happy renters and start getting referrals!
- Make sure to build your own community of landlords: your friends and family might know home owners that are looking to rent out their property. You'd be perfect to help them with that, so why not offer your services? People love a personal recommendation above anything else.
- Go to industry events! London offers plenty of events every week, and these are great for networking and meeting new contacts. People love to brag about their successful friends, so sound them out and find the ones who know some landlords! Go on then, go get a drink with your new customers!
Step 2. Become a thought leader in your area💡
You know everything about the rental market in your area, right? So why not sharing your knowledge with the community? The key here is... get creative, and find interesting ways to share your knowledge, taking advantage of all the available channels. Make sure to:
- Create high quality content for your readers, write short articles about things they'll be interested in, show your interest in the latest technology, and showcase your industry insights to help your customers.
- Become a vlogger! You're chatty right? And confident on camera? You can create short videos to share your knowledge with the community. Then share your content on your social media and engage with the community! Because let's be honest, videos are where it's at on social. The modern landlord is connected, and he relies on technology to help him find the best agency around.
- Use your monthly newsletter to spread the word! You can include tips for landlords, how-to guides and suggest the ultimate tools to help them manage their properties, hassle-free. Landlords want to know inside information about the local market. Which areas will offer a great return on their next rental property?
Step 3. Use traditional channels... creatively 💌
There may be landlords that rely on more traditional marketing channels, so you might want to get creative and prepare stand-out promotional material to catch their attention. You can use leaflets and direct mail, but put your personal touch on it, in order for it to be visible and stick out from the rest of the boring post and spammy advertising material you get from Virgin Media every week! Need some inspiration? Check out Pinterest as a source of ideas, and find a shiny alternative to the impersonal, white envelope! Here's some of our faves...
Need a gentle reminder of our top tips?
Impress your colleagues and download our free PDF to stay ahead of the game 😉
Step 4. Build your reputation 🏆
To build your reputation, you can't just rely on word of mouth referrals: having plenty of positive reviews online is crucial to catch the attention of the most modern landlords. When was the last time you booked a hotel before reading the reviews? Or went to a restaurant without checking the star rating? It's super important to have a great online presence to back up your marketing and advertising claims. You can always collect more:
- Google reviews
- Facebook reviews
- TrustPilot reviews
- Movebubble ratings and reviews
We's put together a handy detailed guide on how to build your reputation online, so check it out!
Step 5. Maximise exposure for landlord's properties 📱
Today, it is really important to be available 24/7, wherever you are, so that renters can get in touch with you on their terms! Thanks to the likes of Uber and Deliveroo, people expect a different level of service now. So not being available on mobile could mean missing out on deals and possible customers! Renters can't always take calls and write long emails during their working day - especially professional renters with high-pressured jobs. But these guys are often the types of renters a landlord would love for their property! They're messaging on their smartphones constantly, so you've gotta get yourselves where they are! You need to show your potential landlords that you'll get the most exposure possible for their property, to reduce the risk of void periods, and to get the most reliable renter you can. Did you know, 30% of the renters who are searching on Movebubble, just aren't searching anywhere else?
Step 6. Be #1 on our list of best agents 🥇
We want to help landlords find the best agents to work with in their area, because then more renters are getting a better service from the best agents, and the best agents are thriving in the market! That's why we've created a tool for landlords to browse the most renter-friendly agencies in London, and select the one they'd like to work with according to their reputation. Landlords need to know that you're connecting every possible renter who's interested in their property, so you can find the right one and achieve the asking price for the rent. The rating gives the landlord confidence that they'll also get treated with exceptional customer service, and that you can be relied upon to manage and handle any issues that may occur during the tenancy. Want to be on the list? Awesome! Follow the link below to get set up today 👍