5 ½ Simple Tools to Win More Landlords
We are Sam Ashdown and Phil Jones, and we own and run AshdownJones, the Lake District estate agents.
We don’t do lettings.
But we know that marketing for letting agents is really, really hard.
It’s ok for sales agents, like us. We can send out letters to properties on the market, and be pretty confident they will hit their mark.
We have lots of pretty pictures they can use to attract new vendors.
And when we do get an instruction, we know they’ll be banking at least a 4-figure fee a few months down the line – maybe even a 5-figure sum.
It’s not so easy for letting agents.
They can’t leaflet tenanted properties.
They don’t usually have lifestyle images of their rentals to use in their marketing.
And a new landlord is often only worth around £100 – £150 a month to them – at best.
But letting agents are often highly motivated, hard-working and dedicated people. They passionately want to grow their agencies.
They desperately seek marketing that actually works.
They are willing to learn and ready to try anything.
And that got us thinking.
What would we do if we opened a letting agency tomorrow?
How would we grow it?
What marketing would we test and systemise, to make sure we could generate landlord leads?
We spent hours on the phone and on WhatsApp asking letting agents what was working for them. We wanted to understand their pains and problems.
We needed to know what it felt like to be a letting agent, frustrated by the lack of growth.
And we decided we needed to find a way to help them do exactly that – to be able to grow consistently and purposefully without a) bankrupting themselves and b) waiting years.
So we dug deep. Sam even took herself off to Scotland and gazed at the sea whilst she pondered this question:
“What would we do if we opened a letting agency?”
It was a very painful process, for someone who has grown a very successful estate agency from scratch to a £700k turnover in year 3.
But lettings is an entirely different ball game. We both know that.
We think we’ve done it.
After discarding way too many tactics we’re just not sure would work, we’ve come up with 5 (and a half) solid tools we genuinely believe we would use to grow our lettings agency (if we had one).
But first, let’s examine…
The key marketing challenges letting agents face
Even though we’re sure you’re an amazing letting agent, always going the extra mile for your landlords, it’s our guess you’re just not getting the opportunities to prove it. This means:
- New landlords aren’t calling you
- Marketing to them is getting more and more expensive
- And worst of all, it’s just not working like it used to.
You’re invisible to them right now because most traditional methods of marketing just don’t work to attract new landlords.
Competition is brutal – there are agents out there ready to undercut you at every opportunity. And even worse, landlords think they can do it without you.
How are you trying to win landlords right now?
Landlords rarely respond to a leaflet, and where would you send it, anyway?
Hard to get a landlord to click unless you have an information-based advert with a free resource, like a downloadable guide.
Rightmove banner ads?
I’ve yet to hear from a letting agent that this actually works to generate valuable, qualified landlord enquiries.
So, how much is it costing you to have a gap in your marketing, and not be able to attract landlords on a consistent basis?
Landlords are lucrative. (Often more so than vendors.)
Let’s do the maths: let’s say the average managed let is £1200 a year. That means 100 landlords with 1 property each would generate £120,000 a year, and 500 landlords with 1.5 properties each would generate an annual turnover of £1,000,000!
All you need is the tools to get landlords to actually notice you.
Tool #1 The Valuation Power Follow-up
Ignite your conversion
This is such a powerful tool, yet so underused. All you need is a phone and a tripod, and you can implement this tool today. Just create a video after a valuation and send it to your prospective client. It’s as simple as that.
Our 8-step Valuation Power Follow-up plan:
The video is only around ten minutes long, and this is how it’s structured:
- Animated logo (‘sting’) – optional but looks great and adds a pro touch
- Outline the purpose of your video
- Recap on your visit
- Outline your marketing plan
- Give examples or case studies of past successes
- Talk about the market right now
- Make sure you say the magic phrase “we would love to let your property”
- Outline next steps
- Outro sting
Looking back through our last 6 post-val videos, we’ve won every single instruction. Total fees = £120,000. What could you achieve if you start creating post-val videos? Because one thing is certain: your competitors aren’t doing them. (Yet.)
Tool #2: The VIP Offering
Ignite your Profitability
According to my research, the average managed fee in the UK is around 10%. But I do know independent letting agents who regularly achieve 15% – 17.5%. For pretty much the same service.
So what’s the difference? Why are some landlords prepared to pay higher fees than others?
The difference is your mindset. Pure and simple.
The magic of ‘Price Association’
People use Price Association to position your brand and service, in comparison with other companies. Take Tesla, for example. Even an entry-level Tesla is £43,490. Compare this to the slightly underwhelming but £10k cheaper Kia e-Niro, at £32,845.
You don’t buy a Tesla on price. When you buy Tesla, you buy into Tesla. The innovation, the coolness element, the status symbol; even Elon Musk himself.
What are your landlords buying when they buy into you?
Standing for something prevents people from making comparisons based on price. Could you be selective, only managing a certain type or value of property? Perhaps you could add a VIP level of service at least 20% – 30% higher fees than your standard/other agents? Or maybe you could offer educational resources for your landlords that no other agent does?
Whatever your point of differentiation, make it bold, and then shout it from the rooftops so that no landlord can claim they haven’t heard of you.
Tool #3: The CGI Lever
Ignite your Property Marketing
Let’s face it: most letting listings on the portals look really rubbish. Poorly presented homes, grumpy tenants and a lack of budget for pro photography means that the images prospective tenants are faced with hardly sell the properties.
One answer is CGI
CGI = Computer Generated Imagery
Here are a few examples of how CGI can transform an empty room.
It’s also possible to remove tenants’ furniture and replace it with more attractive CGI furniture, although it’s a more complicated and sometimes less realistic result.
We pay around £10-£20 per room for our CGI images, and we’re delighted with the results. They not only attract a better calibre of viewer, they are really popular with property owners, who may never have seen such digital wizardry, and are super impressed.
(PS if you’d like a referral to our fab CGI wizard, let us know here. BUT you have to be a Firewave member to get access to him!)
Tool #4: The BLAST Formula
Ignite your Social Media
Let’s face it, most agents haven’t got a clue what to post on social media (except property adverts). So much choice, and so much conflicting advice. How are you supposed to know what works?
That’s why we invented…
The B.L.A.S.T SOCIAL MEDIA FORMULA
Here’s what it stands for:
Behind the scenes – anything that goes on in the course of your work as an agent
Local spotlight – feature a local person, business or event
A day in the life – something personal, nothing to do with work
Showcase of a property – show off your marketing skills on a home you’re listing
Tips and advice – share your knowledge and position yourself as an expert
Tool ½: – How to instantly increase engagement on your Facebook page
Now for that clever little (½) tool we promised you.
Here’s the problem – other estate agents are drawn to like other estate and letting agents’ Facebook pages. But they don’t engage. They just SPY. Because they want to see what you’re doing.
So Facebook thinks THEY’RE NOT INTERESTED IN YOUR CONTENT.
Facebook makes an assumption
Facebook doesn’t know they’re just trying to pick up good ideas from you. If 10% of your page likes are other estate agents, your content can only reach 90% at best. And in my experience, it’s often a much higher percentage than that.
Here’s what happens when you allow other letting agents to like your Facebook page
- The algorithm works against you.
- So Facebook shows less of your content.
- So next time you have a competition, you won’t be able to get the engagement you need to make it a success.
How to cull other estate and letting agents from your Facebook page
Watch this short video below to see how to do it – click to view
Tool #5: Join Firewave
Ignite your Authority Content
In Summer 2019 we launched Firewave for sales agents. We soon realised that there was a huge appetite for our white label authority content, so we expanded rapidly, creating a talented design and copywriting team. Together with a genuinely supportive team of cheerleaders, we rallied around our clients, making sure they were looking amazing online, every day.
Our estate agent clients LOVED it
But those who did lettings begged us to launch content for lettings. After resisting for 18 months, we eventually had to relent. We found and hired a lettings expert, a great writer with a strong reputation in the industry, and began an expert collaboration that has resulted in our fabulous lettings authority content offering.
Our lettings content is specifically designed to convert a DIY or accidental landlord into a prospect, so you can work your magic and win the instruction.
Firewave authority content for lettings is made up of 3 elements:
1. Expert authority content
2. Social media scheduling app
3. The Firewave AcademyTM
Here’s what you get with Firewave Lettings Content
- 1000+ word Blogpost
- 300 word Mini Blog
- 4 social Cover Images
- 5-9 Social Graphics
- Blog Image x 2
- Blog Promotional Email
- Video Script
- PLUS your exclusive area
Total: 15–20 PIECES OF CONTENT EVERY MONTH!
PLUS our super-easy social media scheduling app
✅ Simple dashboard
✅ Easy access library
✅ Just drag and drop
PLUS The Firewave AcademyTM
The best marketing university for estate and letting agents in the UK today.
Here’s what you get with the Firewave AcademyTM
🔥 Private MARKETING AUDIT with our Lead Generation Specialist
🔥 Quarterly MASTERMIND days at the AJ offices in Windermere
🔥 Monthly TRAINING days on the exact topics you need
🔥 Entry to the secret IGNITE group – packed with goodies
🔥 A LIBRARY of video training, resources and tools
🔥 Fortnightly LIVE Q&A CALLS with Sam & Phil so you can put your most pressing questions to them directly.
To discover whether your area is still available, explore the prices and to see if Firewave is a good fit for you and your agency, click the button below.
And here are three ways we can help you to attract and win all the dream landlords you can handle this year:
- Email Isaac for his frank Northern feedback of your social media
- Call Hayley to check if your area is available on 015394 40892
- Message Sam on Facebook and ask your toughest landlord-getting question
Sam and Phil