Letting Agent Fees Ban: Time For Fear or Time For Growth?

lettingshousesSo I’ve been quiet the last few days, not passing judgement and basically taking stock and planning.

Although how can you plan without any details, no time frame and hardly any information. If it’s all guess work, it’s not really a plan.

Firstly, I’ll say this – it’s using a hammer to crack a nut approach.

Capping or a test of reasonableness would have been better than this.

This will no doubt affect tenants, this will affect landlords, and it will certainly affect letting agents.

Costs will be passed on, rents will increase and the people they are trying to protect will be affected any way.

Politicians have never been known for thinking things through, though, have they?

But, I’m choosing to use this as a positive, a wake up call, a chance to say “Shit…. what do we do now?”

And that’s really how my last few days have gone. We’ve had emergency meetings with our senior management team. We’re tried to come up with all sorts of hair brained ideas on how to circumnavigate the issues.

You know, those issues that no one really has any details or time frames on.

Once I realised trying to figure this out was a waste of time, we boiled it down to two things; 1. Save money (Efficiencies) and 2. Make money (Grow).

1. Save Money – Efficiencies

We went through every expense with a fine tooth comb, and over every contract to see what we had to do to save money.

Could anything be stopped? Could we get a better deal anywhere?

We were shocked at how much we could save by being very blunt, and some might even say aggressive, with our suppliers.

From just one negotiation we were able to save 4k per year.

Now, this took us being blunt, leveraging the power of walking away and being willing to offer something to get something.

It might not be the smoothest process at times, but it works.

So that’s our plan for the next four weeks; to negotiate every contract we have.

We might have to sign up to longer lease terms in order to get reduced payments, but cash flow is King.

We are also trying to be as efficient as possible and tweak our systems as necessary.

A penny saved is a penny earned.

2. Make Money – Grow

We have doubled the amount of time put aside for the staff to prospect.

Normally they spend an hour a day. Now, we insist that they spend 2 hours every day.

We are tackling this head on, pulling up our big boy pants and making sure we continue to grow our business.

We are even looking to recruit a prospecting manager to really manage the prospectors, get the most from our time and bring in as much business as possible.

We have done the figures and sums as to what we can take on before needing to recruit and worked out the margins to make sure we have it right.

We will also be increasing the costs to Landlords, but also increasing the value of what they get at the same time to soften the blow.

People don’t mind paying for value so make sure they get it.

Give them great customer service and great added value and you won’t hear a whimper.

If you just increase the prices for the hell of it you can expect a mass exodus.

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In less than 48 hours we have brain stormed, researched, designed and implemented a plan in readiness for something we don’t have the details on.

Regardless of what happens, what the final outcome is, this plan will be successful and will drive the business forward.

I can’t speak for anyone else or what they should implement in their business. I can suggest a mind set shift though.

Don’t worry about the things you can’t control or try to make a perfect plan for something you don’t have the details for.

Make savings, increase efficiency in your business, stop waste and focus on growing your business as fast and as controlled as you can!

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