Landlords often approach us after an unsatisfactory experience with another agent, particularly in relation to poor levels of feedback following property viewings.
Surely, prompt and constructive feedback should be a fundamental part of any letting agent’s service to their clients! Only when agents understand what tenants think of a property can they deliver practical advice that will enhance its rental prospects. The agent and the landlord should be working hand-in-hand to achieve the desired outcome, based significantly on tenants’ comments.
We also understand the landlord’s anguish in simply not knowing whether a let is imminent following a viewing.
Sometimes, feedback is obviously positive: “When is the property available?”
is clearly a strong buying signal; “What are the neighbours like?”, “Could I bring my partner round?”
or “What furnishings are included?” certainly indicate that the property is a distinct possibility, and a good agent should be able to move this interest towards a rental agreement. Some feedback can be helpful in confirming whether the rental is positioned correctly in the market. Tenants make their comparisons, and sometimes a swift price adjustment can be imperative to avoid a void period. For example, “The property is too small for us” usually means, “We have seen larger houses for the same rental”. “The street is too busy” usually means “We’ve seen similarly priced properties to rent
in quieter streets”.
Of course, many people are just being polite when they say, “We’ll think about it”, or “I’m sure you’ll find a tenant easily”. The key to good agency is identifying which comments point to a let, which point to a negotiation, and which point to a problem with the proposed rent amount. And we think our landlords deserve to know, via prompt and supportive feedback.
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA
CEO – Oakfield Estate Agents