Here are ten questions to ask any agent on a rental market appraisal which the valuer should be able to answer confidently.
- What is your percentage of managed tenancies in rental arrears?
Generally speaking the industry average is around 2% but agents should be striving to ensure tenancy arrears never build up. Better yet, through robust referencing they should never happen in the first place.
- Are you members of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA)?
In a currently unregulated sector it is important you use an agent who willingly conforms to strict condes of conduct such as that of The Association of Residential Letting Agents. That way you have peace of mind knowing your chosen agent will conduct themselves with the upmost integrity.
- What do I need to do as a landlord to stay legally compliant in today’s industry?
Your agent should have a thorough understanding in regards to the current legislation for landlords and confidently be able to tell you what you need to make your property compliant against today's standards and most importantly, how they can help.
- How quickly do properties let with you once they come on the market?
Generally speaking, Agents should be marketing at the very least on the standard property portals i.e. Rightmove and Zoopla. However it shouldn't just stop there. A good agent will also incorporate video tours into their marketing arsenal as well as social media. Lastly, your agent of choice should have a list of qualified tenants available who are looking for your type of property meaning the marketing should start before the property even goes 'live' on the market.
- Why should I choose you over other letting agents?
All agents will have points of differentiation but generally they perform the same task which is letting and potentially managing your property. At Churchills we've taken time looking at our approach and try to offer something different, a more personalised lettings approach. We don't want our relationship with you to be purely transactional and try to spend time getting to know and building rapport with both you and your tenants.
- Where is your Property Management and Accounts office based?
Some agents have a 'satellite office' in the local town but have a Property Management and Accounts office in a completely different location. This can sometimes create a more fragmented lettings process. At Churchills all our lettings services are located at our Gillygate office within a small team meaning nothing gets missed!
- What fees do you charge?
Some agents may appear cheaper on the face of it but under closer inspection may have separate charges for additional services. At Churchills we are very transparent about the types of service we offer. We are not the cheapest, nor are we the most expensive. However we are the best value for money.
- What services are included in the fee?
Further to the above Churchills do not have any hidden charges. For a full list of our fee schedule click here
- How many properties do you currently manage?
Any agent should know immediately how many properties they manage.
- How do you screen tenants?
Agents should feel confident to tell you their referencing processes. After all this is most likely your most expensive investment and needs to be looked by the person the Agent puts in to the property. At Churchills we assess tenants on strict referencing criteria including, ID checks, Income Affordability, Creditability and previous Residential History.
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