Becoming a Letting Agent or Estate Agent
The well-proven Southcourt Letting and Estate Agency Business Package has been carefully designed and developed by ourselves, based on our own experience of founding and building our own successful agency in the property capital of London. It is in fact a blueprint of our own successful business model with which we grew a sizable agency in the UK’s property capital London.
We provide everything you need to start and run your own successful agency, and take you from the basics of setting up a new estate agency or letting agency, through to advanced property management, and maximising your income growth.
However, as we explain in our manual, initial research is vital if you wish to become an estate agent or letting agent.
For letting agents, below we summarise the easiest way to familiarise yourself with one of the most important aspects – local rental levels.
Rentals for various types and sizes (by number of bedrooms) of property vary greatly from area to area throughout the country, therefore you will need to discover the rental levels that apply generally in your intended working area before you can become a letting agent.
It will be part of your service as a letting agent to provide a rental appraisal (approximate rental valuation) of a property to be let for your landlord client, and to agree a marketing rental with him. The landlord will generally respect your opinion of the rental his property is likely to attract, and this will often be one of the first questions on his mind.
And of course, offering the property at a realistic market rental rather than overpricing it will make all the difference between letting it speedily, or having it hanging around for weeks – a situation which benefits no-one.
Don’t worry, you won’t need to be precise with your valuations. In fact there is no such thing as a precise valuation, as various local agents will have slightly different ideas on the same property.
For sales, to become an estate agent you will learn how to carry out a valuation based on comparable property sold prices in the road and area, which are available in various places online. You’ll need to take into account the vendors expectation of the value of the property (we show you how) and then agree a marketing price with the owner.
Of course, offering the property at a realistic market rate rather than overpricing it will make all the difference between letting it or selling it speedily, or having it hanging around for weeks or months – a situation which benefits no-one.
Again you won’t need to be precise with your valuations as you can be guided by the processes we show you within the Business Package, and don’t forget that local agents will have slightly different ideas on the same property so it’s important to be flexible.
Sourcing the information – Letting and Estate Agents
The speediest method of gaining an overview of local rental levels is to search on zoopla.co.uk or a local property website for properties to let in your town. Take a copy of the Research Sheet (included in the pack) – “Average Local Rental Levels” or “Average Sales Levels” for Estate Agents, and starting with studio flats, enter the advertised rentals or sales prices, following the instructions on the research sheet.
Then do the same with 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 bedroom flats and houses. We suggest that you complete at least 3 sheets, so that you are comparing about 45 properties of each size, totalling them all onto the last sheet.
When you have completed the research sheets, and used a calculator to work out the average rental or sales values as we explain, you will arrive at 6 figures: the average rentals or sales values of each size of property according to number of bedrooms, i.e studio flats through to 5 bedroom properties. These 6 figures really are the only ones you need to commit to memory before starting a letting agency or starting an estate agency business in your area.
When you value a property, you’ll use these figures as a basis from which to work, and make a small adjustment (say between 5% and 10%) either up or down, depending on whether or not the property is furnished, its general condition, location in a nice/not so nice road, and proximity to transport, shops and other local amenities which tenants favour.
Although this research may seem somewhat laborious for anyone considering becoming a letting agent or becoming an estate agent, it is nevertheless a vital process in the preparation stage, and will make all the difference between struggling and making elementary mistakes, and getting things right from the word go.
The average figures arrived at on your research sheet, combined with the adjustments, will enable you to give quite accurate valuations right from the start. And remember, there is no such thing as a precise valuation, as different agents will have slightly varying opinions. You can read more about rental valuations in Section 5 of the Southcourt Letting Agency and Estate Agency Course Manual.