Frequently Asked Questions
As setting up a letting agency or setting up an estate agency is likely to be a completely new business area for you, we realise that there may be several questions in your mind. For that reason we have listed below the questions we are most frequently asked by those who wish to become a letting or estate agent, together with our answers.
If you have any others, or require elaboration on any particular aspect, please do not hesitate to contact us by telephone or email.
How can Southcourt help me Start a Letting or Estate Agency?
The same way we have helped hundreds of other successful letting and estate agents! Our business plan, or business model if you like, is based on methods learned in setting up and running our own London based agency, together with our 50 years of combined experience in the property industry. Our comprehensive step-by-step Letting and Estate Agency Training & Operating Manual is divided into 24 clearly laid out sections, and takes you in detail, in practical and operational terms, through the full Agency procedures, from when the telephone first rings to when a tenancy ends. We explain our tried and tested systems, reveal trade secrets and our essential Top Tips, and describe the most effective and successful practices and techniques in use in the business today.
We provide a winning combination of practical, marketing, legal and back-office know-how and guidance, backed with our support, designed to enable you to quickly establish and run your own successful Letting Agency Business or Estate Agency Business. Completely up to date and using the latest technology and innovative marketing methods we explain how to quickly establish a new letting agency business or estate agency business whilst spending very little on advertising.
In addition to our comprehensive manual we also provide all necessary forms, legal documents, standard letters, powerful software, a professional property website, ongoing support and an update service.
As long-term members of The Property Ombudsman Scheme (TPO) we are committed to property industry good working practice, and thanks to our 50 years combined experience in the industry, the last 18 of which have also included the provision of agent training, you can be confident that you are in safe hands, and have by far the best chance of success by investing in the Southcourt Complete Letting and Estate Agency Business Package.
Can I Start an Estate or Letting Agency From Home?
Yes, you can enjoy all the benefits of working from home including minimal overheads, flexibility and convenience.
Many people run a home based estate agency or home based letting agency these days.
Your website will be your shop window, and we provide a choice of professional and modern websites which will give you the right image from the word go.
You meet landlords and tenants, vendors and purchasers at the properties concerned, so you’ll never need to invite callers to your home.
Documents can be delivered personally or by mail, and you can use online signing services for electronic signatures.
You could if you wish start an online letting agency or online estate agency and cover a wider area.
In fact, we already run various operations for nationwide online agencies who wish to target a large area. Contact Us for more details.
How long will it take me to get my Estate Agency or Letting Agency started?
You’ll need to read the first few chapters of the training/operating manual and documents, and carry out some local research and other preparations. Then, when you are ready, you can launch your new Estate Agency business or Letting Agency business with our ‘Boost-Start Action Plan’.
You can be up and running in about a week if you wish. If you decide to take our Platinum Package or make use of social media for your letting agency or estate agency, you will be able to get started very quickly and accelerate your growth, as the power of social media in generating new leads and valuations is unprecedented. Ask us for more information on our social media management services.
Do I need special software to run an agency?
Are there any limits on telephone or email support?
How does a letting or estate agency collect his/her fees?
There are several agents already in my area - is that a problem?
What about start up costs?
We developed the cost-effective Southcourt Complete Agency Business Package in order to provide a much-needed alternative to the high start up costs associated with an estate agency franchise or indeed a letting agency franchise. Once you have your Southcourt Business Package and property website, assuming you are working from home or an existing office, you should be up and earning without spending much more at all. In our manual we explain several very effective methods of locating and signing up local landlords (for your letting agency) and vendors (for your estate agency) without spending a penny on advertising, and finding tenants and buyers is even easier.
Our most effective methods are virtually cost-free. We also include promotional material. You will of course need a couple of essentials such as a computer and printer, a telephone, a digital camera, a clipboard, and a pack of white office paper.
What about other income potential?
Your influential position as a letting agent, property manager or estate agent will enable you to enjoy several lucrative offspins which we explain, including how to receive consultancy payments from other agents, contractors and financial advisors legally and without effort – this knowledge alone is worth £1000’s.
You will also be in a uniquely advantageous position if you wish to ‘buy-to-let’ – you’ll often hear of investment property available at below market prices, and of course you’ll be in an ideal position to ‘skim off’ the best tenants. If you choose, you will find it easy to diversify into other property related services e.g. inventories, financial services, commercial lettings, business transfer etc.
Why do you offer a low cost Business Package rather than an estate agent franchise?
Many people are interested in starting an estate agent business or starting a letting agency business, but are either unwilling or unable to commit to the high cost and ongoing commitments and tie-ins of an estate agency franchise or letting agency franchise.
There are others who simply wish to add a letting agency business or estate agency business to an existing concern, for whom a franchise would not be suitable. For example a mortgage broker, shop owner, builder or cleaner can easily add an agency business to their existing concern.
Our Complete Agency Business Package is also ideal for the independent minded property investor or do-it-yourself (diy) landlord.
It is for the benefit of all of these enterprising individuals that we have chosen to offer an affordable and highly effective alternative to a letting agency franchise or an estate agency franchise at a fraction of the cost.
Will I find the information clear and easy to follow?
If you find these pages clear, you’ll have no problem with our Complete Business Package.
Although it’s very comprehensive (the contents list of the main manual extends to 8 pages), everything is clearly laid out, with cross-referencing throughout.
We concentrate on practical issues, explaining exactly what to do, and how and when to do it, and have kept theory and law to the minimum we consider necessary. You’ll find the Section headings and some of the topics covered on our Lettings and Estate Agency Manual page.
You’re In Control
As you can see, as an Estate Agent or Letting Agent you can enjoy a superb income from the vibrant property rental and sales market without the financial burden of buying and maintaining the properties yourself. If you were a Letting Agent, just 8 properties under your management will produce more than owning one mortgage-free buy-to-let property – and you will not lose a penny if property prices fall. And just 4 property sales per month will result in an income far exceeding £100k per year.
You’re in complete control, so you decide how much you wish to earn, part-time or full-time