Assist Inventories: Admin Fee Ban
How can letting agencies recoup the losses from the ban on admin fees?
Following the 2012 ban on admin fees for tenants renting in Scotland, Britain’s government announced last year that England and Wales will now follow suit. During his Autumn Statement, Chancellor Philip Hammond said that shifting the cost to landlords would save up to 4.3 million households hundreds of pounds. Now in 2017, with the legislation soon being put into action, letting agencies are beginning to wonder how to recoup the costs filled by the admin fee.
The general opinion is that the costs will now be transferred to landlords, effectively generating even more competition between letting agents by allowing landlords to shop for the cheapest service they can find. However, there is a way that agents can recover their losses outside of this scenario. The key is to introduce value-added services that will aid the tenant and landlord mutually. Particularly in London, Brighton and their surrounding boroughs, specialised services (some chargeable and some not) will become the deciding factor in agency use.
Tennant and Landlord Points of Care – Customer Loyalty.
Many estate agencies across the country have started to introduce customer service targets for their staff. In short, the initiatives equate to the age-old adage of ‘going the extra mile’. When agents provide their landlords and tenants with perks, such as guides to the local area or an extensive list of trusted maintenance professionals, it provides a level of care that promotes customer loyalty. What’s important to note here is that these targets and practices actually equate to very small operational changes on the ground. So, even though you are not charging for this service, you are ultimately guaranteeing customer loyalty and making sure that the agency’s income remains consistent for longer periods of time.
Dedicated Inventory Services – Maximum Cost Efficiency.
By hiring a specialised inventory service, the agent or landlord can save time and money in both the short and long run. In the initial stages of letting any property, an agent has to concentrate on the immediate tasks at hand i.e. guarantor/credit checks, deposit contracts, insurance and tenancy agreements. It is not cost effective for an agent to lose half a day or more doing a comprehensive inventory check of a property, let alone all of the properties in their care. Later down the line, if an improper inventory report results in a dispute between the landlord and tenant, a professional inventory check can be used to avoid the agency incurring potential costs or fines.