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  • Buy-to-Let

    Industry apathy comes home to roost!



    I see today we are seeing Estate Agents closing branches in the UK.

    There will be a number of reasons - Slowing market , S24, Tenants Fee Ban etc.

    I supported "Axe the Tax" when it was formed I put cash into the campaign to employ the services of Mrs Blair and if my memory serves me right it took a long time to achieve the Target needed to pay for the Challenge which we lost

    So now we move forward to 2019 and we see the results of Govt Changes.  Yes we were the first with S24 and agents in general said nothing and stood by when they should have taken front and centre position on the fights against the Govt Changes

    We should have taken the position of standing together as a large force from 2015

    Yes Landlords have apathy, but Agents etc. are professionals and they have know since 2015 the changes would effect this sector and in turn Estate Agents too

    A great number of agents have High St Locations and I have never seen an agent supporting Axe the Tax

    They could have done so much good if they had used window space to show the public the results of Govt Policy

    The only thing necessary for the  Govt to triumph is that good Men & Women do nothing

    Why the Likes of RICS never spoke out is beyond me and now they too are being effected because they did nothing.

    *Moderator additions - Letting agent cull starts ...*  Lender apathy will be the death of us * The image that sums up landlord apathy * Landlord apathy will be the death of us*

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    Learn Change and Adapt ?????

    All comments are for casual information purposes only. If you wish to rely on any advice I have given please ensure you obtain independent specialist advice from a third party. No liability is accepted for comments made.

    High Street Agents will be a thing of the past within 5 years

    All will move online . Cant remember when i last set foot in one

    If it was me I would abandoned the shop..........

    and buy a big converted transit / motorhome as a mobile office on wheels

    Cheap flexible and go to where the customer is eg workplace / home

    Permanent advert of your business on the side

    Neon signs flashing showing house of the week

    Transport sales staff / mortgage broker / maintenance guys around .

    Give lifts to customers to viewings / banks for rent etc

    Leaner smarter user friendly and cut those overheads down

    There will be whole fleets of them in a large town with different agencies . Maybe 100

    Then at weekends they can join forces and drive in unison up to Parliament

    All adorned with Axe the Tax banners . Press out in force for the carnival atmosphere

    Sends out a strong visual message

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    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com


    I know - I have reduced using the services of agents

    You are right, a high st location is going to go

    I knew one agent who did all his business in Starbucks

    Landlords today can do so much themselves if they take the time

    To learn the skills of property management all you need is internet and a PC with some professional software

    I use facebook to advertise property it’s free and works a treat - my last two voids were filled with Facebook help.

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    Learn Change and Adapt ?????

    All comments are for casual information purposes only. If you wish to rely on any advice I have given please ensure you obtain independent specialist advice from a third party. No liability is accepted for comments made.

    ``I knew one agent who did all his business in Starbucks``

    Yes I`ve had various meets in the likes of Costas and hotel lobbies etc 

    I do find them noisy and distracting though and not too private  . I want a quieter space

    Do you think there is perhaps a market for a purpose built business focused coffee shops ?

    Maybe they exist already but the serviced offices Ive also gone to where  you book a room are too clinical for me

    I want a half way house somewhere between the screaming kids and a sanitised sound proof cubicle


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    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com

    The estate agent as we know it is not dead. Yes there are to many currently on the high street and therefore some will close, but we will not all use online. I

    In other countries where online agents have been available for years and works very well, it has not killed the estate agent branches but given them competition which is good all around.

    As a landlord with plus 5 properties I think a clean up of the amateur LL a good thing to some degree as many of them will exit and only the professional will be behind.

    This leaves to a more professional competition from people that knows what things should cost and not a wannabe paying way too much for a property or dump rent.

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    Your comments regarding amateur landlords are very interesting.

    As an amateur landlord my perception is the opposite of yours. I can see opportunities arising as an amateur that are no longer attractive to the professional, where the costs and the increased legislation have eroded the yield and the investment is no longer viable.

    I have no issue investing alongside professionals, I learn so much from them. However, for the low leveraged amateur, who is prepared to be creative, there is a lot of opportunity available.

    As for the Estate and Letting agents, they are optional, in whichever format. There are so many alternatives available now. You can buy a property on ebay and advertise it on facebook, if you're that way inclined.

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    How many years after you started off as an accidental LL, now possibly progressed to an amateur LL (by your own admission?) will you become a professional LL Gary?

    By accepting money for the service you provide you are by default, just like everyone else on here, a professional LL. You may have lodgers, no AST etc. etc. but you're still a LL.

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    Its that perception thing again. I don't mind if you perceive me as a professional landlord or a rogue landlord, I'll take any label except criminal landlord.

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    Don't worry Gary, our very own DL has only in the last year admitted that she is actually a professional LL as well.

    Everyone's a professional DL on here that rents out properties or part thereof. Not sure why there's a distinction necessary?

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    LOL Brilliant post.

    Over 20 years ago when I started out renting in Finsbury Park north London, my then local area, I was finding tenants easily using the notice board at the local library.

    Then Gumtree.

    One year the local EAs all decided they wanted a slice of the pie and set up Lettings departments. Usually one desk at the back of the shop with one phone. They soon frightened prospective tenants into believing that renting direct from a LL was dangerous. [I heard this regularly from my students too] All of us local LLs were furious.

    But the damage was done and the drip feed of "trust us, not the LL" had the desired effect. By 2000 no-one was answering my adverts and I was forced to use LAs.

    All my profit disappeared.

    When challenged they said "Denise you get the capital growth. We want the profit". They were open about their game plan

    Fast fwd to now.....

    Last week I spoke with my agent in south London. He told me "The lettings business is propping us up. No profit in the sales."

    There are a few agents who share fairly with LLs, but most don't.

    Many people are turning back to self-managing or via online solutions.

    I would like to see both parties be more transparent with each other and see it as a partnership, not a competition in which the tenant gets stuck in the middle with poor service and high costs.

    I could write a book about the fights I have had with my agents over the years in my attempt to be treated as a partner not as a cash cow!



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    Sorry, but I disagree.

    There will always be a need for professional lettings and property management services.

    You guys are looking through the lens of being seasoned landlords.

    For newcomer landlords, it is a minefield of regulations and legislation with significant fines for non-compliance.

    What we will see is a shake-down of the sector, where those that provide a good service and understand the needs of landlords, adapting and changing to new conditions, and supporting their landlord clients through that, will survive and prosper.

    I personally would prefer that Property Tribes always promotes professional support because this is the starting point for all new landlords.

    Once you have experience, then by all means, start to use technology etc., but only if you fully understand what you are doing and have the time to offer good service for your tenants.

    It is well known that rogue tenants prefer to rent direct from landlords (instead of lettings agents) as they hope to find a naive or inexperienced landlord who they can take advantage of.

    Professional lettings agents are the gate-keepers of the PRS and help maintain standards.  They protect landlords from regulatory risk, and tenants get a safe and compliant home.   I personally hope that they never disappear from our High Streets.

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