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  • Buy-to-Let

    Letting agent cull starts ...



    Here it starts as Letting Agents reduce number of branches. If you have your property  managed by one of the larger companies don’t become a number ... support your local ARLA registered independent letting agent!

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    LSL Property Services has just announced plans to close and merge branches in its flagship Reeds Rains and Your Move networks.

    Jobs will be lost and while personnel will be offered alternative employment where possible, a consultation is being entered into.

    Instead of 308 owned Your Move and Reeds Rains branches, there will be 280, of which 144 offices will be owned “keystone” branches and around 136 will be franchised.

    The company announced the closure and merging of the operations of approximately 81 neighbouring branches into the new keystone branch network, which will be branded as either Your Move or Reeds Rains, to “deliver improved scale”.

    https://www.propertyindustryeye.com/eye-...-networks/

    *Moderator add - Related topic:  Industry apathy comes home to roost! *

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    [Image: New-logo2.png] Manchester based investor. I buy, sell, renovate and rent investment property in East/North Manchester Wink email: mike@brentwoodinvestments.co.uk Call: 0161 681 3724

    It would be interesting to understand why this is happening.

    Estate agency is a different business to lettings.

    Are these companies not selling enough properties or not letting enough properties?  Is this any indication of reduced landlord instructions, either due to exit or turning to self-management to reduce costs due to impact of Section 24?  Is this ahead of the Tenant Fees Ban because they are concerned they will lose revenue?

    Big changes obviously impacting, but I am sure the strong and robust who moved with the changes will survive.


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    Look at the number of housing transactions going through at the moment, they are at historic lows and add to that purplebricks etc.

    I know we love to blame everything on s24 but tradational estate agents are as vulnerable as hmv circa 2005 imho

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    I think you have a point there.  Now I think of it, I was speaking to an agent a few days ago, and he said that although sales were failing, lettings were propping up the business.

    We are filming at the ARLA Conference next week, so will take the opportunity to pose the question to some of our interview guests. Smile

    There is certainly a shake-down going on, and those that survive will have a larger market share due to less competition.

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    Maybe. My personal view and why i used hmv 2005 as an example is yes at the moment not everyone uses online agents but with fees of a few hundred compared to thousands long term they just cant compete.

    Once it reaches critical mass and people realise it doesnt cost that much to put a few photos on zoopla all these agents with expensive high street stores will be history.

    Some i might have sympathy for, but most i dont. Items like charging tenants fees for the privalage of signing a lease were just pure greed.

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    i think smart agents are looking at the financial implications of the tenant fee ban and if they can't see an immediate way of replacing this income, cost cutting will be their only option in the short term.

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    I run an independent lettings agent with 2 offices which my late father set up 20 years ago, across both businesses we manage just over 220 properties. Both profitable although don't be under any illusion they only provide a modest income. In the last 12 months in one office we've lost about 10% of properties to Landlords who have taken back and sold, these are Landlords that have been with us in most cases 5 - 10 years and we were asked to serve notice on good, long standing, established tenants. New listings have been slow during last 12 months, it's still a case of we have more good registered tenants looking for properties than properties available but that's always been the case.

    We only charge £125 per Tenancy (as an Admin Fee for setting up Tenancy Agreement, Inventory, Referencing and Deposit Protection) half that £62.50 for an existing tenant moving from one of our properties to another.

    We have never charged a Landlord Setup Fee, just simply 10% of rental income for full management.

    Other agents around us have been charging from £195 – £474 just as a Landlord Setup Fee plus considerably higher fees per Tenant per Tenancy.

    From 1st June 2019 we will have to pass a Landlord Setup Fee per Tenancy onto Landlords and where Landlords have instructed us to increase rents we are by approx 3%.

    How are you intending to structure things Michael?

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    220 properties is a great base to work from.

    Have you diversified to take advantage of this to get your agency through the impending tough times?

    Have you employed an insurance broker to arrange 220 landlord insurance policies?

    Have you employed a Gassafe guy to carry out 220 annual inspections?

    The list of opportunities could go on.


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    Yes, diversification is key and currently in process of a big system/website overall to bring us up to 21st Century standard along with integrating some of the latest Proptech Fixflo, movem etc. We have a couple of plumbers, electricians, handymen, builders and carpet fitters that we keep busy in each town.

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    Sales are dropping and the loss of tenant fees and a reduction in landlords because of many selling due to section 24 or self management for the same reason. Independents who didn’t charge such large fees will be able to gain business from these larger agents as they close branches

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    [Image: New-logo2.png] Manchester based investor. I buy, sell, renovate and rent investment property in East/North Manchester Wink email: mike@brentwoodinvestments.co.uk Call: 0161 681 3724

    To cull or culling-

    reduction of a wild animal population by selective slaughter.

    • the action of sending an inferior or surplus farm animal to be slaughtered.

      We probably all know some estate agents who fit this bill.

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