19/09/2018 by Chris Peel 0 Comments
Working with Lettings Agents: How to Approach Them for Rent to Rent Opportunities
This article delves into the approach and words you can use to get the attention of lettings agents and get more rent to rent opportunities than you know what to do with including those under the counter deals that don't make it onto Rightmove because they're snapped up by the agent's contacts before it even makes it to the open market!
I recently held a mastermind day for myself and my JV partners from around the country to come, share ideas, present their specialist knowledge to the group and to formulate growth plans for each of the businesses we operate so by the next mastermind we can check in on our progress and hold one another accountable.
One of these companies that I run with by business partner Toby is based in Bedford and at the time of writing has 8 Rent to Rent HMO’s operational. At the last CDP Partnership Mastermind day, which was the 18th August we set a growth target for P&H Homes of an extra 2 properties added to the portfolio by Christmas but right now, thanks to just one hours work we have 4 properties on the table, 2 offers accepted, which forecast a combined cash flow of £1700 and could be added to our portfolio by the end of this week, and most excitingly of all, a national director of a high street agent keen to work with me in multiple locations and poised to open the door to any city in the UK.
Now, do you want some good news? It was super easy!! All you need is a system to approaching the phone calls that you can follow.
Do you want some more good news? I’m going to explain this system to you... Right now.
Follow this system and copy my delivery and before you know it you can have more rent to rent deals than you know what to do with and the local agents in your area will LOVE working with you because you make their jobs easier and more rewarding. They operate on commissions so quickly shifting stock means more money in their pocket!
So let’s delve right into it.
Firstly, do your homework. Start by searching for the top 10 agents on google in the area that you want to work in. Make a list of their names and numbers (See told you it was easy!). 10 is a good number because it’s manageable within an hour if you stay focused.
Secondly search the websites of these agents you’re interested in working with for the right kind of property. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, just because you call them about it doesn’t mean you have to take it, it’s more about opening the dialogue and building a relationship.
Now comes the “Golden hour”. Once you’ve got your list (and no I don’t count step one and two as work, because you can do it while sat on the sofa watching Lord of the Rings - other films are available) you need to block out an hour. This sounds simple I know but I mean a focussed hour. An hour where nobody will distract you. You switch off Facebook, the TV, your email. All you want is your phone, your list of agents names and numbers with notes of any interesting properties you could “Call about”, and a laptop to check any details you may discuss with them. Everything else off. Lock yourself away if you have to. 10 calls in 1 hour may sounds easy but that means it’s just 6 minutes per call.
Once you’ve got your hour and prepared as described above, pick up the phone and start calling. The biggest objection I get from my mentorship clients at this point is “but, what do I say?”. So let’s lift the fog on this dark art of Agent Whispering.
When the phone rings, they will answer with the name of the lettings agency and sometimes their name as well, then silence, it’s over to you at this point. I would urge you at this point to do everything you can to sound friendly, warm and confident. We’re trying to build a connection with these people at this point, so introduce yourself! I say something like:
“Oh good morning (their name), my name’s Chris, how are you doing today?”
If it’s a friendly agent you might get a little bit of small talk at this point, so if they want to chat, just go with it. If not they’ll probably give you a short polite answer. If they do that’s cool, just finish introducing yourself. Where are you calling from and what’s the purpose of your call? Now if you’re calling about a particular property (that you found in step 1 and 2) that’s the obvious way to direct the call and you’re into your pitch. BUT! There are 3 critical things you need to be able to do in the next few minutes to get that agent on board with working with you for Rent to Rent.
It’s super important when talking to agents to come across as credible. Too much falling over your own words, or not getting to the point and you give them no confidence. This is influenced by a number of things from the tone of your voice, the confidence with which you speak, even knowing the names of other agents in the town. Have your list handy to reference the other agents you’re talking to. I tend to find lettings agents are pretty competitive, so anything that can bring that out of them is perfect. If you can name drop the names of the other agent’s you’re already talking to and create some scarcity, I instantly find the tone of the conversation flips and instead of trying to convince them why they should trust me with the properties they look after, they are trying to pitch me on why they’re the right person for me to work with.
Have you ever had a call where you finished it and just “liked” the other person? Have you also noticed that when you like the other person you’re generally much more willing to try to help them? Yeah me too! And Guess what… agents are people just like you and I, and have these exact same feelings. So be nice!!!! I don’t care if you’re having a terrible day, you’re fed up with agent’s rejecting your approach or you’re just tired, be nice, be lively and make them smile and feel valued and i guarantee your results will improve. If you’re funny, test the water with it. Try and make them laugh with goofy comments. If you’re not a natural comedian then don’t worry about it, just stick to being a nice person that others would want to help. If you manage this, agents are going to look forward to calling you to tell you about the new property that’s just coming onto their books far more than if you’re a misery guts and you’re far more likely to hear about the deals before everyone else. In the audio recording of my cold calls I had an agent go from “unsure and sceptical” to offering me a property that “isn’t on the market yet” just by following these steps.
Sometimes, agent’s have had bad experiences, and I’m going to do myself and everyone else in the world of rent to rent a favour and say if you don’t plan on looking after the property as if it were your own then please don’t get into this industry because so many agents are wary of honest, decent operators based on bad prior experiences with rogue landlords. Nevertheless it’s a fact that some have bad experiences in the past and no matter how credible you sound and how much of a funny, nice person you are the word “sublet” will still make some agents shiver. Even if I do the most perfect introduction, name drop the agents I’m already working with, make them laugh and feel valuable they will still have a host of questions for me when i come to asking them about which properties I can have. But if we know the questions, we can prepare ourselves right? So here they are… the most common questions or objections from agents:
Who will be living there (hint: don’t say DSS)
Can you provide references?
Sorry we don’t do that (there’s always more to the story so probe)
Who’s responsible for damages and maintenance?
Who’s responsible for the tenants?
If you can prepare your answers to these common questions before you’re on the call you will answer them more confidently and build that credibility.
Once you’ve built credibility, rapport and answered any immediate objections, steer towards the outcome you want. If you’re calling about a specific property, ask to book a viewing. If you called to try and get the agent on board without a particular property in mind think how you can continue to build the relationship with that agent.
Now it’s all very well describing this to you, but wouldn’t it be better if you could hear it in action? The phases I used, the way I presented the ideas, and the answers to all their questions… Well luckily for you I have prepared something very special for the readers of our blog. I described to you at the start of this article just how hugely successful this process has been for me over the years, and I have a 1 hour recording available of myself following this process cold calling 10 agents, resulting in 9 wanting to work with us, the national Director of one agency wanting to open doors in each town for us, 4 deals being presented, 2 of which we offered on later that day that alone forecast a cash flow of £20k per annum or the national UK average annual salary.
We are selling this on the open market for £800 + VAT but if you would like to receive access to this frankly priceless audio we are offering a super special opportunity to our blog readers, just send an email to my team firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “10 Agents”, and your name and phone number in the email and we will get in touch to make a link available to you for just £397+Vat.
So the next logical question is what do you do if they don’t have anything available right now? It’s actually really simple. You follow up...regularly! We aim to check in with our agent’s each week, just to see if there’s anything new come on the books and remind them that we still exist.
And what about the ones who flatout aren’t interested? Firstly I’d try make sure it’s not just an objection that they haven't aired, so interrogate it a bit and try to find out why. If you’re still hitting a brick wall you can try escalating it to the branch manager to discuss it with them if it’s maybe a case that they just don’t have the authority to make the decide about working with you. One thing I would urge you not to do though is waste time on a dead lead. I know for sure that if you follow the process I’ve described and use some of my stock phrases and presentation style from the audio, you’re going to have more agents than you know what to do with as it is, so don’t waste time chasing an agent who isn’t interested and neglect the 9 who are.
Later this year my training brand Property Abundance will be launching our first official training product, the Complete Property Millionaire System, which will cover the exact steps I used to leave my job after just 4 months and create a 6 figure income in under a year. I’d like to invite you all to join our free community group where we will be presenting free tips and tricks like the ones you’ve read about here today as well as a supporting and inspiring community to keep you pushing on your property journey. Those who join before we launch our product will also have access to early bird discounts on our training product when in launches in November. To access this group search “Property Abundance Community” on Facebook or visit “bit.ly/propertyabundance” to register your interest in our training program. I’m really looking forward to speaking to you all in the group and hope you’ve got some massive value from the suggestions above.
Please do me a favour and share this with your friends to help us to help more people.