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Bottom line boosters

As well as the time-honoured ways for agents to earn extra revenue, Lisa Isaacs discovers some new propositions that can generate passive income.

Lisa Isaacss

Link to Revenue Generators feature

If you thought the roller coaster was coming to a halt, don’t disembark just yet. It’s time to buckle up once again, as 2022 looks laden with further twists and turns. While it’s virtually impossible to second guess the property market – and, quite frankly – what the Government will do next, agents need to explore every revenue option available to them.

‘Making every move count’ is the motto for the months ahead. It works on the solid assumption that transaction levels may not reach the giddy highs seen in 2021, therefore more needs to be extracted from every opportunity and from every mover about to make key decisions.

Referral fees, commissions, kickbacks – however you choose to label them – financial rewards for recommending products and suppliers can be the difference between profit and loss. Thankfully, there is usually a natural synergy between the home mover and what’s being recommended, making it feel less of a hard sell and more a promotion of useful or money-saving services.

More than a perhaps slightly predatory relationship, however, are an increasing number of opportunities that can be offered by agents outside of the transactional timeframe and to anyone – past, present or future client, friends, family or man on the street. It really is up to agents to redefine their B2C proposal to take maximum advantage.

If you’re looking to boost your bottom line, you may like to explore:-

Removal services

Unless someone takes ‘travelling light’ to the very extreme, transporting personal possessions from one property to another is an integral part of moving home. Therefore recommending a removal company should feel utterly natural to agents.

Realistically an agent can expect to earn £1,000 a month based on just 5-7 moves, but one single branch took home £36,000 in a single year. Adam Wilding, Pickfords.

Link to Pickfords AdvertorialPickfords is one company that offers a revenue share of any move that an estate or letting agent refers on. “This can be a small move to a VIP move or even an international move,” comments the company’s Adam Wilding.

Interestingly, Pickfords also offers recurring revenue on any items stored with the company, giving agents an additional way of earning extra. There are discounts offered to movers too, which provide a vital incentive to choose who the agent recommends.

And the income? “Realistically an agent can expect to earn £1,000 a month based on just 5-7 moves,” says Adam, “but one single branch took home £36,000 in a single year.” Adam also highlights how agents can maximise revenue with some lateral thinking. “A local North Westbased agent not only gained an additional £9,000 over the course of the year from Pickfords’ referral scheme but added extra revenue by canvassing both ends of the chain. This resulted in £15,000 commission being paid.”

Insurance and utilities

Moving home is a crucial milestone when it comes to switching service providers and protecting interests. We know shopping around is the best way of securing the right tariff or policy price but what if agents could make the process even simpler by bringing the best insurance and utility deals together in one place?

Link to Revenue Generators featureVouch’s Home Move Assistant does just that. Essentially it’s a white-labelled web portal that displays exclusive energy, broadband and insurance deals from the likes of Scottish Power, Virgin, Sky and BT, without the user having to flit from comparison site to comparison site. Although developed primarily as a service for tenants, agents can promote Home Move Assistant to anyone – buyers, sellers and landlords included.

In one month, one of our top agents earned £954 from just 45 applications, while our top-earning agent in 2021 generated a whopping £7,000. Simon Tillyer, Vouch.

“Agents can earn up to £300 per property in additional revenue,” comments Simon Tillyer. “In one month, one of our top agents earned £954 from just 45 applications, while our top-earning agent in 2021 generated a whopping £7,000 in additional revenue via the services we provide,” concludes Simon.

Void management with extras

Move assistants are an agent’s best friend, especially in the administration-heavy world of lettings. When it comes to void period management, there’s a real chance to generate income through energy, entertainment packages and broadband suppliers. Tili’s speciality is marrying void period management and revenue opportunities with carbon offsetting – a new slant on ‘lightening the load’ for letting agents.

Link to Revenue Generators featureTili already completes void-period admin on an agent’s behalf and now we can help cut carbon footprints too,” says Scott Holmes. Tili’s digital journey handles council tax and water notifications, books smart metre appointments and allows tenants to choose telephone, broadband and entertainment deals from the whole of market, including exclusive Ovo products. In return for introductions, there’s a competitive commission package and decarbonisation help.

Tili already completes voidperiod admin and now we can help cut carbon footprints too. Our green electricity proposition removed 19,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2021. Scott Holmes, Tili Ovo.

“Our first-to-market 100 per cent green electricity void proposition removed 19,000 tonnes CO2 from our partners’ portfolios in 2021. With mandatory and voluntary carbon footprint reporting already a demand of time-pressed agents, we’re well on the way to ensuring our agent partners are secure and sustainable,” comments Scott.

Tenancy deposits

The Negotiator has read more than one property prediction that forecasts a growth in deposit-free renting, so agents who start offering this service stand a good chance of boosting their income as demand increases.

Flatfair’s No Deposit solution – an alternative to the traditional cash deposit – has already been earning letting agents commission when prospective tenants are introduced but the company has added a fresh reward tier in the shape of Deposit Unlocking. This new scheme allows agents to offer Flatfair to existing tenants who are up to date with rental payments and where the property is in a good condition, with commissions earned on these introductions as well.

Tili already completes voidperiod admin and now we can help cut carbon footprints too. Our green electricity proposition removed 19,000 tonnes of CO2 in 2021. Scott Holmes, Tili Ovo.

Link to Revenue Generators feature“Agents can earn, on average, £20-£30 per No Deposit sold, based on an average monthly rent of £700,” says Annalese Walmsley. “Properties with higher rental yields generate an additional uplift. For example, one of our partners operating in central London has gained over £18,000 in additional revenue as a result of offering No Deposit during the last 12 months. This has resulted in over 300 active tenancies, saving their tenants on average £1,600 in upfront costs and providing their landlords with up to £600,000 protection in the event of any accidental damage and/ or rent arrears.”

Rent guarantees, referencing and insurance

There can’t be a letting agent in the country who doesn’t want to reduce the risks associated with the rental market, especially as tricky financial times may be ahead. Thanks to ‘one stop shops’, agents can earn as they protect on a variety of products.

Link to Tenant Deposits featureAndy Halstead at LetAlliance says its proposition reduces an agent’s exposure and provides tenants and landlords with market-leading products that they need and want. “Our product combination, which includes referencing, rent guarantee, insurance products and utilities, are an agent’s safety net. And with us, they can earn up to £350 per property per year in commission.”

Our top agent partners have earned more than £1,000,000 in incremental revenues, net of costs, through rent guarantee scheme commission. Andy Halstead, LetAlliance.

Both LetAlliance’s rent guarantee and legal protection are provided on a ‘net cost’ basis to agents. This allows them to mark up the services they offer to landlords and earn valuable incremental revenue, whilst giving landlords the most comprehensive protection. There are also kickbacks on utility packages too. Andy is confident that the revenue it generates for agents significantly exceeds the cost of its tenant referencing, making this service cost-free. “Our top agent partners have earned more than £1,000,000 in incremental revenues, net of costs, through rent guarantee scheme commission,” adds Andy.

Mortgages and protection

Hands up for increased revenue streams and a service designed to speed up the home buying process? The role played by mortgage advisers is being brought into the spotlight by a new breed of IFAs – ones who are determined to reward agents.

Take, for example, Cox and Flight – a fresh partnership focused on assisting agents in converting sales pipelines into revenue. The promise of greater transactional visibility, reduced fall throughs and rapid exchanges – thanks, in part, to a dedicated portal that enables clients to schedule appointments and complete online fact finds in advance, is all wrapped up in an attractive commission package.

Within three months, we wrote just under £30,000 worth of business, which translated into an attractive income stream for our partner. Scot Flight, Cox & Flight.

Link to Revenue Generators feature“The more clients that are introduced to us, the more commission agents earn,” comments Scot Flight. In that ‘client’ group are also tenants, who can use Cox and Flight for protective advice and products.

“In September 2021, Cox and Flight launched a partnership with a chain of estate agents. Within three months, we wrote just under £30,000 worth of business, which translated into an attractive income stream for our partner,” adds Scot.

Window display screens

How can a touch screen in your window generate income other than through sales? Steve Blackaller of InTouch Displays explains, “Agents who have built solid relationships with complementary businesses can reduce the cost of their digital display by advertising those services on their screen. Not only does this provide a source of revenue but it can also serve to strengthen your brand in the community by aligning with businesses that are valued locally.

“Intouch would always advise working with core businesses that agents may have worked with for a long period and feel confident recommending. It avoids weakening their own brand or detracting from their own messages.

“In some instances, agencies have made the cost of our digital displays ‘cost neutral,’ while, at the same time, providing a valuable tool for both vendors and the wider community.

“It’s a great way of promoting local solicitors, surveyors, financial services etc while pulling-in a revenue stream.”

Intouch supplies through-window touch screens which sync with agents’ listings management software.

The Neg will return the bottom-line booster theme regularly, so look out for more ideas to grow you balance sheet in future issues.

March 4, 2022

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