How to get more landlords

Landlords are the lifeblood of any letting agent, and Simon Cairnes looks at new ways of getting more of them onto the books.

more landlords

Although demand and rents have been soaring over the last few years, landlords have been selling up and the private rented sector has been shrinking. It means finding and attracting landlords is becoming increasingly challenging for letting agents.

So how do you go about finding more landlords?

There are lots of different ways letting agents can put themselves in front of potential new landlords. Most are already doing the obvious things. Over the years, for example, they will have done lots of localised leafletting, cold calling, sponsorship, networking and advertising. To get ahead of the competition, however, you need to add some more technology-based approaches into the mix.

Using technology to identify landlords

It takes a great deal of time and effort to identify the landlords who are operating in your area. There are now companies out there whose software will take away all that legwork. They can identify every property currently being advertised to let in a particular postcode and give an estimate on when the tenancy will renew, along with all the properties’ previous agents.

For a small fee, it is then possible to look up the owners’ details on the Land Registry. That kind of information is a goldmine and can be used to build a really powerful database. Using it, agents’ campaigns will be fully targeted and efficient – going out to exactly the right people at precisely the right time.

Targeting landlords through content

Blogs, property/investment forums, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram are another rich source of new landlord leads. The key for agents is turning themselves into a trusted provider of information and the ever-increasing rules around lettings provide the perfect vehicle.

There were, at last count, more than 140 pieces of legislation that apply to landlords. Most of them won’t have a clue about all the legal ins and outs of, say, the Right to Rent rules. According to research by Rightmove, 51% of landlords choose to go with a letting agent specifically because ‘they value their guidance around legislation and regulation.’

Sharing your knowledge in the area is therefore likely to build strong relationships which will in turn help you to grow your landlord portfolio. The biggest reason of all, though, for choosing to use a letting agent is that landlords don’t want the stress and hassle of managing it themselves (67%). So, any stories about how you helped take away those kinds of headaches are another rich source of content.

In more general terms, when writing for blogs or social media, it’s important that you always keep it up-to-date, informative, regular and consistent and enhanced, whenever possible, with photos and video. You should also always try to include some kind of call to action (CTA), such as offering a free valuation. If you are not a writer yourself, there’s no need to panic, either get someone else in the office to do it for you or call in a specialist. And the good news is, once it’s done, you can use the same content for all your existing landlords, too, because it’s not just about getting more landlords, it’s also about keeping the ones you already have.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Google Pay Per Click (PPC)

SEO and PPC are some of the few ways you can get landlords to come to you, rather than you having to go to them. The stats below show just how important searches can be when trying to sign up new landlords.

  1. 68% of online journeys begin with a search engine
  2. 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic search
  3. 92.96% of global traffic comes from Google Search, Images, and Maps.
  4. SEO drives 1,000%+ more traffic than organic social media.
  5. 60% of marketers say that inbound (SEO, blog content, etc.) is their highest quality source of leads.

SEO and PPC will normally require expert input, but to attract as many landlords as possible, you will still need to identify and use the right keywords. Letting agents often place the more common search terms in conjunction with their target area’s name or postcode, such as. ‘Flat to rent W14’ or ‘Flat to rent in West Kensington’. Not all these terms will work for landlords, as they are specifically aimed at tenants.

In order to get landlords’ interest, you will need to think about what terms they might be searching with. And you will be far better placed to do that than your tech company. A very useful starting point is Google’s Keyword Planner. Once you have entered a few basic keywords, it will give you the typical traffic levels (and costs) and also provide a list of alternative words.

If you are finding it hard to get your head around what landlords might be searching for, Rightmove’s Landlord Insights report provides some excellent food for thought. In it, they asked landlords why they would use a letting agent. They said:

Reasons why landlords use a letting agent

Rightmove also asked them what were the most important services that letting agents provided:

The most important services provided by letting agents

Keywords that pick up on any of those topics are likely to prove popular, but before using them, you should always first check them on Google’s keyword planner. Sometimes, the seemingly obvious can generate very little traffic and vice-versa. The great thing is, once it’s all set up, SEO and PPC will keep working for you in the background, day and night, leaving you to get on with other things.

If you are still struggling to formulate a plan of action with either a tech or traditional approach, you can always hire some help. There are plenty of companies around that will mentor you in the dark arts of getting more landlords. Some even have boot camps!

Further reading

Converting leads into paying customersSome great tips that will help you sign up more landlords.

BLOG: Can tech really can give estate agents a competitive edge?Using Proptech to not only find new landlords but also to help with the smooth running of a letting agency.

BLOG: Time to ‘turn detective’ on your landlords, says expertMarc Randall from Property Circle delivers some great advice on how to add extra value to Landlords.

Despite everything, landlord sentiment remains upbeat for 2024Good news for letting agents, three-quarters of landlords are now confident about the prospects for the property market in 2024.

More landlords set to use letting agencies as red tape and repairs headaches riseResearch by Uswitch reveals many landlords are considering using a letting agency to ensure they are not caught out by scams and to avoid having to deal with maintenance issues.

The key to keeping landlordsIt’s not just about signing up new landlords, it’s also about keeping the ones you’ve already got.

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