Following on from our best every year in 2021, January has been one of our busiest ever and in the three weeks to 28th Jan we received just over 50 applications to rent from customers!
Please do bear with us at the minute as this is an exceptional volume of work and difficult to get through.
With the nature of applications now it is quite common for us to receive multiple applications for some properties. Unfortunately, of course only one family or person can take each house and we often have to disappoint. We try our best to then check if we have other houses to suit but with new applications and viewings nearly every day it is very difficult.
We are doing our best to continue to provide these as feedback from tenants (and landlords) has been very positive and our Youtube channel is becoming busier every month. By allowing people to take a detailed look they can rule out places that don’t suit and we find we get significantly less “no show” viewings.
We notice many other agents have stopped using the tours but currently we intend to retain them within our marketing without separate cost to the landlord.
We do have some client (schools and on-site landlords etc) who require a higher degree of privacy and tenant vetting. The market is currently such that these can now be let without the need the fully advertising on our website and Rightmove etc. Indeed, to meet the needs of some of our clients such as our American customer base (which has been very busy) we sometimes delay marketing to allow pre-vetted customer a “first refusal” where the likelihood of them taking the property is high and the likelihood of it being applied by other beforehand is also high.
We will be updating the website soon but there have been a few changes over the last months. If there is a common complaint, we get it is that several staff members may contact you within a short period. With so much going on all the time we need to designate certain tasks to individual staff to ensure oversight and whilst we know it can be frustrating the reason for more than one call is because we can have several staff members working on your house or tenancy at the same time.
Anne Dixon has left to work within her son’s school which allows her much more time with her family, she was very hesitant to move on and will be missed.
Lynn Burns has joined us as letting negotiator and will be handling the gas safety checks, as well as the other many tasks that come with this role.
Stephanie (Steph) will now be handling most of the renewals, these require a lot of compliance checks now and we usually aim to renew for no less than 12 months where possible.
We receive many calls from customers unhappy with their current letting agent asking about portfolio moves and we usually recommend starting with an empty house and going from there. It is very easy to assume we all do the same this but this is very far from the truth, using a good agent will transform not only the financial aspect of letting but also make the entire enterprise less stressful. If you are unhappy with your current agent feel free to get in touch.
This has become a significant role within the agency on its own with massive change over the last ten years and a very significant increase in documentation and provision of paperwork during the application stage as well as during tenancies. We will shortly be adding a clear guidance on this on our website to collate all this info in one place.
Existing customer’s only pages
A pet hate of ours is the number of agents who copy our website, some stooping so low as to simply copy and paste some of our documents with only our logo missing! Whilst this is flattering, we do not like it and are planning to add a password protected page only for existing landlords where we can update you without keeping our competitors in the loop.
Much the same as above we very frequently seem to give out very valuable advice on investment for no gain and we plan to develop a more detailed investment advice pack which will be free to download for existing clients. We are yet to finalise much of this.
If you are an existing customer looking to invest further, please feel free to book a time to pop and see Steve or Shaun in the office or over the phone for a chat as our success is mutual. We have a very significant experience and local knowledge and can sometime direct you towards existing customers who are looking to sell their current buy to let property.
Let only customers
This continues to be a successful route for clients happy to dedicate much more of their time to letting but we do have common issues with the provision of safety checks. We simply ask you either let us assist, let us have copies of the required certs (mainly gas safety checks) or formally acknowledge you take full responsibility for these and do not want annual reminders.
The Current market
After a brief lull at Christmas the market has started this year exceptionally busy. Supply of houses has been increasing, some from new investors and some from the holiday let market which usually bring us new houses at this time of year.
Demand from customers has been almost across the board. After a period of inflated rents in Ulverston that market has slowed a little but only in terms of prices settling down a little after a period of significant inflation. This may yet return through 2022.
We have several new houses coming onto the market soon as well as a number currently under renovation soon to be ready.
With restrictions easing again we are able to relax somewhat and will be talking to the front office team about their feelings on masks being worn in the office.
At any of our appointments we will be ready to wear a mask should you prefer and on occasion staff will wear masks.
Throughout his difficult time we think simply respecting other people wishes with common sense is the best policy. Some see no risk and others have great concerns and health risks, if wearing a mask makes someone feel better we will happily do so.