Half of landlords do not use agents, new research from an independent marketing consultancy has said.
While other estimates put the proportion of private landlords using agents at 60%, the BDRC Continental Landlords Panel puts it at 50%.
The average landlord pays 7.3% of their letting income to an agent, says the research – reflecting a mix of landlords who use full management services, let-only, or a combination of services.
For landlords using an agent, the choice tended to boil down to professionalism, with one landlord saying: “Letting agents know how to pitch things. They can show flats at required hours. They invariably have a web presence and reputation / brand. They’re clued up on ‘closing a deal’. I live abroad and so can do none of these things.”
Another said: “The agent knows far more than I do about the law, about the market level of rents (she runs several of her own properties), and about what to do with awkward or neglectful tenants. One day I might be able to do all of this, but not yet. So, in a word: experience.”
Landlords choosing not to use agents had equally clear reasons, and said they were more able to offer a personal service. One said: “I also act promptly. I do not rip tenants off, charging more for referencing than it costs or charging any admin fees. I find agents double-dip and charge both landlord and tenants fees when they let property.”
Another said: “I can only speak for my own service, but it is bespoke. My tenants can always contact me and receive a personal approach. Because I do not have the additional expense of using an agent I can pass on the saving to my tenants in the form of reduced rent, which makes me more competitive than letting agent managed properties.”