Life Of A Letting Agent. The Chapters....
Updated: Dec 5, 2021
Throughout many years of being involved at various levels within the Lettings industry I, like many others in my position will no doubt agree, continue to see many wonderful properties and meet people from all walks of life some of whom having amazing stories to tell.
Well I have been bursting to share some of my own personal ‘highlights’ and ‘lowlights’ therefore if you continue to read this blog you will come to realise just what goes what it takes to be a modern Letting Agent today!
Everything from the stories I’ve been told by clients I’ve met, the many reasons for non-payment of rent, preparing a property for letting, encounters during viewing appointments and those simple things that go wrong in life always at the wrong times, it’s all coming…..
SORRY SIR BUT YOUR RENT HASN’T BEEN RECEIVED TODAY IS THERE ANY REASON FOR THIS?
Well excuses for non-payment of rent must be my favourite topic. Over the years I have heard many different reasons and I must share some of these with you.
‘’I’m currently on the train to London as this is the only place from where I can withdraw the rental money to pay you’’
‘’I was on my way to you but the steering wheel on my car has locked and I can’t make it’’
‘’ I have a flat tyre, so I can't get into the office to pay my rent’’
‘’I mailed it, haven’t you got it yet?’’
‘’My girlfriend is pregnant’’
‘’I’ve not paid the rent because we are saving to move’’
‘’I haven’t even been home this month, so I shouldn’t have to pay the rent’’
‘’Its been an odd month, can we try again next month’’
‘’The ATM has swallowed my card and so I can’t take out the money to pay the rent’’
"I lost my mobile phone, so I couldn't text you that we were on holiday and wouldn't have the rent for a while."
‘’I emailed you to say it was going to be late, did you not get my email (err no)!’’
‘’I just can’t afford this rent no more you are going to have to lower it’’.
This list is not to mock those who are facing financial difficulty in their lives and are unable to make rent, but instead as a collection of excuses or white lies that tenants sometimes tell their landlords to delay their rent payment. Landlords are not evil and do understand that sometimes people do go through a period of financial uncertainty – you lose your job or fall ill, or whatever. If you have a reasonable excuse for not being able to pay rent, your landlord will most likely sympathise with you and work out some way of giving you as much time as they can afford, or even work out some kind of reasonable payment plan. The catch is: you must be honest. Everyone has “one of those months”. Maybe, if you are a particularly good tenant, your landlord might allow late payment once or twice (maybe even three times) within the year.
But landlords have heard every excuse in the book. And they too have bills and a mortgage to pay.
Life Of A Letting Agent. Chapter Two..... Those little things we do for free!
There are those times when you simply have to take matters into your own hands to make your job just that little bit more pleasant. Those few things whereby really, they ought to have been dealt with by someone else, but because you find yourself with no other option and time is never on your side, you’ve just got to get them done!
I feel fully justified in adding to my own personal career and experience portfolio the following job roles, given that I have on way many more occasions than I care to remember had to utilise these particular skills during my role as a Letting Agent:
I’ve been an interior designer, a postman, a gardener, a handyman, a removals man, a plumber, a cleaner, a pet sitter and a refuse collector to name only a few…..
Now the vast majority of these ‘little jobs’ tend to come around the time of 3 particular stages: Just before a viewing appointment or in the preparing a property for advertising or after a tenant has vacated a property.
A few examples of my past and present experiences are.
· Excitedly turning up at a new instruction with the shiny camera ready to take some lovely marketing photos, only to find that I’m having to move the furniture around to take that best photograph. Shuffling sofas and chairs from one side of the room to another, moving tables and chairs and rearranging bedrooms becomes the norm.
· Strategically placing the owners best flowering plant in various different rooms throughout the property believing it will add an artistic touch to your photos in hope that it will encourage a prospective tenant to take the property, daft I know but we all do it.
· Sweeping up the pile of post that has arrived for various previous occupiers of the property, sorting into respective names, then distributing accordingly is an everyday occurrence.
· Desperately trying to find a cloth and some cleaning agent to attend to that mark left on a kitchen worksurface or on a piece of furniture. This has now turned into being prepared for every eventuality and carrying around with me in the car a basic cleaning kit at all times.
The role of a modern day letting agent is tough, really it is, keeping up to date with ever changing legislation, administration, dealing with contractors, managing tenancies, marketing strategies, social media engagement, getting stuck in traffic, changing diaries due to delayed appointments all of which is expected of me to perform on a daily basis, its those little extra jobs we do for free, that we don’t tell anyone about, that we hope keeps everyone smiling!
It’s a good job we love the job we do……