The “New Normal” & Letting Agents

Covid-19 has added a great deal of additional complexity and stress to all our lives and finding a way through this can be daunting. The world has changed. Businesses need to adapt and change their services to continue to meet the needs of their clients in the “new normal.” As letting agents we are no different and we too have had to adapt for the sake of our landlords to enable us to properly look after their asset.

What did we do to adapt?

As a business, we have always embraced technology, so the move to working from home was achieved relatively smoothly. This ensured that we are able to function in ‘business as usual’ mode as we could access all our systems from the home working environment. This, not only gave our staff flexibility, but also ensured we remained open over lock down and maintained our service levels.

From the beginning of lock down, it also quickly became apparent to us that over the coming weeks and months communication with our landlords and tenants would be key. The result was we sent out weekly updates to both parties to keep them abreast of the ever-unfolding situation. This was vital to ensure the right parties got the right information and helped reduce the impact from the unprecedented challenges that Coronavirus and lock down presented.

We also understand that every situation is different and requires empathy and understanding. Throughout the pandemic we have worked tirelessly with both landlords and tenants to find ways of dealing with the myriad of issues that have been thrown up by the fallout from Coronavirus. These range from changes to the legal framework, dealing with tenants who have had difficulty in paying rent, void times and loss of income for our clients to ensuring properties have been maintained during lockdown.

As standard we now arrange video tours of properties that become available so anyone looking for rental properties no can “see” a property virtually. As soon as the market reopened, we immediately started carrying out physical viewings (in line with the guidance issued from Scottish Government) and have seen high demand for these. The focus was to re-let properties as quickly as possible so our landlords were able to generate income and we serviced the high demand post lock down from tenants looking for a place to live.

What Others Have Done

Alas not all letting agents have the systems we already had in place that meant they could continue to operate. We have heard stories from landlords who said they hadn’t heard from their managing agent at all, it was as if they had vanished during lock down. In a time of crisis communication is critical and without this their customers are left in the dark which only adds to individual’s confusion and stress.

Lack of communication is a common issue with many letting agents. Before Covid hit The Property Ombudsman, a government-approved organisation that protects homeowners, landlords and tenants, usually sees around 1,000 complaints a year from landlords about letting agents. Lack of communication always ranks as one of the highest issues. The Covid pandemic has exacerbated this issue.

We know that some agencies have not been able or have been unwilling to carryout physical viewings, and many still appear to be operating under lock down conditions.

Why Switch to Glenham?

As landlords ourselves we understand the worry and frustration this lack of communication must cause. We are extremely are proud of our track record and awards, as a team it is our mission to apply the traditional values of integrity, hard work and communication to build trusting and lasting relationships with our client landlords while at the same time embracing innovation to ensure we remain at the forefront of the lettings business.

We appreciate that we’re not perfect and don’t always get things right, but we will always seek to resolve things quickly.

We are very conscious of the fact we are being entrusted to look after someone’s valuable asset and don’t take this lightly. As a proactive property management company Glenham is focussed not only on responding to changing market conditions but also aims to take a long term view and actively explores ways to adapt and seek out solutions that might mitigate risk and improve performance and hence help maximise returns from our client’s assets.

So do you need to switch?

One of the main reasons for using an agent is to reduce the hassle factor and stress of managing residential property. On a basic level, if your letting agency isn’t easily contactable, or when you contact them, they don’t quickly know details about your property, this is a warning sign. Covid 19 is an unpreceded occurrence, but a good business can and should adapt to continually meet the needs of its customers.

A good agent should have an intimate knowledge of the local market and understand property is an asset class and seek to offer solutions to problems with a positive and friendly attitude. They should be proactive, and should care about their clients and their properties.

If your agent is meeting these needs then, in short, the answer is a no!

If, however, they are adding to an already stressful situation then the answer surely must be a resounding yes? And in the light of the current world situation no one should be putting up with this.

So how easy is it to change?

There is a perception that changing agent will be time-consuming, laborious, costly and stressful. But it doesn’t have to be!

If we said there was absolutely nothing for you to do, this would be untrue. We do need you to provide some background information before we can move you, but this is minimal.

To talk about getting the level of service you deserve, please contact Charlie to arrange a friendly and informal chat.

We are so confident that you will be happy with our service we are offering a 2 month “try before you buy” free trial for new clients.

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