Since yesterday, I’ve been leading a “tenant-finding” campaign because a tenant of mine is due to vacant in the next few weeks. I’ve already placed an advert on Gumtree, Tepilo (for the first time), and I also plan on using an Online Letting Agent to get my property across all the major property portals like Rightmove and FindAProperty.
Now, the thing with Gumtree is that it’s a haven for the lowest form of letting agents. They watch properties on there like hawks, and prey on landlords like rotting corpse on the side of the road.
They contact private landlords advertising on Gumtree and try to convince them they can find tenants quicker than Gumtree. These agents aren’t always located close to the property, but then again, they don’t need to be! From my experience, they try and capture the landlords’ interest by offering the following incentives:
- They’ll arrange the tenancy agreement for you
- They’ll reference the prospective tenants
- They’ll get your property across a large network of websites e.g. Rightmove
The letting agents know they’re useful services Gumtree don’t offer, so they use it as a major part of their sales banter.
I was graced with one of these calls earlier today, from a letting agent that saw my advert on Gumtree. The guy seemed really excited, like he was offering me a deal of a life time. After he opened his sales pitch with, “We have plenty of tenants in our books looking for a property in your area of your description” (of course you have, cock-sucker), he enthusiastically described what he was going to do for me:
- We’ll find you tenants for £150
- “we’ll arrange all the contracts for you”. That’s exactly what he said. Of course, “all the contracts” actually meant “Tenancy Agreement”. But fuck it, “all the contracts” sounds so much better, doesn’t it?
- We’ll reference the tenants
- We’ll get your property on websites like Rightmove
- We’ll come to viewings with you
- If we don’t find you tenants, you don’t have to pay a penny
At the end of his little sales pitch, he seemed totally hyped, and eagerly said, “Now, how does that sound to you?”
I dully replied, “Sounds ok, but i’m not interested”. I think he was disappointed, because he wanted me to be as enthusiastic as he was. Perhaps he wanted me to get on my knees and deflate his balls and continually thank him for the rare and golden opportunity he was offering me.
I was actually being nice when I said “sounds ok”. I actually thought the deal was pretty shit because I knew exactly what he was going to do and how little it will cost him to do it, if I agreed. To the average novice landlord, what he was offering may have sounded like sweet apple pie. But to me, sounded more like diarrhea Soufflé.
All the agent would have done is stick my property on websites like Rightmove, receive the enquiries, and then forward them into me. A traditional highstreet letting agent would typically provide a much better and personal service.
While the agent wanted £150 for his services, I could do exactly what he was offering myself for £50, without breaking a sweat. That’s a massive saving, right?
How Landlords can do the letting agents job for a lot less money
A Tenancy Agreement can be downloaded from my site for £4.99. Simple. No point overcomplicating that shizzle.
Moreover, I’ve seen a lot of agents use junk tenancy agreements that aren’t always up-to-date.
I recently wrote an article on how to take advantage of a Free Tenant Credit Check Service For Landlords, no strings attached. Alternatively, I’ve also put together a List Of Tenant Credit Check Services For Landlords, which average at about £12.
Getting a property on Rightmove
This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. In fact, it’s not even remotely difficult. There are dozens of websites out there that will get your property on websites like Rightmove for a small fee. Here’s a list of websites that will market your property on the biggest property portals in the UK, not just Rightmove.
Prices vary from £30-£60, but it all really depends on the package.
This is the part that confused me. As part of the deal, the slimeball said he would go to viewings with me. Seriously, what fucking use is that to me? We’d look like a right pair of lemons if we took viewings together. Am I meant to stand there in a pair of tights and a cape and be his sidekick? Taking a viewing is a one man job, not a job for a homosexual couple.
It would have been different if he offered to take the viewings by himself because that would have been useful, especially for those who can’t be bothered to take viewings. But for us to both attend a viewing…Pointless, and kinda creepy.
No tenant, No fee
This may sound appealing on the surface, but it’s totally not, because it literally costs them PENNIES to acquire a landlords business from Gumtree and stick the properties on websites like Rightmove.
Letting agents already have fixed costs to cover the services they offer. For example, they already pay Rightmove £500 every month to list their entire stock on their website. It won’t cost them any more to put more properties on Rightmove. The only cost incurred from the acquistion of a landlord from Gumtree is small quanities of time and an insignificant phonebill, which isn’t even equivalent to a bean.
An agent may contact 50 landlords per day from Gumtree, and 10 of them may agree to the £150 deal. All the agent will do for that £150 is stick those 10 properties on websites like Rightmove and arrange viewings when the enquiries come in. A monkey can do that.
The agents that contact landlords via websites won’t typically offer a personal face-to-face service, it will be completely virtual, because the odds are the agency isn’t based anywhere near the property or landlord. But that’s ok, because they don’t need to be close in order to get a property onto Rightmove. It’s a savage ploy! It’s literally like paying someone £50 to contact your local paper to place an advert for £30. In reality, you can contact the local paper yourself and pay £30, saving yourself £20 labour.
Bottom line, all the agents want to do is get as many properties as possible in their books via Gumtree because the acquisition costs pennies, and they know they won’t have to provide a personal service. The letting agents have got nothing to lose, only plenty of money to make.
If you get approached by agents who have seen your property markted on a website like Gumtree, think about the value you’re actually getting before accepting anything.