Letting Agent Calls Me Up With A Shit Deal

Idiot on the line

On many occasions I’ve been unfortunate enough to be in the line-of-fire of the notoriously slippery tongue of an letting agent. Yesterday, I was bitterly reminded of how extortionate and how ridiculous some letting agents are. So, here I am again, sitting on my soap box, throwing my toys out of the pram, highlighting how backwards some things in life really are.

I received a phonecall yesterday from an unrecognised number, so I was half expecting it to be from some kind of shitbag in the form of a salesperson. Low and behold, it was a letting agent that had seen a “property available for rent” ad of mine on Gumtree.

Before he commenced with his scripted schpeel, he asked me whether I had found a tenant for the property. I told him I was still in the process of looking, but I had a few viewings lined up. At this point I thought it was a genuine enquiry, even though I was hoping it wasn’t because he had the distinct vocal tone of a common chav. He then furthered his introduction and explained he was a letting agent, and would help promote the property if I was struggling to find tenants *oh GREAT*

Obviously my next line was,

HOW MUCH GREEN DO YOU WANT FOR FINDING ME TENANTS, BRUV?

His response was,

We usually charge 10%, but I’ll do you a special rate of £400. We’ll advertise your property across different platforms like Rightmove and Primelocation. We’re based about 30mins from you, but in the past we have successfully found tenants in your area. We’ll just send you the leads and you can do all the viewings yourself so you can personally interrogate the tenants. We’ll sort out all the contracts for you.

I’ll think about it. Thanks for your time. Peace, homie.

errr…what? He wants £400 just to put my property on a few property portals? And once he receives enquiries, he’ll send them to me so I can take the viewings? I was left there thinking, so what exactly are YOU going to be doing besides from forwarding me enquiries (a task an infant chimp is more than capable of doing in return for a banana)?

I can market my rental property on websites like Rightmove for £30 and take the viewings myself. That’s a saving of £370. I have no idea what i’d save as a percentage, but it’s a boatload.

I refuse to pay £400 for an agent to sit on his fat ass and click a few buttons to forward a few details over to me. At least offer me a service for £400!!

I know times are tough right now in the property industry, but please…don’t go ripping people off to claw back some revenue.

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11 Comments- Join The Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Justin Burns 25th February, 2009 @ 06:40

Are you sure that letmatch will put your property on the main portals. I thought Rightmove & the others only allowed agents with shop fronts to advertise. letmatch's 'Free Advertising' links go to a spammy site that is currently for sale. I'm looking forward to you review but I don't expect much.

You would be better trying to strike an 'advertising only' deal with a local agent. Agents pay a monthly fee to put their properties on the portals so it won't cost them any more to add yours. If you don't want them to be involved in viewings or admin you should be able to strike a good deal with an independent.

I agree about the agent; it is irritating when they call you up from a private ad. Do you put 'No Agents' in your copy. If so I think you have the right to be as rude as you like.

1
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 25th February, 2009 @ 08:04

Hey Justin,

With in 24 hours I had my advert up on Rightmove. I will check the other portals later today.

I honestly didn't mind the agent calling me up, but £400 seemed way too expensive, since I would be doing all the work, and all they would be doing is online promo.

Kind regards

2
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 25th February, 2009 @ 08:07

Justin,

Just for future reference, this is the company which letmatch use:

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/estate-agents/agent/Visum-Ltd/Northampton-35298.html

It clearly says, "Webased Estate Agent", so I don't think you need a shop front..

Kind regards

3
Guest Avatar
Justin Burns 25th February, 2009 @ 08:16

I had this story in mind -
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/mortgages/article.html?in_article_id=407301&in_page_id=8 - i'm not sure what the up shot of it was but I wasn't aware that Rightmove had changed their policy.

4
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 25th February, 2009 @ 09:09

I'm impressed you managed to dig out such an old article hah. But yeah, I guess that article has been outdated, and web-based agents can use Rightmove.

5
Guest Avatar
Justin Burns 25th February, 2009 @ 09:29

The web based agent that referred Rightmove to the OFT are still not listed so it would appear that they were not successful.

I'm guessing Letmatch have slipped through the net.

6
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 25th February, 2009 @ 09:37

I just got an enquiry through via Letmatch :)

I'm assuming Rightmove can pick and choose who they want as clients; I'm guessing after being reported, they probably wouldn't want to do any business with them anyways.

But you could be right, they may have slipped through the net. But on their Rightmove profile, it clearly states they're a web-based agent =/

7
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 25th February, 2009 @ 09:42

Oh, I just remembered...

I wrote an article on letmatch before, How To Advertise Your Buy-To-Let On Rightmove.

If you look at the comments, the first commentor said she got a refund from letmatch because they had technical issues with Rightmove. Then Mark (I'm assuming Mark baldwin, guy who works for letmatch/visum) responded saying the issue had been resolved.

Not entirely sure what went on...but they may have had difficulties with Rightmove in the past.

8
Guest Avatar
Justin Burns 2nd March, 2009 @ 09:49

Here's a topical story that is related - http://www.estateagenttoday.co.uk/News/Story/?title=Axe%20the%20Agent%20property%20%27on%20Rightmove%27%20claim&storyid=1653&type=news_features

It sounds like this program could be right up your street! I look forward to your review.

9
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 2nd March, 2009 @ 13:12

Ahh that does look interesting :)

Have you watched an episode yet? It's a shame I'm at work at 10am, might have to record it on Sky+

10
Guest Avatar
Justin Burns 2nd March, 2009 @ 13:50

The first episode was this morning. I will try and catch it on the iplayer later - http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00j3fhc/Axe_the_Agent_Episode_1/

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