Just Another Reminder Of Why I Stopped Using Letting Agents

Stop Using Letting Agents

I’m not going to put my entire neck under the guillotine and make the bold claim that all letting agents are snake-oil, prissy little maggot fuck-faces.

But I will say there’s no shortage of them that are, and I just undoubtedly encountered one of the slimy boogers.

Regrettably, it’s not the first, second or fifth time I’ve been on the received ending of piss-poor service from a letting agent, so unless someone is pressing a shotgun against my skull, it sure as hell will be the last. I hope!

I’m officially done with high-street letting agents.

So, another tenant bites the dust.

An amicable departure, of course. They managed to save enough to get their feet on the property ladder [after begrudgingly splashing out on rent for years, presumably]. Good for them!

For boring reasons I won’t get into, my tenants’ had to vacate the property rather sharply, sooner than expected actually. So that meant I was left in the soul-destroying position of having to find replacement tenants that aren’t blissfully dim quicker than normal. Easier said than done even with ample time.

Anyways, no point crying over spilt milk, so game on.

I knew I was going to use an online letting agent to market my property to generate enquiries, like I have done successfully for the past few years. But in a moment of utter madness, I decided to get in touch with a local agent to see if they also wanted to chip in and help with the task at hand.

Time was of the essence after all. I figured the extra pair of hands would make the marketing campaign more potent and help find new tenants as quickly as possible. It all made sense in my confused and woefully naïve little mind at the time.

I provided the agency full disclosure before they unleashed their hounds. I told them I’m not solely relying on them to fill the vacancy, and that I’ll also be using an online letting agent so I would completely understand if they didn’t want to waste their resources on this opportunity. Bear in mind, they won’t get paid their £500 finders fee if I beat them to it (i.e. if I find a suitable applicant via the leads generated from the online agent).

They understood the situation and they accepted the challenge.

Great, may the best asshole win.

Only not great, but instead, typical letting agent bullshit you wouldn’t be surprised by at all.

A few days after we agreed to the terms, I receive a phone call from the letting agency:

Hey Landlord,

It’s Agent-A. We’ve found a tenant for you. She’s willing to pay £XXX per month and her references look good. That’s £25 below the asking price. Shall we go ahead with it?

Hey,

Thanks for letting me know.

I have a few viewings scheduled for tonight and tomorrow, so can you please not confirm anything just yet, please? I’ll let you know tomorrow after my other viewings. Obviously I’ll go with the proposition which is best suited to me. I’m sure you understand.

Yup, totally understand. That’s cool.

The next morning

Hey landlord,

It’s Agent-B, you spoke to my colleague Agent-A yesterday.

That tenant Agent-A told you about is still interested. We’ve already taken her sign up fee, and she’s coming down later to sign all the contracts and pay her deposit and first month’s rent.

Errr… wait, what?

I’m terribly confused.

I told Agent-A not to arrange or confirm anything just yet, because I had other viewings arranged.

I made it clear I’m going to go with the deal which suits me best by the end of the day. So why have you escalated the situation so far? Has there been miscommunication?

I don’t understand your problem. We have found you a tenant, she is ready to pay. She’s coming down all the way from [insert location 1 hour away], and I don’t want to waste her time. What am I meant to tell her?

My problem is that you did exactly what I asked you not to do.

I made it clear that I was taking viewings and I told Agent-A to wait until I get all the viewings out of the way.

So why have you told the woman to come down to pay like it’s a done deal?

Just give me a call at the end of the day and let me know your decision.

Oh, I was irritated, but more so bewildered by what had occurred.

What dicked me off the most was that they clearly gave some poor woman false hope. Marginally less annoying was the tone of Agent-B’s voice when I broke the news to him that he had royally fucked up by doing exactly what I asked them not to. He then had the cahoonas to get shirty and imply I was the one being unreasonable.

Morons.

I’m pretty sure they just tried to bum-rush me with a deal so they could earn their commission.

Yeah, ain’t happening. Not on my watch! After that stunt I wouldn’t dream of using their services under any circumstances.

So yeah, just another reminder of why I stopped using high-street letting agents and prefer online agents.

What’s your story?

6 Join the Conversation...

Guest Avatar
Jools 3rd April, 2009 @ 15:20

The rules of business that everyone should know.

Rule 1: The customer is ALWAYS right.

Rule 2: When customer is wrong refer to rule 1

Some people plainly deserve a good shagging with a pineapple in an attempt to modify their attitude to business - however I think that using a perfectly good pineapple on a shyster letting agent would be unfair on the pineapple!

1
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 3rd April, 2009 @ 15:44

Hey Jools,

The thing is, I agree, customers should be treated as if they're always right. But in reality, a lot of the times customers aren't in the right. And I can accept that. However, in this case, I don't think I was in the wrong at all.

What frustrated me was that I was completely open with them, it's not like I suddenly delayed the transaction. I told them not to commit.

I guess as soon as they as sensed that they may not earn any money it upset them, hence the aggression. Booooo!!

2
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Jools 4th April, 2009 @ 15:37

The problem is that in the current climate they are desperate for the commision and will do anything to get it. Unfortunately it does not always mean they listen to their customers and assume that they will always get the business.

I've noticed that a lot of estate agents are now advertising for Landlords to market their propertiues with them because they are not selling. Unfortunately, this means that a lot of people are going to get shafted by companies with no experience of lettings trying to make a fast buck to compensate for their lack of ability to sell anything, and I mean lack of ability to sell. Many agents, be they lettings or estate, have lived off the fact that the market was booming for many years and have lost the ability to actually sell their services as opposed to just move properties. I just hope that with all these 'amateur landlords' and 'chancer' agents getting in on the game it does not give the professional landlord a bad name. It just seems that I am being legislated to hell and back whilst people who can't sell are renting without thought for their responsibilities as landlords, and sod all seems to be done about it.

3
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Dr Nogood 7th April, 2009 @ 23:01

Give the professional landlord a bad name?

If estate agents are at the bottom of the human chain, residential landlords are the zinc coating on that chain (sustaining their like and also occupying the same position in society!).

4
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Dr Nogood 7th April, 2009 @ 23:05

Bah, after reading the article, I feel bad about post 4. I should have read that before getting irked by Jool's post.

Classic situation mind...I am sure they will still steal the poor girl's deposit. Arseholes.

5
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Meme 2nd October, 2015 @ 22:59

I've just had a disappointing conversation with my estate agent regarding a potential tenant. I clearly stated I wanted a guarantor and she didn't bother. She said "but they are such nice people I thought when you met them and seen how nice they are, that it wouldn't matter. We don't usually ask for a guarantor."
Well excuse me, but for my peace of mind I prefer to have the added reassurance and as I am paying an agent for a service that meets my needs then I expect 'my agent' to do as I ask.

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