Letting agents are facing the proposed bill to ban letting agent fees. According to Landlord News UK, the impact of the proposed bill could potentially affect as much as 10-25% of a letting agent’s income. If you are a letting agent then I’m pretty sure you are not happy about this. However, there are several ways to tackle it…and broadband is one of them. Yes, you read it right the first time, broadband. Let me explain how.
Getting more customers
The majority of blogs advise that getting more customers is the answer. Of course, more clients means that your fixed costs are spread across a bigger portfolio of properties. So by diluting your cost you could increase the fees to landlords and cover up your losses. Yes I know what you are thinking – if I could get more clients, of course, I would do, this is not news – you are right. However, what you may not know is how broadband can help you do this. One of the main things that landlords look for in their letting agents is their success at securing tenants for a property with a strong yield. Including broadband in your rental packages can help market your properties. This, in turn, will increase viewings and the chances of converting those viewings as well as reducing void periods. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Here are some stats for you. According to Residential Landlord, 55% of students expect Wi-Fi and 35% would go as far as refusing to rent a property if it does not include broadband. Home Lets say that 96% of young professionals think that not having Wi-Fi is frustrating.
For serviced accommodation ASAP – business travellers consider Wi-Fi as the main priority when looking for a serviced apartment. A survey in 2014 found that for holidaymakers, it is the second most important thing they cared about.
Therefore including Wi-Fi will definitely help increase your rental success which will attract more landlords looking to rent their portfolio.
Spire landlords solutions recommend including separate services that you can charge for to increase your revenue. Some lettings agents provide managed services to their landlords whereby they manage all tenant issues, service and repairs. If the letting agent fees ban comes into place, more letting agents will probably have to offer this type of service.
Managing services and tenant issues takes time. Multifamily insiders state that 1 of the 10 most common complaints made by tenants is “slow internet”. So you will probably have to deal with plenty of calls about poor internet service, especially if you are dealing with HMOs that have young tenants living in them; one of the highest demand demographics.
Reducing administrative cost
Yes, I know what you’re thinking…these are all the reasons why not to include broadband! However, this may be because you are looking at broadband as a commodity and the cheaper you can get it, the better. A high-street Internet Service Provider (ISP) will offer you a cheap deal because they sell one size fits all without considering the specific characteristic of a property. So it may work in a small property with low usage but it’s more than likely going to give you pain on bigger properties and where you have higher demand users.
And tending to it can take a long time as you may well know if you have ever had to deal with a high-street ISP. When you use this type of service, you are not valuing your time. There is a cost for the time that your team members spend talking to the ISP and there is also the opportunity cost of the things your team members could be doing instead, like looking for new customers.
How we can help
However, if you have a managed broadband & Wi-Fi solution – you won’t deal with any of the hassle and headache. This will all be dealt with by the service provider leaving your team members free to do more important tasks. Besides, with a specialist solution, there will be fewer faults as the setup is bespoke for every property you manage. Also, the end-users will speak directly with the company and any issues they may have will probably be solved faster. This will make the tenants much happier which could mean longer tenancies.
Increasing revenue streams
Another way broadband helps is that it can provide you with a new revenue stream. Landlord Broadband provides a partnership program for letting agents. The way it works is by providing a commission to letting agents for every property they refer that adopts a Landlord Broadband connection.
So if you are worried about the impact that the letting agent fees ban may have on your income, including broadband and Wi-Fi may help towards beating it. To find out more click here or ask for a free assessment.