Why use YouTube for marketing your letting agency

Why use YouTube for Marketing

Answer – If YouTube were a country, we’d be the third largest in the world after China and India,” YouTube said in a blogpost announcing that it now has a billion unique visitors every month. “Nearly 1 out of every 2 people on the internet visits YouTube. 

Why use YoutTube for marketing

3 Benefits of using property video marketing 

Qualified tenants – As discussed in our previous blog on Strategy in marketing a rental property using video marketing will result in a higher qualification of viewing tenants. This means that the tenants that view your property tour and request a viewing actually like the property, location, price, interior and layout. This in turn will reduce showing unqualified tenants and wasting your time.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)– A great way for your letting agency to rank higher in search terms and to return possible results in video on a search. Currently, I am sure you are competing strongly for the term “letting agent in YOUR AREA” on a search engine. Why not type this into YouTube to see what your competition in your area is. For the more advanced on SEO you can use title tags, meta description and keywords to allow your potential customers find you easily. 

It promotes your letting agency

All letting agencies list on a wide variety of property portals and ‘To Let’ boards but the majority do not provide video marketing of properties. By offering this, it adds another string to your property marketing bow.

Don’t worry, it’s probably not going to cost you anything and you do not have to be a professional cameraman to make property video tours.

This is a really nice video outlining Video Marketing and how it is becoming the most powerful sales and marketing tool for small and large businesses.

In the next blog I will show how to make and publish a property video tour. If you use Property Video Marketing what results have you seen for your agency? We would love to hear.

So the next time you are asked the question “Why use YouTube for marketing” you know the answer.

You may now be interested to watch Creating your youtube channel

by Andreas Riha

How to market rental property

What is your strategy  in “How To Market rental property”?

Learning how to market rental property successfully is vital for letting agents and landlords. This skill is even more important than ever before, as the highest amount of tenants ever are looking for private rental property, and the internet is the most common place for them to look.

What strategy do you use to market rental property?

Most letting agents use a strategy to market rental property. I have outlined 3 strategies below that agents use to market to tenants. Each strategy attracts a lead quality.

Property listed with no photos or only an external photo


From my experience, this strategy is often used to market rental property that is not in great condition or below the listed value. Personally, I would feel that by doing this you could be wasting a lot of time in showing the property as people coming to view the property may not be interested in the property at all, but came to view of it because of its location. I think the main strategy behind this is playing “the number game” by getting enough tenants in to view it will eventually interest somebody.  The benefit here is the potential to attract a large volume of tenants, depending on price. The negative here is that time is money and you can end up doing multiple showings to a lot of tenants.

Tenant Qualification – The tenant is happy with the location and price.

Property listed with ample photos

This strategy is favoured by most agents who list the property with photos of every or nearly every room. The potential tenants who come to view are qualified* and whilst the volume of tenants may not be as high, they are interested in seeing more than just the interior photos. This is when you market rental property as it saves you a significant amount of time.

Tenant Qualification* –The tenant is happy with the location, price, property and interior.

Property listed with a walk through video


This is a very targeted strategy.  It brings SEO benefits to your letting agency brand if done correctly. This may take longer for you as a letting agent to advertise, but it really is a great way to list and market rental property. Any potential tenant who has viewed the marketing video and arranged a viewing are as qualified as they come.

Tenant Qualification –The tenant is happy with the location, price, property, interior and layout.

It does not require you to have professional recording equipment and in fact most smart phones now with a 5 mega pixel + camera providing excellent footage. They can be quickly uploaded directly from your smart phone to a YouTube or Vimeo account through their app. In our next blog we will look at creating your youtube channel.

You may also be interested in reading Why use youtube for marketing?

In a previous blog on Marketing to landlords in 5 steps I discussed how important it is to always market a property as professionally as possible. One of the reasons being is that it is a great way to market to landlords looking for an agent who has property in the same area as their own rental unit.

Here are a couple of links of different marketing strategies used by a estate and a letting agent:

Using humour in your marketing to attract viewers “Up tight Tribute to Honest Agent”

I am not sure if this letting agency  was having a bad day when they decided to market this rental property or if the letting agent is a PR genius. I am sure that if they are reading they will go with the latter after all they got mentioned in national press, social media and even on our blog ha ha!


I would love to hear your feedback on the strategy you find best and or perhaps a strategy that I have not mentioned.

by Andreas Riha

Questions to ask tenants my top 10

Interviewing questions to ask tenants

The property has been painted, advertised, shown and now you have a couple of different sets of tenants that have expressed interest in taking the property. So you think you have all the hard work done in finding a tenant for your property. Well that would be correct now you just have to make sure that the tenants you select are the right tenants.

Here is a list of 10 questions to allow you understand what your tenants are.

Questions to ask tenants

1.       Why are you moving?

It is a straight forward question which should give you the answers you need.  This is a great opening question to ask tenants. The type of answers will be varied but typically- because of my job, looking for more room, prefer this location, lease expired etc. The information you are asking here should match with the references.

First Time Renter -If a tenant has not rented in the past it will be your choice to proceed or not. Every tenant has to start somewhere and just because they have not rented before doesn’t mean they will be bad tenants. Make sure to confirm this later by asking for a current bank statement.

2.       When are you looking to move?

This is obviously important for you as the sooner you will have it rented the sooner you have revenue coming in on the property. Whilst it is always ideal for a tenant to say tomorrow or ASAP make sure you ask follow up questions. How come your looking to move so quickly? There could be a genuine reason behind this and depending on where your property is located the availability might be tight so they could be looking for some time. What you want to do here is see if the tenants story is all coming together on what they have said already.

3.       How many people is in the group?

Just because a set of two tenants come to view the property it doesn’t mean that they will be the only ones living there. You really need to ask this question and back it up by saying it is important for the insurance on the property and it states in the lease that only the named people on the lease can live there.  Tell tale signs of potentially extra tenants are 2 people expressing interest for a 3 bedroom property etc.

4.       What is the total income of the tenants?

This for some can be a difficult question to ask and some tenants might get bothered by you asking it. It is a very important question, just like you get asked about what your salary is before getting a loan. The tenant needs to confirm they have the ability to pay what the rent is every month.  Financial experts suggest that a maximum of 35% of your salary should go on rent. So if a set of tenants are on minimum wage they have a Gross salary of around £2,500 so there maximum rent should be £875 per month.  A copy of a bank statement should confirm all of this.

tenant questions

5.       Has the tenant got a months rent and deposit in advance.

I would highly recommend getting this from any possible tenant. If the tenant is unable to outlay this then I would ask questions on whether they are the right tenants for your property. If there are any doubts that the tenants are unable to hand this over on the move in date the likely hood is that this could be the same with the rent in the future.

6.       How long of a lease are they looking for?

I would suggest here that a 6 month AST lease is the preferred option.  If a tenant says anything to suggest that 6 months is to long of a lease period to commit to walk away.  Tenants can say things like “I want to run the lease in line with my work contract which I only have 3 months left of but I would be certain it will be renewed”. It seems reasonable but if it doesn’t you are going to go through this whole renting process again in 3 months.

7.       That the tenant is happy to rent as is

Having a tenant to move into a property and ask on the lease signing day for a new bed, sofa, wooden floors etc can get things off to a bad start.  This can especially be the case if you have kept the property vacant for a couple of weeks for the tenant. It is going to a financial burden for you to say no and look for a new set of tenants. The best thing to do is ask if the tenant is happy with everything and if not to let you know now. If a tenant finds out the washing machine is broke after a week that is fine but wanting a new one because it has not a large enough drum is a problem.


8.      Rental References

This is very important and although you might you a good ability to read peoples character I would highly recommend backing up the conversation to date with references.

Work reference– A letter to confirm the tenant is currently employed by the company and a name and contact number to confirm. Do not be too worried about full time permanent as a lot of companies do not offer this and prefer 11 month renewable contracts.

Landlord reference – Preferably with a land line to confirm the tenancy with the landlord.

This blog posting on rental references checking might also interest you

Utilities with previous address – This is a good way to confirm the previous address and is essential for a tenant stating it is the first time renting.

Bank Statement – This should confirm the tenant’s ability to pay as it would be best to set up a standing order for rent. It can be used as a utility also but preferably as a separate document.

I.D- Copy of valid Passport or Driving license as a preference

National Insurance number- To confirm the identity and also needed for the PRTB registration.

9.       Any Pets or Do you smoke

Might well seem like obvious questions to ask tenants but I would highly recommend asking them. I have personally seen many leases end due to the above. Some tenants may think its fine to have a pet dog or to smoke in the kitchen of the property. If this is out of bounds for your property make sure to ask.

10.   And lastly…Any questions

This simple question could unearth a reason that this property might not suit this tenant which they may not realise until they move in.

 After all of these questions hopefully you have a better understanding or your new potential tenants and which one suits your property best. If a potential set of tenants do not suit your property you need to walk away as having a tenant in which doesn’t suit can be very costly, stressful and time consuming. I hope this has been helpful for you. If you feel I have left something out in my questions to ask tenants please let me know

by Andreas Riha

Management of communication

Good communication between your Letting Agency, your Landlords and Tenants is a vital tool in keeping your customers happy and retaining them going forward. The office phone will usually start ringing from 9am until 5pm with numerous queries or information from tenants and landlords; where is this month’s rent? Can I have a breakdown of my accounts? There is a problem with my washing machine! The radiator in the main bedroom doesn’t work!

If you manage rental properties you will surely have heard some of these topics or issues arise from landlords and tenants. The problem today is there are too many ways of communicating issues or problems into your office and the information can get lost if you don’t set down some rules or guidelines. 

I list below some of the main communication channels used by landlords and tenants when contacting you or your office.

Management of Communication

via Telephone

The trusty telephone is still the number one way landlords and tenants will communicate with letting agents and property managers. If you use this as your main point of contact for your customers, expect to get a deluge of messages come Monday morning on rent and property management issues. Depending on the size of your rental management portfolio you may need to hire a receptionist to take care of the queries coming in.


via Email

This is a very popular and a preferred way for some agencies to communicate with customers, especially with landlords who may be in a different time zone. With access to Smartphones, it is easier than ever to communicate with tenants and landlords and you can sync your work email up to your Smartphone easily. The downside is, you may never be off work with emails popping up frequently, and the communications never stop.  The main danger here is that if you get an email in the night time, come the start of the next working day, you may have forgotten to act upon it.

via Text

Text message is another way of communication management used and sometimes preferred by your customers. It is usually used in non-urgent situations by tenants looking to rent a property or to alert property managers to issues within the property. Tenants along with potential tenants who have poor oral English will send a text as they tend to be better at writing than speaking over the phone.

via Office

You will still get some landlords and tenants who will call into your office to speak to you as they prefer a more personal approach to all of this (old/new) technology stuff.  The good reason for having a nice office is to be able to welcome your landlords and tenants in for a chat. If unavailable, the best approach here would be to log the issues in a diary or leave a message with the designated property manager who will deal with the query if you are not there.

via Social media

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter could be used to communicate with your customers but should probably only be used to promote your brand or notify of an emergency or announcement. This is open for debate and some Letting Agencies may prefer to communicate with people via social media as they can be seen to be proactive at dealing with things.  

via distributed messages from different communication channels

Imagine a property manager using his diary to write down a call from a landlord, communicating with a tenant via text or emailing a landlord their invoices. If your agency uses all of the above to communicate with landlords on rent and property management issues it is vital you use a good tool for the management of communication. A good CRM or online diary with a task manager is a vital tool in your armoury because your information could get lost if it is not noted down or logged.

What form of management of communication do you use in your letting agency? We would love to hear and share with other letting agents and property managers what works best for them. Let us know!

by Colin Napper

Finding landlords – Expand your letting agency portfolio in 5 steps

Finding landlords

Finding new landlords is the biggest challenge for letting agents and property managers. For most letting agencies and rental managers, finding tenants in today’s rental market is easier than finding landlords. So how can you increase your marketability as a letting agency to new landlords? Well there are a number of housekeeping procedures that some letting agents fall behind on which we will discuss below. These can improve marketability to new landlords and help in finding landlords to expand an agency’s portfolio.


1. Advertised properties on portals

A lot of landlords today look through property portals to try and estimate what their property will achieve on the market prior to it being available. They will look at properties in the area, pictures, descriptions etc. So it is very important that your listed properties are looking their best.  Have a detailed property description, mind your typos, make sure your pictures are professional and not taken from a low mega pixel digital camera.  I would also strongly advise against night time photos. Even if the market is busy and you know that if it was listed without pictures you would still get a dozen showings in 48 hours ensure every listing is as professional as possible.  

2. Profile Page about your letting agency

Once again landlords are busy looking through portals and having a profile with 2 lines of text is just lazy. I am not saying list a page full of text but put some thought into what your services are and what makes your rental agency stand out against the busy crowd. If there is possible to upload thumbnails of the staff, do it. This is a service business and that means it’s a people business so let landlords know who you are.

3. About us

This is similar to the above and is also relevant to your website. There are a lot of property websites that I visit and I can’t find out any information on the staff in the agency. Have they experience? Who are they? Have they been working in the industry long? This is all information that potential landlords really love to know.  So why not really sell yourself here?

4. Services

We provide a full letting and property management service. This sometimes is as much information that is on a letting agencies profile or website and it’s not going to get you a large volume of inbound inquiries.  List your services and if there is something that makes you stand out list it. Do you provide Digital Inventories on all your let properties? Do you offer a landlord free online account login on all managed properties? Free energy certs on all rentals? If there is something you can offer or currently offer that makes you stand out let potential landlords know about it.

5. Testimonials

In the information age that we live in there is nothing more appealing than customer testimonials in finding landlords. Now a written testimonial by Jack Smith is good but landlords may think is it genuine? A picture of Jack Smith beside his testimonial is more powerful. You can take this to the next level and include a small video clip of Jack Smith giving a testimonial. One of my favourite types of testimonials I am seeing now is Jack Smith leaving a testimonial on a Facebook page. Extract this and post it on your website and link it to your Facebook page. This way your new landlords can see its genuine and also might Like your Facebook page.


Following this list can only increase your brand and image as a  excellent and trustworthy letting agent or property manager. I would love for you to tell me what number 6, 7 or even 8 could be on this list so why not comment and let me know? Finding landlords is not easy but I hope this list will allow you find more. 

As always, please feel free to share and ask any questions you may have.

Letting agents software  

by Andreas Riha

How to collect rent

Collect rent

One of the fundamental tasks a letting agent or property manager will undertake when managing a rental portfolio is to effectively manage the rent collection. There is a whole ecosystem working here and if you have a good Rental Management Software system in place, it saves you a lot of time and effort. It also helps if you have managed to secure good quality referenced tenants for your properties, then you can reduce the possibility of the extra work load.

The reality for some letting agencies is that managing the rental payments from tenants is quite a stressful (Full time) job.  If all goes to plan and tenants pay on time via standing order or direct debit then the rent paying eco system flows perfectly. Tenant paying on time means the letting agency receives fees on time and the Landlord / Mortgage is paid on time. Usually what happens here is your landlord has a very good experience dealing with your letting agency and you retain the landlord as a customer.


When managing rental properties it is important letting agents and property manager’s setup efficient ways to collect the monthly or weekly rent.  Agents who use Property Management Software can reduce admin time. Below I have listed some of the most popular methods.

How to collect rent

Standing order:  The most cost effective way to manage rental payments is by setting up a standing order with your tenants for the rental payments. Make sure if you are managing multiple rental payments you include a reference code to identify the rent payment.


Direct debit: This is a great way to collect rent payments and gives letting agencies great control when administrating rental payments. Similar to a standing order but with better controls, please beware of any cost implications for your letting agency if tenants funds bounce. I recently came across a company who facilitate the collection of funds via direct debit called www.gocardless.com who charge up to £2 per transaction.

Collecting cash:  The oldest method used to collect rent. When managing rental payments, this is the one method I would not recommend you implement if you are managing a mid-size portfolio. There are too many issues with collecting rent via cash from tenants each month.  I hear from too many letting agencies who allow their office to be used as a bank for tenants to lodge cash. It is better to use another method to collect rent. Some of the issues which could arise include:

  • Losing or misplacing cash in office.
  • Leaving your office open to robbery.
  • Fraud issues with staff members administrating cash transactions.
  • Cost of bank charges for cash lodgements can be expensive.
  • Administration time managing cash lodgements.

Bank lodgement: Allowing your tenants lodge funds directly to your bank is another method used by some property managers for their rent management. Agents need to be aware of the bank charges levied for allowing tenants to lodge to your bank account when using this method to collect rent. You will also need to be aware of lodged rental payments which are not referenced and from previous experience managing a rental portfolio, I can tell you that this can be an administration nightmare.

Credit card: With increased access to debit and credit cards this could be a way to collect rent in the future but the costs are just too high at the moment and to get a merchant ID from a provider is sometimes difficult. Would you pay 2.9% or (£14.50) to collect rent of £500 from your tenants?

You may also be interested in this infographic on The Costs of taking Monthly Rental Payments .

Let us know what your experiences are in rent management, or if you have any questions, do get in touch!

by Colin Napper