What is branding or brand consolidation? Well it’s an important part of marketing your agency or business so that potential customers identify with and recognise you as a viable option when they need to use your service. Here are some key points to remember about branding your agency:

Logo and tagline

branding - logo
Superman made good use of his logo – make sure people think of you when they see your logo!

It is a good idea to have a solid logo and tagline or strapline, which will help to tie your brand together and tell the consumer what you do in a clear, concise manner. For example, in advertising, we use ‘Rentview- Letting Agency Software‘ because that’s who we are and what we do! Our logo is an open book because our product is all about transparency. It is definitely worth investing in a quality logo design that tells people something about your company values and what you do.


You may want to include your key mission statement or tagline within a logo… but try to keep it relevant.’Always Coca-Cola’ or ‘Share a Coke’ be a recognisable tagline for a brand, but what does it mean? They’re Coca-Cola, they’re established enough to do as they please, for your own business branding, you’re better off being specific. Your tagline needs to make sense, if you are including one. Clarity beats jargon, remember!

Beware though, taglines can sound cheesy to the modern consumer. but if you’re prepared for that and you are clever about your choice of words, they can work really well.


Trust matters

For the letting and property management industry, the core selling point of your business tends to come back to trust. Landlords need to know that you are a responsible agent and that you care about their business beyond their money.

If you can somehow leverage that into your branding, that will be very positive for your marketing in general. Every time some (including potential customers) sees your logo, they will (hopefully) think positively about it, or at least once you have brand consolidation across all advertising, media etc., they will recognise you.

Brand recognition

Brand  recognition is another important part of marketing and branding any business, including property. Think about how you can make your brand stand out, do you use the same colours consistently, for example? Particularly in any industry where a service is being provided; in this case lettings and property management, word of mouth or testimonials are the #1 factor that consumers take into account when spending. Therefore, if someone is looking for a particular service and they ask around about who is best to provide it, you want yours to be the brand people recall, recognise and even more, the one they recommend.

The one way to achieve recommendations is to provide good customer service and value to your clients. If you have high standards when running your agency, ask for customer feedback and listen to suggestions, this shouldn’t be a problem.

This is why branding your agency is so important – if you are recognised, you’ll have more authority. No matter if you are an independent agent or large franchise, having a recognisable brand name and logo is key for your marketing strategy to succeed.

Your Property blog – a guide to blogging for the property industry

Property blog


For the purposes of connecting with your customers, increasing consumer trust and brand awareness, and also in order to increase your search ranking on Google and other search engines, having a property blog is important to explain about your services and industry to your customers.


How SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) works in terms of property blogging

(or any kind of blogging, for that matter!)

Google takes a variety of factors and data into account when determining how to rank your website; having fresh, good quality content that is updated regularly is one of the most important elements of this.

Some people might be sceptical about writing a property blog, however it can have many benefits for your agency, including:

  • connecting with your customers
  • making your agency brand visible
  • sharing your knowledge
  • improving your writing skills
  • enabling you to update clients on what you’re working on
  • networking with others in the industry

All of this will help you to earn money!

If your stuck on ideas of what to write about in your blog take a look at this – 10 blog topics for your letting agency.

Some tips on writing property blogs

  • Keep it relevant and short: Ensure you’re writing about what your customers want to know. Note that reading on a screen isn’t as enjoyable as reading on paper, so avoid really long pieces. 1,000 words is a good length  to aim for; short pieces of 300 words or so would be perfectly acceptable (and achievable!)
  • Use bullet points: Bulleted lists are a good way to display the main points of your post.
  • Keep paragraphs short: due to having to scroll a lot when reading on a screen, paragraphs tend to be shorter so a whole thought can fit in a browser window.
  • Highlight important points: Online readers tend to skim through pieces, so use bold type for key points so that your readers can easily find the important parts.


Linking to other sites is also a feature of blogging. Blogs take advantage of the ability to link to other work, either to offer up references for example, if writing about letting agency news, there might be a relevant article on Letting Agent Today so you could embed the link either in anchor text such as ‘relevant article‘ or ‘for a relevant article, click here‘.

Alternatively, you can post the full URL (what what see in your task bar – for this post it should be but this is sometimes a bit overwhelming on the eye, to use the example above that would look like this:

see this relevant article;

So a little overwhelming, definitely, plus it’s generally considered a little outdated to post full URLs although it can be useful if send plain-text emails for example.

Here’s a quick video guide to hyperlinking in wordpress, the principle is basically the same for all hyperlinking and icon stays the same across platforms and Microsoft Word etc.

You can have internal links , which are links to previous blog posts and external links, which are links to an outside web page. Links can also be used to continue conversations started elsewhere, such as a link to a post on another blog which you are writing a response to.

Creating content

There are many blogs on the Internet, but only a small number of them are truly active. Luckily within the property industry this means you’ll have a better shot at doing well and getting your blogs read and shared – which will be beneficial for your business ultimately. There is a great payoff for a little work. Some blogs don’t survive because people are ‘too busy’ to keep them going, they run out of things to say, or even worse, they feel like they are talking into a void.

Tips to help you maintain your property blog :

  • Quality content writing – Most importantly you have to write quality content. Who will read your site if you’re writing poorly, or if it’s boring? No one! No one will publish your guest posts, and no one give you backlinks. You’ll be unmotivated to write, because it will feel as though no one is reading what you write, and because you won’t be happy with the quality of the work. This is a recipe for frustration. Remember, you have the knowledge simply from working in the industry, so develop your voice.
  • Get your blog out there – Let people know you have a blog. Put the URL on your business cards, add it to your email signatures, put it in your profile on social networking sites, include it when you post to forums, and so on.
  • Schedule for posting- When you begin writing your property blog, commit to posting regularly, be it once a week, or once every two weeks, and make some time in your schedule to do that. When you start out it’s okay to have a low posting rate — if you find you have enough time to post more, it will be a pleasant surprise for your readers (as opposed to the disappointment of readers used to seeing you post every day when you start posting every two weeks).
  • Brainstorm post ideas – Sit down with a notebook and write out 100  (or whatever you can — but set the bar high) topics you could write about. Even better, create 100 titles of forthcoming posts. You can even go another step and write quick outlines of how the post might look. When you are stuck for something to write about, pull out your notebook and write one from your list.
  • Stay ahead of schedule –  Build up a backlog of three or more posts by writing posts before they’re due to go out. This can be difficult if you’re stuck for time, however it will give you a cushion in case you find yourself stuck for a topic down the road, and you can also use the post scheduling feature included in other blogging platforms such as Blogger to set up posts for the future if you are going to take a break. In wordpress you simply select ‘schedule’ when you’re going to publish a post.
  • Link to other blogs – When other bloggers see you’ve linked to them, they’ll check you out — and may link back to return the favour. If they link to you, say thanks, courtesy goes a long way.
  • Network – Comment on other people’s blogs  and be active within the blogging community in your niché. People will see your comments and clock the link to find out more about you. Plus, you’ll make friends in your area of interest.
  • Write a guest post: Check your favourite property-related blogs and check if there is any information about contributing — if you can’t find anything, email the blogger and ask if you can write a guest post for them. This is where networking is important and commenting on blogs matters.

Remember blogging helps people to put a human face on your company and this is important, as trust is a key factor in whether or not someone will hire you to let or manage their property. You or your company will be researched on the Web, and if the searchers don’t find your site, they’ll find what others have said about you — or nothing at all. It’s much better to have autonomy and take control of your online footprint, and a property blog is an easy and cheap way to get started.

So what’s stopping you?

Let us know how you are managing and if you have questions, ask away!

Non-resident landlord scheme UK

The Non-resident landlord scheme in the UK

The Non-resident Landlord Scheme is something you’ll need to be aware of if you are dealing with non-resident landlord accounts in the UK.  There is great potential for letting agents to increase their portfolio with non-resident landlords, however a working knowledge of the legalities is needed. Below is a quick summary of some of the key points about this scheme.

What is the non-resident landlord scheme?

A simple definition:

According to Revenue and Customs in the UK, “The Non-resident Landlord (NRL) Scheme is a scheme for taxing the UK rental income of persons whose ‘usual place of abode’ is outside the UK” non-resident-landlord-scheme

A more detailed definition:

According to Revenue and Customs in the UK: “The Non-Resident Landlord’s (NRL) Scheme is a scheme for taxing the UK rental income of non-resident landlords. The scheme requires UK letting agents to deduct basic rate tax from any rent they collect for non-resident landlords. When working out the amount to tax, the letting agent can take off deductible expenses. Letting agents and/or tenants don’t have to deduct tax if HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) tells them not to. HMRC will tell an agent/tenant not to deduct tax if non-resident landlords have successfully applied for approval to receive rents with no tax deducted. But even though the rent may be paid with no tax deducted, it remains liable to UK tax. So non-resident landlords must include it in any tax return HMRC sends them.”

 Letting agent’s obligations regarding the non-resident landlord scheme

“Letting agents of a non-resident landlord must:

• deduct tax from the landlord’s UK rental income; and

• pay the tax to HMRC’s Accounts Office, Shipley.”

 Further details

Revenue and Customs provide a guide to the scheme. Guide notes can be found here. Key points from the guide are to:

  • Deduct tax at the basic rate (% for 2013) from the rent, after first taking off any deductible expenses.
  • Calculate the tax at the time you receive the rent, not when you pay it to the landlord.
  • Pay the tax to the Inland Revenue’s Accounts Office at Cumbernauld using a form NRLQ within 30 days of the end of the quarter it relates to. The quarters end on 30 June, 30 September, 31 December and 31 March.

Letting agents must include the following details on the return form:

• the total amount of tax due in respect of all their non-resident landlords for that quarter; or

• where there is no tax due in the quarter but the letting agent is due a repayment, the amount of the repayment claimed. Also “Letting agents who have to operate the NRL Scheme must register with HMRC PT International within 30 days of the date on which they are first required to operate the scheme.” non-resident-landlord-scheme-guide

Letting agents’ obligations

Letting agents who have to operate the Non-resident Landlords (NRL) Scheme must:

• register with PTI;

• account quarterly for any tax to HMRC Accounts Office, Shipley;

• complete an annual information return;

• where they are required to account for tax, provide their non-resident landlords with a certificate each year; and

• keep sufficient records to show that they have complied with the requirements of the Scheme.”

 Also of note

Applications by non-resident landlords for approval to receive rent with no tax deducted “Non-resident landlords who are eligible can apply at any time for approval to receive their UK rental income with no tax deducted. This includes applying before they have left the UK or before the letting has started.”


Conditions for applying to HMRC for approval to receive rental income with no tax deducted Non-resident landlords can apply to receive their rent with no tax deducted on the basis that either:

  • their UK tax affairs are up to date
  • they have not had any UK tax obligations before they applied
  • they do not expect to be liable to UK Income Tax for the year in which they apply
  • they are not liable to pay UK tax because they are sovereign immunes (these are generally foreign Heads of State, Governments or Government departments)

Useful links regarding the non-resident landlord scheme:

For landlords – FAQ

Important information on tax returns – relevant for those dealing with the non-resident landlord scheme.

30 Ideas for Marketing to landlords

Marketing to landlords

Marketing to landlords

Finding new landlord clients is one of the biggest challenges letting agents face in today’s rental market. With so many agencies competing for business marketing to landlords in the traditional sense is going to eat into any annual marketing budget rapidly. But don’t worry there is many ways to promote your services and find new landlords for your letting agency whilst not costing you any upfront marketing spend.

I am sure if I said to you today that if I would pass you on new landlords and list their properties with your letting agency  at 75% of your listed fees you would jump at the chance, right?

Well keep reading because here are 30 ideas for marketing to landlords that will surely land you new landlords and cost you nothing upfront. In fact, in over half of my suggestions on marketing to landlords will cost you nothing at all.

 30 Ideas for marketing to landlords

  1. Offer a referral scheme to current landlords to invite their family and friends and receive a discount. This way you retain your current landlord and it does not cost anything to win a new landlord. Word of mouth is powerful!
  2. Ask your tradespersons to recommend your services to landlords next time they are on site repairing a rental property. For every referral, give them a commission. It’s a great way to promote your letting agency.
  3. Place an advert on some free local websites in the property classifieds section. Landlords tend to look at how other units are priced here also.
  4. On completion of your services, ask a landlord  for a referral for a family member or friend who may be interested in your services. Always push to offer great customer service, and finding new landlord referrals will not be a problem.
  5. Contact end of tenancy cleaning companies offering a referral scheme where you both recommend each others’ services. Cleaning companies would also appreciate your business, and your services can complement one other.
  6. Attend a local networking event. There are always landlords and investors at such events and they are a great place to meet new clients.
  7. Join your chambers of commerce; networking is what the chambers of commerce is all about and by attending them, your name will circulate within the business community quickly.
  8. Place a business card and note on the notice board of an apartment complex where you have just let out a property explaining you require more in the complex. Landlords conducting showings are sure to pass by, and it’s a great way to promote your letting agency.
  9. Contact your local mortgage advisors informing them of your services along with working an affiliate scheme. Look for a buy to let specialist; you  are bothworking with the same type of customer.
  10. Place magnet branding stickers on your car whilst out meeting landlords and conducting showings. You would be amazed at how this can help push your brand… Be sure to be a polite road user however 😉
  11. Maildrop leaflets in an apartment complex the next time you let out a property enquiring more units with a special offer. This is a great, quick way to get units in a complex, as landlords will be emptying post boxes whilst conducting showings.  You can leaflet 100 units in 2 minutes.
  12. Call previous landlord clients on lease anniversaries offering your services. Just because the tenants stayed on for another 12 months and the landlord renewed the papers doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep in contact.
  13. Call in to properties which have been  sold recently and are getting renovation works offering your services. This means keeping on eye on your territory and simply dropping in when workers or a landlord is on-site.
  14. Attend local property investor meet ups. Simply search for these events and you would be surprised with the number going on in your area.
  15. Call landlords advertising properties to let in classifieds section of your local newspapers. Many landlords still use print media, they may not get as much attention as they could online and this is where you can step in.
  16. Email and or call landlords marketing properties to let on local websites. Landlords advertising on free listing sites may simply not be marketing to their audience correctly. Most tenants search property portals now for property.
  17. Go to the next distressed property auction in your area and hand out leaflets with a promotion at the front of the venue. These auctions are like bee hives for bees, landlords swarm to them so make your presence known.
  18. Place a notice on a local supermarket notice board looking for a property in an area you have just let one. You would be surprised the number of landlords which use these to let properties. Its also a great are to find new landlords contact details.
  19. Leave business cards at your local key cutting business where you get keys cut. A landlords is one of a key cutter’s best customers and so are you most likely.
  20. Join an affiliate scheme with a locksmith who changes locks from bad tenants. Many landlords get new locks fitted when tenants are exiting and this can be a great way of getting your name to them.
  21. Write a letting agency blog about the area where you wish to attract new business. Lots of people search their area on search engines and by blogging about an event or area, you are sure to rank high.
  22. Drop a card into a property which has a private to let sign at the front of the property. Landlords are most likely visiting the property daily so let them know about your service.
  23. Promote your services through local online community pages on Facebook. Many communities now have an online presence so why not drop by and say hi and mention your letting agency promotions.
  24. Promote your services to other businesses in your area via social media. Use a Hashtag on all your comments. It’s a great way for someone in your community to come across your services.promoting your letting agency
  25. Leave your business cards in a networking jar or on a board in your local bank. Most banks are now promoting local businesses and services; make sure your letting agency is promoted.
  26. Offer a free prize of one of your services for a local charity event. Whilst it may cost you time to provide, the promotion of your brand within the community will be well received. It’s also a great way for PR in local papers and online.
  27. Offer free advice to landlords online, through your office or local citizens advice centres. Many landlords who need help with tenants often research for advice and by offering it for free they are sure to use yourself if anyone when employing an agent’s services.
  28. Connect with an estate agent who only sells property offering either a referral scheme or commission structure. Lots of properties are sold by estate agents for the BTL market.
  29. Partner your services with a local appliance sales or repair company where you recommend each other’s services. Most landlords will outsource repairs and it’s another great way to pick up landlords.
  30. Leave business cards in your local DIY store. Landlords always have a couple of DIY jobs to complete between lets, so get your card beside the cash register.

So now you know how to increase your marketing to landlords with no marketing spend, i’ts time to start implementing your letting agency promotional plan. You may also be interested to read a blog posting on Finding landlords

Non-resident landlord – potential for letting agents in UK

Non-resident landlord in the UK

A property having a non-resident landlord is increasingly common, what this means for letting agents is that there is a potential untapped market out there.  If you think about it, there is far more profit to be made from a client who requires more than a let-only service.


What kind of services does a non-resident landlord require?

Most likely, they will need a full property management service, along with someone to find new tenants. They will need to feel that they can trust the letting agent with their property; remember, they can’t just check up on the property if they are abroad. Without a doubt, accountability and transparency are the key here. Lack of communication between letting agent and landlord may cause the landlord to change letting agent – they do not want any extra stress.

It’s just a matter of finding the landlords, or making it easier for them to find you. Attracting a landlord via the internet is therefore vital. That’s where a non-resident landlord will go if they are looking for someone to manage their property.

Is there really much potential with a non-resident landlord?

Short answer – yes!

It is estimated by UK Revenue and Customs that approximately 5 per cent of the 1,930,000 landlords who answered ‘yes’ to q4 of the SA100 tax return form in 2010-2011 since only 5 per cent reported a non-UK address. Question 4 is ‘Did you receive any income from UK property (including rents and other UK income from land you own or lease out)?’  This means that around 96,500 potential non-resident landlords could be looking for your business in the UK.

non-resident landlord

Google searches are another thing that must be taken into account. There are currently at least 3500 searches per month relating to property management and letting agents in the UK, made from outside of the UK.

For example:

There are 1,450 searches per month

made outside the UK

through Google and Google search partners (This would include YouTube, which is owned by Google now)

for these terms: letting agents london, property management london, letting agency london, letting agent london, rental agency london, property manager london, rental agent london

Now granted, some of these searches may be from future tenants looking for somewhere to live before moving to London, however a great deal could be from property owners. This is something we have no way of knowing yet but

This means that within the London area alone, there are potentially 1,450 non-resident landlords per month looking for a letting agent to let and/or manage their property.


Where are these searches coming from?

Well as you’d expect, there are strong numbers from countries where English is spoken and there are strong migration patterns to and from the UK.

Searches came from:

US 250

India 170

Canada 130

Australia 90

Ireland 80

New Zealand 70

South Africa 60

Where are they searching from?

Now to market to those landlords!