How to find landlords for your letting agency

How to find landlords for your letting agency

“How to find Landlords?” is perhaps the most frequently asked question for all Letting Agents. It is such an important question because new Landlords/property listings are vital to the Letting Agent surviving in today’s competitive market as well as ensuring the business grows.

how to find landlords

The answer to this question is not just one simple solution; there are many tools which the Letting Agent can use to find new landlords.  Some of these tools have been around for many years and very popular while other tools such as SEO marketing, while in existence for some time have not been embraced by the masses yet within the lettings industry.  Today’s Letting Agent needs to embrace all of the tools at his/her disposal; otherwise opportunities for new business are unnecessarily missed.  Give yourself the best chance – don’t limit yourself or your business by not using the following tools:

How to find landlords using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

With the explosion of Smartphone use and better broadband connection speed over the last couple of years, we are increasingly connected to the internet. With Google being the no 1 search engine to find local based letting agents you need to be found under the keywords your landlords are typing. When thinking about how to find landlords, you must think about how landlords find you in searches.

For instance, if you were based in Manchester and looking to be found under ‘Letting agents Manchester’ you would need do some search engine optimisation on your website for this term in order to direct traffic to your site. This is a very competitive term with 720 searches per month for “Letting agents Manchester”. To put things in perspective for your business; if just 10 of these landlords found your website and only 5 of these 10 landlords signed up for your management fee this could result in over £6000+ in revenue per annum from fees. Optimising is worth the effort.

Adding your business to Google Places for business will help your search engine ranking too! To find out how, click here.

how to find landlords for your agency seo

How to find landlords using pay per click advertising on Google

Google adwords allows you to advertise your Letting/ Estate Agency directly to landlords who are looking for Letting Agents using specific search terms. The reason Google is so successful for business is because the user who is typing is usually very close to the point of sale. When a landlord types in a long tail keyword term they are usually really specific about what they are looking for. An example of a long tail keyword is ‘letting agents Birmingham’.

When you are setting up your pay per click Google campaign you should research the keywords you would like to be found under. Google will request you join Google adwords which is free but you may need to sync a credit card with the account. You can then use the google keyword tool planner to see which keywords are being currently used in searches and you can then tailor your campaign around these keywords.

how to find landlords using seo
What Google keyword planner looks like

How to find landlords using Referrals

Receiving a referral from your existing landlords should be an easy process if you have proven your excellent Letting or Management Service to your Landlord. Build on this good working relationship with your landlord by picking up the phone or emailing and checking in with your landlords – don’t be afraid to ask if there are other landlords they may know who would be interested in the same service. Most landlords will know at least one landlord or friend who has a rental property; if you can secure their contact number and reference back the landlord, that’s brilliant.

Offer a deduction on future Lettings or Property Management for landlords who refer you on to other landlords, this is a great way to keep existing business with your current landlords and leverage them for a referral to your existing database. Make sure any deal is in writing and last for a specified period i.e. 1% reductions on management fees for a 12 month term.

How to find landlords using Local Free Newspapers

Local Free Newspapers have a wide readership and are a great way to reach Landlords in your chosen area. These have proven successful for local letting agents for many years but their impact may be on the wane. The Letting Agent can advertise in these papers by

  • Firstly paying for a banner advertisement.
  • Secondly the Letting Agent can list the current property listings in the newspaper, although uploading your property to property portals may have replaced this revenue stream for the local newspapers.
  • Finally the Letting Agent could negotiate with the local paper to do an editorial/advertising feature on the Letting Agency itself.

Letting agency software

An editorial gives you the opportunity to showcase the services on offer and also presents the Letting Agency staff to the Landlord, which is the first step in building a relationship with potential Landlords.

How to find landlords using leaflet drop in recent or newly built development

Leaflet drops in new or recent developments can be effective in sourcing new Landlords.  With new developments come new Landlords and opportunities for new business. The letting potential for new developments is normally quite good as the properties are usually high spec and will rent quickly to quality tenants. However the cost associated with the leaflet drop should be measured against the return on investment. The leaflet itself be attractive and stimulate interest in the reader. It should contain at least the following:

  • the company logo & contact details
  • a picture of the staff or letting agent
  • outline of services offered
  • Landlord testimonials
  • Motivation to take immediate action by highlighting limited special offers

How to find landlords using Property Exhibitions and Work Abroad Exhibitions

Property exhibitions are really relevant to Letting Agents when trying to find new Landlords as the majority of the attendees are property investors keeping up with latest legislation or networking with other property professionals. There are a couple of these show held around the UK each year and would definitely be worth visiting or exhibiting if held close to your market.

Work Abroad Exhibitions although not directly related to the property rental industry are also a good place to engage with potential landlords.  With the economic downturn and migration more popular than ever, a portion of the people emigrating are property owners and will have to rent out their UK property whilst they are abroad.  These new landlords will not only need a letting service but also a management service.  This is another great opportunity for you, the Letting Agent to secure new letting and management clients.

Rental Property Inventory – Compile inspection reports & save hours of time

Why is it important to carry out Rental Property Inventories?

When managing a rental property, it is imperative to conduct a full condition property inventory report on the property rather than just writing down the items in the property. Previously, letting agents would conduct inventory reports at the property with a note pad; writing down each item in the room, itemising each item and taking photographs of the condition of the property.

property inventory

Modern technology has allowed letting agents, landlords and inventory clerks to do things quicker and more efficiently, helping reduce time, costs and potential disputes.

Most letting agents’ letting & management services will include a check-in rental property inventory report and optional check-out property inventory report (depending on the service which the Landlord opts for – an interim inspection may be required).

3 common solutions used by Letting agents and landlords when conducting the rental property inventory reports:

1. The mighty pen and paper and photo taking

Before the digital age and probably still common now, is the use of pen and paper and a trusted camera. Some letting agents will still use this method to conduct their property inventories, mainly because they are not aware of a better way of conducting a property inventory report or because they are stuck in their ways.

The agent or landlord will go through each room and inventory of items, writing down the quantity and condition of the item while taking some photographs. Armed with all this data it is back to the office to compile the report which is something a letting agent won’t be looking forward to. Out comes Microsoft word to start re-writing the property inventory report for the second time, resizing images and compiling the property inventory report.

Time is money and re-writing property inventory reports takes too long. The fact is, the pen and paper method takes too much time and taking a photograph with a camera, resizing the images and creating your own report will take even more time – up to three hours in some cases. I am sure there is better ways to utilise your time if you are a letting agent or landlord!

  • 90 minutes compiling the report with pen, paper and camera
  • 90 minutes preparing the final property inventory report when you return to the office

2. Hiring a professional Inventory Clerk or Company to compile the rental inventory report

Inventory clerks are professional companies or individuals who conduct an independent inventory report on a rental property. Some of these companies are members of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks and adhere to the member’s Code of Practice. The clerk will conduct a thorough check of the property items and condition producing a detailed report of the exact condition of each item, rooms and outside spaces.

Inventory Clerk – How much does it cost?

Like most industries, you can find a more cost effective service provider and the inventory clerk or company is no different. A quick search on for a property inventory clerk will yield hundreds of results for different services and associations. With prices starting from £50 for check in’s and up to £150.00 for check outs (depending on the size of the property).

Fee price from

 Inventory & Check In



One Bedroom



Two Bedrooms



Three Bedrooms



Four Bedrooms



Five Bedrooms




Check Out



One Bedroom



Two Bedrooms



Three Bedrooms



Four Bedrooms



Five Bedrooms




3. Digital Inventory software 

Using rental inventory software from your Smartphone or Tablet

With the emergence of the Smartphone and tablet there is a new way for Letting Agents and Landlords to conduct their Rental Property Inventory Reports. With most people now owning a Smartphone anyone with access to a credit card and the right lettings knowledge and experience can produce an inventory report.

A quick search on the app store will bring up 7 results for ‘inventory rental’. Our own easy to use Inventory app ‘Rentview Inventory’ is available for download for free from the App store.

Once downloaded to your Smartphone or tablet, you quickly sync the  Rentview Inventory app to your Rentview account. Any data collected will be published to your online account for editing.

Users start collecting data by following the simple steps below:

  • Inputting the rental property address
  • Select a pre-defined template such as a one bed template
  • Select the rooms of the property + outside spaces
  • Take photos of the Floors, Ceilings, Walls, Windows, Furniture, Inventory
  • Use the voice notes to dictate the condition of the property. (notes transcribed 4hrs later)
  • Click ‘done’ and your report will be ready shortly fully branded to your agency

check out the video demonstration on the Rentview youtube channel

The most important benefit of using the Rentview Inventory app is the time saved conducting and generating the report with an average of two man hours shaved off the old process. The cost benefits versus employing an inventory clerk are plain to see below.

Admin time for a rental portfolio of 50 properties for a start-up letting agency

Porperty inventory Saving time

Comparison of your time and money

Inventory Method Time £
DIY Pen & paper 3 Hours 0
Outsourced Inventory clerk 0 50 to 150
DIY Digital inventory app 45 mins £5

Thankfully for both Landlords and Tenants as well as Industry Professionals, there is code of practice in place for all licensed estate agents who are responsible for ensuring any inventory inspection is carried (be it check-in, interim and final check-out). I have listed below a summary of the code relating to inspection inventory reports.  The provision in the code of practice protects both Landlord and Tenant and helps avoid any potential dispute in the future.

Code of practice for licensed estate agents from the NAEA

Drawing attention to the benefits of a properly prepared Property Inventory

2h: You must draw to a potential client’s attention the necessity and benefit of a properly prepared full Inventory/Schedule of Condition.

You must outline to the applicant any potential fee or charges

6f: Prior to an applicant’s offer being formally accepted, you must set out in written form any significant pre-conditions for the letting, including the circumstances in which the applicant may have any potential financial liability for fees, charges or penalties relevant to:

–          The processing of his/her application to rent the property

–          His/Her withdrawal, at any stage of their application for the tenancy or the clients rejection of it

–          The initial settling up of the tenancy including Inventory / Check in costs

–          Any ongoing or future liability for fees or charges payable to you for the applicant to extend, renew or terminate the proposed tenancy including Inventory Check-out costs

Make sure that you have a fully detailed and up to date property inventory report

8c: You should take care, upon appropriate instructions from the client, that – at the start of a tenancy – any Inventory/Schedule of Condition prepared for the client by you, or an appointed sub-contractor, is sufficiently detailed and up to date to allow it to be used as a fair measure at the end of the tenancy

You must give the tenants enough time to read and comment on the check-in report

8j: The tenant must be given sufficient time to read and comment upon the check-in report and inventory. The tenant should also be asked to sign a copy, which you should hold on file and the tenant must be given a copy to retain. You must make it clear to the tenant that their failure to sign and return the inventory can be taken as their agreement that it is accurate.

Property inventory check out report or end of tenancy reports

12b: The checkout should be done thoroughly and a sufficiently detailed report or summary prepared with specific reference back to the Inventory/Schedule of Condition prepared prior to the tenancy.

Click here to check out the full NAEA code of practice

How do you create your property inventories?

Television Licence

Your Television Licence – what do you have to pay?

A television licence is a certificate that states that you have paid the appropriate fee to the government and contributed to the cost of public service broadcasting in Ireland. Your television licence is issued for 1 year in general. If you have a Television you must have a TV Licence. A TV licence In the Republic of Ireland costs €160.


New Television Licence Regulation

However, what if you don’t watch television? Well a new regulation will mean that you have to pay a television license whether you watch it or not.  According to the Independent, “Nobody will be able to refuse to pay the new broadcasting charge on the basis they don’t have a TV as it will be legally binding on all homes regardless of what devices they own.”

The Government is hoping to have this regulation fully in place by January 1, 2015. The cost increase to €160 is to combat the current 18% evasion rate.  The increase in laptops, tablets and PCs is likely to be a cause of people “not watching” television, as they are no longer watching on a television set. However,the definition of a Television set is (Section 140 (1) of the Broadcasting Act 2009):

“television set” means any electronic apparatus capable of receiving and exhibiting television broadcasting services broadcast for general reception ( whether or not its use for that purpose is dependent on the use of anything else in conjunction with it ) and any software or assembly comprising such apparatus and other apparatus.

Despite the digital switchover in 2012, analogue televisions are still required to have a television licence too. All premises at which a TV is located require a TV Licence regardless of its use, therefore businesses need television licences too, even if they only use their television for training purposes.

Do you need a television licence for each television you have?

If the equipment capable of receiving a television signal (for example a television set or a laptop) is held in a household (an apartment, flat or a house), then one television licence will cover multiple pieces of equipment. If you have a television set in your  kitchen and another in your living room, one television licence covers both sets.

Tenants, Landlords  and Letting Agents should take note however that if the building in which the equipment is kept is sub-divided into flats or apartments or other separate living quarters, then a separate television licence must be held for each of these quarters. This means that an individual licence must be held for each separate flat, apartment or other dwelling.

Owners of holiday homes also need separate television licenses for each household.

Who should pay the television licence in rented accommodation?

This is something the landlord and tenant must work out between them. If you are a tenant living in rented accommodation with a television you must have a television licence. This applies irrespective of who owns the television (whether the television belongs to you or the landlord). The law states that anyone resident on a premises in possession of a television set must have a television licence. Most good residential lettings agreements will stipulate who is responsible for the TV licence

According to An Post:

You can buy a television licence in the following ways:

To renew your television licence at the post Office, you’ll need your current TV reference number, which is on the reminder notice sent from the TV Licence section. To avoid delays in Post Offices it is important to bring your reminder notice with you as the notice is scanned at the counter.

Some other things to note:

  • You should receive your TV Licence within 10 working days.
  • If you purchase a TV Licence through the call centre, it will be posted to your address 10 to 14 days after the licence was purchased.
  •  A new 17 digit TV reference number and PIN are generated each year and supplied with your TV Licence reminder notice.
  • First reminders are posted 2 weeks before your TV Licence expires.
  • If you are moving house, it is possible and highly advisable to have your television licence transferred to your new address. Simply bring your existing licence to your nearest Post Office, together with evidence of your new address (that is a household utility bill or a bank statement). Staff in your Post Office will then amend the details on your record and your licence will be updated and re-issued to you. This service is free.
  • If you are aged over 66, are receiving a social welfare pension and nobody in your household is employed or receiving Unemployment Benefit or Unemployment Assistance, you may be entitled to a free television licence.
  • If you believe you may be entitled to a free television licence, you should contact the Department of Social Protection  at LoCall 1890500000 to get an application form for the Households Benefits Package. Fill this in and return it to the Department, Free Schemes Section, Pension Services Office, Freepost, College Rd., Sligo. They will issue the free licence to you.
  • “An inspector is sent to premises if a licence is more than six weeks out of date, if a new record is added to the database which doesn’t have a current licence, and where there are unlicensed addresses.”” (
  • Be sure to print off a receipt of payment if you have paid your Television Licence fee online to show to the TV Licence inspector if you have an inspection prior to receiving your TV Licence in the post. You will also receive an email with a text version of the Transaction Summary (if you have supplied an email address).

People give many reasons for not paying their licence, but they won’t work. And the repercussions can be serious; over 272 people were jailed for not paying the charge in 2012. Some excuses are downright ridiculous

So don’t get caught out!

If you have a query you should contact your local TV Licence Records Office.

Further information can be found at An Post and Citizens Information.