The UK’s private rented sector (PRS) is booming and as the number of tenants and landlords grows, there are plenty of opportunities for letting agents to take advantage of. However, the success of the PRS means it is becoming increasingly competitive as more firms seek to benefit from the rental market’s expansion. Thus, if individual letting agencies are to stand out in this crowded environment they need to ensure their staff develop the best skill sets possible. But how can this be achieved? Read on to find out.
An obvious way for agencies to improve the skill sets of their employees is to ensure they have as many of the latest qualifications as possible. The most recognised certifications in the letting industry are awarded by the National Federation of Property Professionals.
These start with the Level 2 Award and run up to the Level 4 Certificate, with each qualification covering more advanced aspects of the letting sector as they progress. Earning the Level 2 Award is the minimum requirement for any letting agent that wants to become a part of the Association of Residential Landlords (ARLA).
Joining an organisation such as ARLA is beneficial on a number of levels. Firstly it will enhance the image of an agency and demonstrates it operates to a clear set of standards – something landlords and tenants alike will appreciate in the current climate, where media stories about rogue unregistered operators are common place.
Being part of ARLA also provides opportunities for skill-set development, as the organisation offers a variety of training modules to its members. While earning qualifications such as these may require an expensive initial investment, the long-term rewards that come will increased skills and experience are priceless.
Another way in which letting agents can boost their skill sets is by becoming as involved with the sector as possible. Attending industry conferences and other events is a great way to learn from other people in the lettings field and share thoughts and ideas.
In addition to getting involved with others in the letting sector, it cannot hurt for agents to try and learn from tenants and landlords too. The latter have their own organisations such as the National Landlords Association and Residential Landlords Association.
Attending events held by these groups could help agents to understand landlords’ priorities and how this affects their own work. Learning from tenants is harder as they have no formalised organisations, but it would not hurt agents’ development if they make an effort to understand the wants and needs of renters and use this information to improve the service they offer.
Focus on what matters
If letting agents are to develop their skill sets fully, they need to be free to concentrate on the important aspects of their position such as building relationships with landlords and tenants and drumming up new businesses. However, in many agencies the amount of time that can be spent on tasks such as this is limited due to a heavy administrative burden.
This is an issue that hold firms back if not addressed and investing in specialised letting agent software that is designed with the needs of a modern agency in mind is a good way to overcome this obstacle. Such programmes simplify the day-to-day running of a business and leave agents free to concentrate on developing their skills and taking advantage of the booming PRS.
Recommendation: Contact Rentman if you would like to know more about letting agent software.