Starting a Letting agency: Letting Agents and Under-used Marketing Tools

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Starting a Letting Agency – marketing tools

After the success of last month’s blog on internet marketing tips for estate and letting agents I thought it would be a great idea to try a little something different this week. A more subtle and extremely under-used form of marketing is the utilisation of your customers for word of mouth promotion, in this case it’s the tenants and landlords. Word of mouth marketing has been defined as ‘a face to face conversation between consumers about a product or service experience’. From my research into the area it can also be defined from the agency’s point of view as the ‘Intentional influencing of consumer to consumer communications by professional marketing techniques.‘ Okay, so we know exactly what the term means know from two perspectives, let’s discuss three ways in which to implement some word of mouth marketing techniques.

#1 Utilise what you have first 

Stop worrying about all the different ways to market your services to new landlords and tenants. Obviously the more traditional mediums are still of use but it is the dawn of a new era, so agencies need to start thinking outside of the box. In fact, launching new campaigns, which I will mention below, can have a double effect as you start to build relationships with your current clientele while developing the potential to spread your agency via positive peer to peer communication. Check out the video below from a previous blog on Rentview, where I touch on word of mouth potential with tenants at the end.

#2 Stop shouting, start listening 

I often see large banner ads placed along major property websites with prices listed for management fees to landlords. Nothing wrong with this obviously, for an integrated marketing communications plan you need to have 360 degree branding (hitting the target market with your message at as many points of contact as possible). However, what is the most trusted influence on a landlord in my opinion? I would say their fellow property owners and what they have to say about a service they have experienced.

#3 Rewards and relationships 

Your tenants are handing over a lot of money – hundreds and often thousands per month for the lovely property you have given them. Obviously that’s the deal in place, but in the long run you want them to continue their stay for many years to come. That means, in my opinion, that you need to stay in touch and build and maintain that relationship with your database. What about creating a monthly newsletter with some property tips from your agency team? What about a monthly competition where you invest 300e of current marketing spend into a nice gift like a smart phone to raffle via your social media pages? These are just a couple of quick ideas on how to relationship build for the future. 

That’s my top three tips, I hope they were of some help to any agents reading and please give us your feedback and thoughts by heading over to the Facebook or the Twitter pages. I leave you with some happy customers!

by Rentview

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Transforming agencies-the evolution of Rentview Software Part 1.

Hi guys and welcome to this short blog with a reminder of some of the great new services we are now offering agencies since our official launch in March of this year. Originally a platform designed to manage rental payments for agencies we have grown and adapted our services in accordance with the market and are customers. So I want to briefly mention three of my favorite new services today and link you to some more information so you can see what we have been doing.

#1 Agency Marketing and offering a White label service: One of the main areas of feedback we received from our customer in their early stages of use was the concerns about losing their branding and possible confusion of their clients when using the property management software. Watch the video here where Rentview co-founder Andreas Riha takes you through the new branding features. 

#2 Automatic Lease Generation: Another area in which our growing customer base expressed a need for was the automation of the lease for a tenancy. Rentview went straight to work on this new feature and it is now available across all pricing platforms. When you start a lease the software will automatically input the tenants details while allowing you to include any of your own special conditions. Allowing your tenant to view before signing saves you time – for more click here and you can see how it all works.

#3 Partial Payments: Lastlywe have the new ability to manage part payments of rents due. A big issue many of our clients faced was tenants not lodging the full amounts owed into their accounts. Rentview can now allow you to edit amounts received and generate the remainder as still owed on your statements page. For an example of how this all works you can head over to our vimeo account here

Thats it for today please click the ‘like’ to share onto your social networks and drop a comment with your feedback , thanks guys. Cormac 

Rentview Launches new Free service for Tenants

The team have been hard at work lately preparing for the launch of https://tenant.rentview.com/ a new free service to tenants. The new service was designed to help a tenant through the letting cycle by:

  1. Aiding them in securing a property and becoming more marketable. 
  2. Help with the moving in process and management of Utilities.
  3. Help them protect their deposit and the landlords assets through Inventories
  4. Act as a payment reference for future properties or loan requirements

All great services to offer to people currently renting property throughout Ireland and abroad.Take a look at the homepage below for a better idea of the service: 

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As mentioned in point one above the online service aids a tenant in securing the desired property of their choice. Once a tenant joins tenant.rentview.com they can start building their profile. This can include uploading a profile image and a short description of who you are and your requirement. You can also begin to upload some previous landlord references, a work or college reference , guarantors reference etc. All of this important information is now stored in one secure place and ready to be shared with the landlord or letting agent of a property you wish to rent. This saves you time and money in organising your references and also improves your chances of securing a property which may be in high demand. Here is a quick video describing how to get started with your account: 

I will be continuing this blog series over on the new tenant blog at http://rentviewtenantprofile.tumblr.com/ along with the student renting series. Look out for some more great content on this blog as we look to continue the online marketing series and up the humorous content too! Thanks for listening guys, follow me at @Rentview_ and the new @Rentview_Tenant profile and don’t forget to like us on Facebook here  and here.

by Rentview

Property inventory report

Following on from last week’s Video Blog (Rental property inventories and why agents should provide them) I now wanted to show you how easy and quick creating a Rentview inventory actually is. Here I go through how easy creating a property inventory report is.

Rentview inventory reports are a great way of creating a transparent renting experience for both clients (landlord & tenant) for a letting agency. By creating a property inventory report at the start of a lease, an agent can now improve the offering to the landlord and tenant. It will also reduce the possibility of disputes at the end of a lease term regarding the condition of a property. 

by Andreas Riha

Property News : The Friday Wrap Up

Welcome to the new Friday wrap where we we bring you the top stories in the property industry from around Ireland and the rest of the world.

Monday On Monday Ulster Bank settled a case with property developer and owner of the Harcourt building in Dublin David Agar, its speculated up to €30 Million in loans were written off as well as €1M legal fees paid. Monday also saw NAMA launch a new website for selling its properties throughout Ireland and the UK (See the Image below),Full story here. Wrapping up the top stories from Monday we have Tom McFeely the man responsible for the disaster story of priory hall this year being declared bankrupt in Ireland and not the solely the UK, read more here. 

Tuesday 31st June 2012 

  • Yahoo Homes  had a great post on Tuesday noting the top ways to make your home look bigger, Jeffrey Blum a designer from NY has some truly unique & interesting way of making your apartment look bigger & better
  • Tuesday also brought some welcome news on property disputes in the UK as Letting Agent Today reported that the Tenancy Deposit Scheme’s adjudication team are resolving most disputes in just 16 days! As Rentview co-founder said it best-take note PRTB!
  • The last nugget from Tuesday came from Conor Pope of the Irish Times as he reported the worry spreading throughout the renting community as banks look to collect rents directly from tenants.
  • Wednesday had a great start to the day as our team learned we had been nominated  in the category of ‘Most Insightful and Intriguing Internet Innovation’ at the Net Visionary Awards 2012 , voting s set to open in the near future so stay tuned and be sure to support Ireland’s leading provider of Letting Agent software
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  • Simon Carswell of Irish Times reported yesterday that 20% of Irish mortgages are set to default on their loan repayments with the trend looking to continue into the future according to credit rating agency Fitch.image

So did we miss anything? What do you think were the major headlines in property this week?

Please feel free to Tweet, Share, Like and everything else that makes us social 😉

Rental property inventories and why agents should provide them

A property inventory is a crucial tool in the property manager’s tool belt for all let and manage residential units. Its also a great way to create an additional revenue stream for your let-only clients.

Why a property manager should provide rental inventories from Rentview on Vimeo.

Historically, the inventories provided by the majority of agents were written reports, they were time-consuming to compile and really only protected against the theft of an item.

If a dispute arose at the end of a tenancy about the condition of a said item, it normally would result in one of the agent’s clients being unhappy. As both landlords and tenants are clients of the agent, it is essential to protect both parties against disputes.

Now, through the Rentview Inventory App, you can provide that transparent inventory easily. This is proven to be a great way to improve customer service and reduce end of tenancy disputes. 

As always we would love to hear your feedback.

Please feel free to Tweet, Share, Like and everything else that makes us social 😉

by Andreas Riha

Internet Marketing for Letting Agents

Hi again and welcome to the second installment of internet marketing tips for letting and estate agents. Last week I discussed all things Pay per click and weighed up the pros and cons of investing your marketing dollar into paid search advertising. This week I planned on continuing discussion on search but after the last blog was covered by Agent Media over in the UK I came across a great post on how to use Facebook for agencies and wanted to delve into this area further as I have read a LOT of literature on the topic of social networks.
 
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Image courtesy of Mashable
The blog mentions that the majority of company pages fail as they don’t understand or know what to do on the page and this is a point reinforced from a Digital Marketing talk I attended in April from Avril Fagan the head of digital at Sage Ireland. When it came to social media and social network sites such as Facebook the question was asked should a brand do it or not? There is no right or wrong answer according to Avril but the important thing to note is if your going to do it , do it right and commit to it or as she described ‘once your in there is no going back!’. And that’s where this list can really help letting & estate agents setting up and maintaining their Facebook page.The list provided in the blog above covers everything you need to or can do when setting up your Facebook. Below I want to discuss in general how an agency might use Facebook to maximise your return on investment.
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Image courtesy of Alltopstartups.com 

If we take a second to think of why people use social network sites like Facebook we will quickly learn why you cant solely use it to promote your agency and its properties or services. People are there to build social relationships with others, so for a company or a brand to come in and attempt to directly advertise or connect with customers it can be difficult. The two main uses I identified from reading publications on the use of social networks like Facebook are customer service (information exchange, discussion, communication and participation) and Viral media opportunities which are actually closely linked to one another.       

So discussion is one of the main marketing benefits you can take from setting up a Facebook page for your agency, the more you engage the more people will find your page as they see there friends and colleagues have commented or shared items from your agency page. As Ian mentioned in the blog posting relevant questions and photos will encourage such activity- how to come up with this content is another days discussion but understanding the benefits of doing so is important. If your agency is showing up in a followers news feed (Where their friends see your brand) due to a like/comment/share on content from your page like a photo or video it adds credibility to the content as it is not directly from you. Research has shown that receivers of information related to a company are much more accepting when coming from a friend.

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Once you build that social relationship with your followers it will become easier and easier to spread your content virally. Just look at Paddy Power above, although its completely different industry, they rarely ever advertise their services or odds on their Facebook. Instead it is full of humorous images and interesting statuses, quizzes, videos that people like and share every day, generating a huge buzz and a growing reach. So weather it is landlords, tenants or other property professionals your engaging with this is the type of strategy I think you should be aiming for, although it certainly isn’t easy to do!

Thats all for today, plenty more to get through with this topic so look out for more next week, dont forget you can click ‘like’ below to share onto Facebook or Twitter and let us know what you think.

by Rentview

Letting agency software

Video Blog-Cormac speaks on the benefits of adding tenants to Rentview

This is the latest of the Rentview video blogs where I take you through the top benefits of uploading your tenants onto the Rentview system. As many of you are aware Rentview differentiates itself from other software solutions with its unique tenant and landlord features available due to the the software operating on the cloud. 

I note the various benefits a tenant receives such as the online lease, the utility set up, online inventory and statement of rents paid and due and an end of tenancy reference. I also note the benefits to the agency as you can manage your database with more ease & efficiency as well as the end of lease benefits such as retention and word of mouth marketing.

Enjoy the video and ignore the few stumbles and interesting facial expressions I like to make, the video blogs are a new area in which we look to create useful content that’s easier to digest and more appealing for engagement.

Video Blog – Uploading tenants details to your Rentview.com account from Rentview on Vimeo.

Be sure to click the ‘LIKE’ button below to share this onto your Facebook or Twitter or drop us a comment with your thoughts below & tweet @Rentview_ 

Cormac

How to generate additional revenues for your rental agency

Andreas video blogging on how Rentview.com can assist your rental agency convert more let only clients to your full let and management services. 

The current stats would show that only 1 in 4 landlords choose the full let and management services rather than just the let only package. We understand this and have developed a way of promoting your management services to your landlords. Take a look at the video blog and let us know what you think.

As always we would love to hear your feedback.

Please feel free to Tweet, Share, Like and everything else that makes us social 😉

by 

Andreas Riha

Video Blog – How to generate additional revenue for your rental agency through Rentview.com from Rentview on Vimeo.

Internet Marketing for Letting and Estate Agents

Hi guys Cormac here with a new blog on some creative and effective marketing tips for agents. During my year writing a dissertation on viral marketing and social networks I’ve picked up some useful tips on their purpose for businesses online strategy. The attitudes of the consumer (for example your targeted landlords/tenants) are completely different to what they were five years ago. The way i like to describe it is the hunter has become the hunted. What I mean by this is that no longer are we standing still and brands/marketers/companies shout their marketing messages and push advertisements in our faces but we decide exactly what we want to engage with. The power of TV and newspaper continues to fall as we spend more time online and  become more attached to hand held devices.

What does this mean?

So the consumer is now the one looking for the brand, once they decide what they need they will go online and start researching what available, they wont be listening to the radio when they have the I-pod blaring and they wont be seeing your ads when there reading the news on their latest phone app. So what an agency needs to do is increase its presence online. There is a wide range of areas you can engage in when implementing an online strategy as you can see from the infographic below complements of alltopstartups.

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Today i’m gong to discuss part one of the online marketing strategy which is search engine marketing. Search marketing is broken into two areas SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and Pay Per Click advertising. This is one of the number one ways to market your agencies website as your targeted audiences are heading to Google every day to search for the services they need such as rented accomadation and letting or management services

Many of you will be aware of the Google Adwords platform as it is the main money making facility for Google so its marketed heavily to everyone and anyone on the internet. It is what really kicked off the online marketing buzz but in my opinion its benefits are slowly stagnating as more and more companies use its service. Why is it losing its appeal? Well you have to pick ‘keywords’ related to your industry for where you want your ads to appear, for example your doing a campaign targeted to Landlords you may choose ‘property management Dublin’ , ‘letting services in Cork’ etc , the more specific the better. However  since the influx in companies using the services the costs of using such popular keywords are rising as companies bid against one another for the most common searched terms.

In reality there is only so many words that are relevant for an agent so it may get to the point where you are bidding more then you should or choosing ineffective search terms. What this means is you need to focus on natural search marketing known or as i referred to above SEO , search engine optimisation, Avril Fagan the head of Digital marketing at Sage Ireland describes this as the holy grail of search. It involves creating content relevant to your industry, website optimisation of key-words, meta-tags and much more that I will cover in the next blog. 

by Rentview