Data insights from 35,000 landlords
We’ve collated data from 35,000 landlords who’ve visited Rentround this year, to give you insights into their characteristics & behaviours. These insights will strengthen your agency’s advertising & promotions if used correctly.
Getting to know your target market is essential for estate & letting agents. For instance, what’s a landlords average age, when are they online and what services do they search for the most?
Why are these types of questioned important? Well if you knew that 58% of landlords use mobile devices for searching for a letting agent and conduct their searches mostly after 3 pm in the week, you would need to ensure your website is mobile friendly and you have more staff manning the phones after 3 pm.
Our data also indicates that a majority of landlords, 42%, want fully managed services. Is this service advertised more than your other services on your agency website?
The data in this article will help you make key landlord marketing decisions and in turn impact the number of properties on your books.
In this article:
- Is getting in front of landlords now harder?
- Data from 35,000 landlords
- What age are your average landlords?
- Are landlords searching for online or traditional agents?
- Are landlords using mobile & desktops to look for agents?
- What time & days are landlords most online?
- What type of fee structure do landlords prefer
- What services from an agent do landlords search the most?
- “Marketing gurus” for agents
- Doing your own letting agent & property manager marketing
1. is getting in front of landlords now harder?
In the 2020 Fixflo lettings report, 35% of letting agents said the ability to win landlords will be the number 1 factor to make significant improvements to their letting agency.
Coupled with the fact 22% more landlords in 2019 vs 2020 said they don’t use an agency, this makes getting more landlords even more difficult for agents.
In terms of the reasons why there is an increase in the amount of landlords opting against the use of an agent, according to Fixflo, 35% stated the fees agents charge as the main deterrent. Second and third place reasons were preferences to self manage and a lack of trust in agencies, with 28% & 21% respectively.
With the wrath of new letting agents hitting the market, including online letting agents, marketing needs to be on point.
It’s more important than ever to ensure you’re promoting on the right media, with the right messages and at the right times.
Before setting off and starting your marketing strategy, you need to look at data of your target markets, i.e. landlords & property owners.
2. Data from 35,000 landlords
Approximately 35,000 landlords have used our letting agent fee comparison site so far this year.
The data each visit provides us means we’ve captured the times landlords are online the most, the age of landlords, what services they’re searching for and what devices they’re using to search for information on letting agents.
While some of the information is relatively basic, it will set triggers of thinking towards how letting agent & property manager marketing strategies should be formulated.
OK, so we all know that the average landlord or property owner isn’t going to be 21.
The number of landlords under the age of 25 is low compared to the over 50’s.
Are pictures on your website full of people in their 20’s, when it’d be better to be more inclusive of older generations? In addition is your language inclusive of older generations?
It’s becoming more common for websites and blogs to use informal and “hip” terms. However if you’re targeting a more mature audience, this may not be the best idea.
Online letting agents vs traditional letting agents
The industry has been heavily disrupted in recent years through the development of online letting agents.
Rentround provides landlords the opportunity to compare letting agent fees & ratings of both online & high street agents.
The below data shows what type of letting agents landlords are selecting for further quotes.
The data shows that traditional letting agents still have a foothold overall. But the fact that online agents are still relatively new, there is of course scope for that to decrease in the following years.
Devices used by landlords & property owners
The device your target market is using to access your letting agency or property manager website is key.
It goes without saying most online activity is now done on mobile phones.
This adds additional importance to ensure letting agents & property managers are ensuring their sites are optimised for mobile.
This would include the avoidance of large images, long pieces of text and difficult navigation menus.
Users on mobile devices are also less patient. Therefore site loading times should be minimised.
Busiest days & time of the week for landlords
The busiest days & times of landlord search activity is important. As leads come through, you want to be able to ensure the phone lines are manned and emails are responded to as quickly as possible.
On Rentround, it’s common for landlords to choose to send their details to a number of agents to discuss fees. The quickest agent therefore has the first chance, and highest chance, to convert the lead.
On the other hand, if a reply to the landlord is delayed by a few hours, there’s the risk the lead is no longer viable.
The data on busiest days shows a reduction in volume on Tuesday & Wednesday. However the most interesting point is there is a lot of activity on Sunday.
A factor to consider is that your agency may not be open on Sunday. If this is the case then Monday mornings should be prioritised for following up on leads received the previous day.
Another factor to accompany the above is many landlords have day jobs. So delaying follow up to Monday morning may mean the lead isn’t actually available to discuss agent services.
The times of which landlords run searches is also important. Similarly to the days searches are run, the data pinpoints when you should be available to talk to leads.
Of course it’s not always that simple as there are appointments & valuations to manage.
The timings peak at 3 pm. But a key point to note is there is a lot of activity post 5 pm. Those agents that are able to discuss services with leads during these times will therefore be at an advantage.
But in terms of ROI, this will need to be monitored. How expensive is it to run out of hours, compared to income received from leads being converted during those times.
Types of fees selected by landlords for tenant find services
Landlords usually have a choice of fee types they want to pay, when it comes to finding a letting agent.
The outlier currently is one of fees for finding a tenant. A volume of 55% of landlords are opting for one off fees for finding a tenant.
The least preferred option being a fixed of monthly rent, with only 15% of landlords preferring this option.
Services landlords want
Understanding what services landlords most want is a key factor when deciding your marketing.
Agents will want to ensure advertising and website messages reflect the most sought after services. An agent may have extremely low tenant finder fees.
But if most landlords want full management, promoting that type of service may provide more fruitful returns.
On Rentround, landlords are asked what services they are looking for, before they can see their letting agent fee comparison results.
Their responses are below:
|Tenant find services||24%|
Full management is the clear leader, with a majority of landlords looking for hands-on services from their agent.
However looking at the guaranteed rent % more closely, it shows that this type of service is becoming more in demand since the Covid-19 pandemic.
Landlord searches on Rentround showed a 34% increase in landlords looking for guaranteed rent services post May 2020.
This indicates landlords are willing to part with more of their rental income, in exchange for rental security during these difficult times.
Data closing statement
There is an abundance of data available to letting agents & property managers to formulate a strong marketing strategy. Crucial pieces of data must be used in tandem with each other to increase efficiency in marketing budget spend.
With the abundance, there are clear pitfalls agents need to understand. Too low/high marketing budgets, choice of services providers and wasted spend are all dangers to the prosperity of agents.
Key data can indicate to agents how their propositions need to be updated, where & when to market and who is their target market & avenues to best get exposure to them.
In addition letting agents & property managers must ensure first and foremost their services & prices are competitive. This then provides a strong basis for marketing plans to increase leads & conversions.
3. Can marketing gurus help estate agents & property managers?
No doubt if you’re in charge of a letting agency or property management firm, you’d have been approached by ‘marketing gurus’.
These types of firms can take the burden of key marketing decisions off your hands. Promises from such firms would usually include:
- Getting your letting agent business to the top of Google organic rankings
- Improving your current marketing to produce more conversions
- Lowering your cost per click rates
And so on…
A high level marketing team with SEO & Digital marketing expertise can work wonders.
Long term benefits can be achieved which will help volumes increase.
However costs can be high. Some digital agencies can charge setup fees starting £500+ and ongoing monthly charges of 10-20% of your monthly budget.
On the other hand there are a number of cheaper alternatives in the market.
But agents need to be aware that some digital marketing improvements can be very short term. Google will pick up on bad practices eventually which will impact your agency in the long term.
There are many excellent firms out there that can help with digital marketing setup.
But for letting agents & property managers to find more landlord leads, domain knowledge is always key.
Rentround can help agents find landlords. Click here to learn more about how we get agents leads.
4. Doing your own letting agent & property manager marketing
The truth is many smaller independent letting agents & property managers are amazing at converting leads onto their books.
But it’s when it comes to getting the leads through via digital/online marketing, things prove difficult.
It’s easy to set up Google Adverts for a letting agency. Type in the key words you want to target, your daily budget and the words you want to show potential leads.
But to maximise return, features like conversion strategy, responsive ad search, structured snippets etc. need to be looked at.
In addition, paid online ads aren’t something you set up and leave alone.
You will get some clicks to your site that aren’t relevant, but still cost you money.
For example paying for clicks for the keyword “Property Managers Fees” will get a lot of traffic.
However a proportion of that traffic will be people who search for “Property manager fees in Spain” or “Property manager fees for tenants”.
Therefore unless you’re relocating your services to Spain or looking for tenants, this is money wasted if your aim is getting more landlords.
Many of the bigger firms will have individuals or teams looking at their daily keywords, setting up negative words, adjusting bid strategies and so on… This makes it hard for the smaller firms to compete when trying to increase their efficiency of their paid adverts.
Check out our below guides that can help letting agents & property managers with their marketing efforts.
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