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Graham Awards


Agents berated for boring and useless ‘Free Valuations’

A prominent lettings expert and former president of ARLA Propertymark has berated agents who advertise ‘free valuations.’

Sally Lawson, now well known for being behind Agent Rainmaker mentoring services, says she is surprised that so many agents offer free valuations when there are numerous online services that provide the same for landlords at the click of a mouse.

“Since around the time of the launch of the Ford Cortina, agents have offered free valuations as a way to reel in potential landlords. But we really need to ask ourselves, who do free valuations really benefit? 


“In an era of rapid innovation and change across the property market, the offer of ‘free valuations’ is as stale as yesterday’s news. Since the dawn of Google, landlords have gained access to a wealth of online tools for property valuation, management insights and much more, yet they’re not adapting their services to provide the support that they really need right now.” 

According to Lawson, there’s a myriad of opportunities available to savvy investors who want to maximise their returns and make profit, from traditional buying and selling, to niche opportunities like doer-uppers, rent-to-rent schemes, and serviced accommodation. 

“It’s a big elephant in the room that needs to be addressed. Considering the diverse needs of landlords are not being met and they’re still being pitched the offer of ‘free valuations’, it’s no surprise that a staggering 82% of landlords opt not to use an agent for management. It’s a goldmine of untapped potential where agents just aren't considering the diverse needs of their prospects” insists Lawson.

She cites other and more relevant areas where agents could add value to landlords, by for example offering help with those seeking to diversify their portfolios; or landlords grappling troublesome tenants; how to handle tenants building up rent arrears; or investors seeking to sell with tenants in situ; property refurbishment for let units; and landlords exploring refinancing options to address expiring mortgages.

“Offering the right services which help address these concerns could help to convert these landlords into loyal, fully managed clients. Yet, we’ve fallen silent on these and as a result, many are turning to less experienced alternatives – to the detriment of their investments” says Lawson.

“It’s time to embrace change and consider what we’re really offering, and if it’s doing any good at all for our prospective audiences. By revamping and reinventing our services, we can cater to a much broader clientele and propel our businesses to new heights. 

“I’m passionate about paving the way for a brighter future in real estate and hope more and more agents seize this opportunity to innovate, support, and thrive in our dynamic property landscape.” 


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