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How agents can best prepare for post-pandemic business

As the summer begins to draw to a close and the letting market regains its stride, attention is turning to the pandemic-induced changes which are re-shaping the industry long-term. Here, co-founder of digital referencing company Vouch, Simon Tillyer, outlines his top tips for how letting agents can best prepare for the next chapter in the evolution of lettings.

Stimulate growth by embracing new tech

With the third quarter of 2021 on track to be very busy, there is once again set to be a huge amount of time-consuming admin. The pandemic has helped to accelerate the adoption of tech-led solutions in the property sector, such as virtual viewings and refined digital referencing, resulting in more effective processes.

And as things continue to improve, these tools should become permanent fixtures for any agent looking to maintain streamlined, cost-efficient operations. Those who had resisted the adoption of new technology were caught most on the back foot when the pandemic forced the market online. Ensuring your business is as nimble, flexible and modern as possible will help smooth your way when the next crisis inevitably hits the sector. 

Pursue new revenue streams

Property technology is not only driving efficiencies, but it’s also presenting opportunities to find new revenue streams. Integrated service packages, Home Move Assistants and insurance offerings are new ways to earn consistent additional commission, whilst also improving the experience for tenants and landlords. With tenant fees long gone and new regulation constantly coming down the track, ensuring your agency has one eye on where additional revenue might come from is essential. 

Hold onto your landlords

A key cause for concern for agents right now is the need to attract new landlords. Many sold up during the stamp duty holiday, and others decided to leave the game thanks to the evictions ban. At the same, available housing stock is low. Ensuring you can attract and retain new and existing landlords is paramount and will centre around the customer experience and services you can provide.

Review your current processes and communication strategies: are there pain points that could be removed, are there common points of friction, could you be offering additional services to your landlords to ensure the experience is end-to-end? Take an honest look at your processes and push for improvements that will stick. 


Use reliable data to inform business decisions

There’s few stronger indicators of the state of the market than industry data. It’s clear that the sector has been shaped heavily by the pandemic, from fluctuating voids to evolving tenant needs thanks to hybrid working. Tenants have new priorities but, at the same time, these remain in flux as life continues to be buffeting for ever-evolving covid restrictions.

This new reality requires strategic thinking from agents and landlords to remain competitive. Use year on year comparisons and quarterly market reports to help to intelligently shape your strategy for the months ahead, ensuring that your focus and priorities are informed by reliable sources. Planning ahead based on insights, rather than reacting to change based on gut feel, is a more effective and strategic position from which to operate. 

*Simon Tillyer is CEO and co-founder of Vouch

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