K is for Know How | Just how valuable is an agents knowledge for clients?
K is for Know How in the second edition of the Complete Zeitgeist, and having an expert understanding of the needs of clients with a global portfolio, Anna Langford, Global Operations Director based in London gives her thoughts on the value of know how.
Running the Client Services Team at Complete means that I speak to a lot of potential clients about our Lettings and Property Management services. Whilst we are competitively priced in the market place, we find some potential clients are solely focused on fee rather than our ability to manage their property effectively and, crucially, our ‘know how’. The best agent is generally not the cheapest!
Whilst we understand that cash flow and value for money is key for property investors, so is the ability to trust your agent and understand that they have the correct systems and knowledge in place to protect their asset. This can often mean not falling foul of regulations. As a global lettings company we are aware of everything from deposit protection regulations in Chicago, where it is easy get sued by a tenant if a number of complex regulations are not followed, to Berlin where the local authorities have just imposed new regulations to ensure that buildings are properly ventilated in the event of a fire, which is obviously at the forefront of everyone’s minds these days.
The UK market, where Complete manage the highest volume of properties, has seen an unprecedented amount of new regulation in recent years and it can be difficult keeping up with all of the changes. Most recently we have had the General Data Protection Regulation and new Anti- Money Laundering Regulations which both come with large fines if not properly managed and kept on top of. The safety of tenants is also paramount and whilst we already have strenuous Gas Safety Regulations, and Legionella risk needing to be assessed, we can only expect this to continue in the future and become more onerous, potentially in the form of more wide ranging electrical safety tests.
So to sum up, I always try to suggest to potential clients that they should research the agents that they choose so they are not just fee focused. This could be by a recommendation or failing that there are a number of online review portals such as All Agents or Google reviews that can be used to ensure peace of mind in selecting the right agent. Occupancy rates, customer service and ‘know how’ are what I think Investor landlords should focus on to protect their assets for the long term.
Anna Langford | Global Operations Director
The Complete Zeitgeist is now in it’s second edition following the success of the first in 2017. Full of useful information for landlords and investors, the Complete Zeitgeist also discusses a number of important considerations and key questions within the real estate industry such as population, the environment and sustainability.
Read our handy checklist and tips on what to look out for when instructing an agent and download your copy of the Complete Zeitgeist now.