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Under the skin of the letting market

Here we share news and views on both the local letting market in & around Oxfordshire and all planned and recent legislation.

Price is what you pay, value is what you get

Good income, good tenants and good service. That’s what landlords want, and it’s what we have been delivering for over 45 years now. Many agents claim to offer this, and sometimes for a small fee, but this unfortunately turns out not to be true most of the time. In recent months our Central Oxford office has helped out many landlords who had listed their properties with other agents who had quoted lower fees. Here are two examples:

A couple of months ago we were contacted by a landlord of a high-spec 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment in a highly desirable development. His agent had struggled to let it and the property was lying empty when he contacted Kate Campbell in our Park End Street office. With allocated off-street parking for two cars and a secluded private balcony, Kate could immediately see the potential of this property: “We have let a couple of properties in this development and I know that applicant demand is strong for this type of high quality property close to the city centre. I was confident that our letting team would be able to find a great tenant for this landlord.”

We booked in our professional photographers, listed the property at £1,300 (the same rent as it was being advertised at by the other agent), and our letting team started proactively calling around their applicants whose requirements matched this apartment. We carried out viewings and within a week we had received two offers on the property and secured a let (at asking rent) to excellent corporate tenants.

This success was replicated last month. The landlord had recently refurbished a 2 bedroom city centre apartment to include a beautifully refitted shower room and high quality furniture throughout. Again, the property had not been let by the other agent and the client was not happy with the service levels. The apartment had been marketed for more than two months and was empty when the landlord contacted us, so they were eager to get a good tenant in place.

Kate says: “We could have just listed the property online and waited, but that strategy clearly hadn’t worked for the other agent. We find that – now more than ever – our letting team is most successful when they actively contact applicants with suitable properties, rather than passively waiting for the phone to ring.” We listed the property at £1,600 on a Thursday and a week later we had carried out five viewings and agreed a let to a company tenant. The landlord is delighted.

We believe that good service is about offering experienced, proactive and honest advice for a realistic price. If a lower fee is coupled with a void period on your property then the perceived saving is wasted. In the first example, the difference in agency fees equated to £1.28 per day (inc. VAT), but the lost income for the two empty months was £2,600. If you need a great tenant for your property, call Kate or Sarah on 01865 297999.