How to start a letting agency in Australia

| March 12, 2013

The lettings business arena is a very competitive one, so there are a number of steps you would be well advised to take before you take the plunge into this tough and competitive industry. There are a number of different approaches you can take, such as setting up an online agency or moving the business into bricks and mortar to establish a shop-front approach. However, regardless of how decide to set up your business, the factors you need to consider are much the same, across the board.

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Letting agency | Who else is doing it?

The first thing to research is who else is doing it in your area – you need to know who your competitors are. You can check out how their rentals are priced through the Internet and the local press, but you might also like to research how long rental businesses last in your area. A high business turnover will tell you that the profits aren’t that solid in the region and that you might want to look elsewhere. However, if the area has a history of long-lived rental businesses, then there might very well be a little room for a new kid on the block.

Given that the market is so competitive, you’re going to need to consider just how you intend to stand out from the crowd. Browse the back pages of your local paper and you’ll see significant numbers of properties offered by a range of different letting agencies. Which are the ones that stand out and why? If you can spot what it is that catches your eye, then you’ve found your benchmark, and you’re either going to have to match it or beat it.

In addition, check out where else these services are advertised. If you’re going into the lettings business, then you will be encountering direct competition. It helps if you’re aware of their tactics, before they become aware of yours.

Landlords and distant clients

However, it’s not all just about attracting tenants; primarily, you’re going to need to court landlords to get some properties to offer potential tenants. Many of these landlords may already be tied in to working with other agencies, so you’re going to have to find a way to tempt them away. Setting up an online agency gives you the chance to keep your overheads down, so you might be able to entice some in with incentives such as introducing an offer in which admin costs or advertising costs are slashed for a period of time.

Promoting your agency

It’s also worth noting that many of your clients might be new to the area, so you’ll need to spread your net wider than just the immediate locale. As part of your marketing budget, set aside some money for your website and an associated SEO campaign. Employing a copywriter to ensure that all the content you deliver is both engaging and informative is an important step in any advertising strategy.

Invest in both Google Adwords and Yahoo SM advertising. Run them simultaneously to see which is giving you the most ROI. Once you’ve discovered which is the most cost-effective, direct all your marketing powers in that direction. Using bookkeeping software, such as QuickBooks from Intuit, will allow you to see just which avenue is the most worthwhile and how much it has cost you.

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Category: 2013, Australia, commercial rpoperty

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