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Landlords Look to Social Media

Death of the Letting Agent?

With the rise of social media, more and more people are turning to sites such as Facebook for business purposes. Generally, this has been for marketing, with the bulk of business still being done through conventional means. Recently however, landlords have started using social media to effectively cut out the middle man, thus securing themselves a larger share of the profits.

allstate.com

It makes sense to be honest. Why would you give someone a sizeable cut (generally around 10 - 15%) to do something that, with a decent online presence, can easily be achieved for yourself? If you have a lot of connections on LinkedIn, or a sizeable following on Twitter, then the audience you can potentially reach is in many cases larger than a local letting agent’s market. These social media platforms offer landlords a free medium on which to market their portfolios.

31 year old Sanjay Aggarwal manages his father’s portfolio of properties in and around Birmingham. Around two years ago he decided to use his LinkedIn connections, a list of over  2,500 professionals compiled through his work in recruitment, in order to find prospective tenants.

telegraph.co.uk

Mr Aggarwal’s initiative has been hugely successful, and he now swears by this system. He states that LinkedIn in particular is perfectly suited to his needs as it markets itself towards working professionals. His full statement is quoted below:

As a recruiter, I have more than 2,500 contacts on LinkedIn. They’re all working professionals so are exactly the type of tenants I’m after. All I need to do is send a message to my online contacts with a description of the property and a link to the full posting on a listings website like Gumtree. There they can find pictures and videos of the property. I've been doing it for two years now and have found it’s a fantastic way of finding good quality, professional tenants completely free of charge. I've also started using Twitter to send pictures of vacant properties to my followers in case anyone is looking to move or knows of someone in their professional circles who is.”

Mr Aggarwal is not alone in his endeavour. Social media consultant Michelle McCann has been using Facebook to find lodgers for the spare room in her Brighton home. She also endorsed the process in a recent interview:

“I put together a photo album with pictures of the bedroom, plus the communal areas like the lounge and bathroom, and shared it on Facebook. We made sure our privacy settings only allowed the album to be shared with ‘friends’ and ‘friends of friends’ so that someone in our social circle could always vouch for prospective lodgers. It’s worked really well for us and we’ve always ended up with trustworthy, like-minded people.”


So it seems that for those willing to invest a little time, social media can be a valuable tool. Cutting out the letting agent can be worth thousands of pounds a year to landlords, so even though many people will still opt for the convenience of having someone manage the property for them, letting agents may soon start to see a significant decline.


Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. Currently working part time as a content writer, he hopes to one day drop that 'aspiring' prefix. Follow him @SamAtSMF

Contact us on Twitter, on Facebook, or leave your comments below. To find out about social media training or management why not take a look at our website for more info http://socialmediacambridge.co.uk/. 
Landlords Look to Social Media Reviewed by Sam Bonson on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 Rating: 5
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