There are benefits of using independent lettings agents and national agents. Find out which choice is right for you as a landlord.
Letting out a property as a landlord can be a great way to generate income. However, finding reliable tenants and ensuring your investment is well managed often requires professional help.
That’s where letting agents come in – but should you use an independent local agent or a large national franchise? This blog examines the key pros and cons of independent letting agents for UK landlords.
An independent letting agent is a local business that provides services to landlords looking to let out their rental properties.
Unlike large national chains, independent agents are not part of a bigger brand and usually only have one or a few offices in a particular area. Their focus is on providing a personalised service for landlords and tenants within their local property market.
Independents are typically limited to a single geographic region, town or city. For example, Let’s Rent specialise in managing properties within specific areas of Bristol, where our office and team are based.
A national letting agent is part of a large brand with many branches across the UK. Some of the biggest names in the industry like Countrywide, Connells and Foxtons are national agents.
Like independent letting agents, they often assist landlords with finding and managing tenants, property management and maintenance, and property valuations.
There are several benefits for landlords using a local independent agent rather than a major national firm:
Independent letting agents rely on and specialise in their local area. They have an in-depth understanding of the regional rental market, popular locations, average rents and demand from potential tenants.
This helps them match landlords to the most suitable tenants for their property and set competitive yet achievable rents.
With just one or a handful of branches, independent estate agencies provide a more personal touch where staff build close relationships with landlords and tenants.
Their compact team and hyper-local focus allow them to offer a tailored service addressing each client’s specific needs. You may also find that useful information about the status of your service is shared more effectively within a small team of agents.
Without a larger brand’s constraints, independent letting agents can be more flexible in the services they offer. For example, some independents offer unique incentives like discounts on maintenance services or reduced fees for multiple property listings. They can alter packages to suit individual landlords.
Independents take a practical, hands-on approach to showing rental properties, meeting prospective tenants and assisting with viewings. Their in-depth knowledge of local areas supports their day-to-day property management and ability to resolve issues.
While independents offer many benefits, there are some potential cons for landlords:
An independent you choose may not have offices in other areas where you own investment properties, meaning you’d need multiple agents if your portfolio expands geographically.
Unlike large national chains who impose strict standardised procedures across all branches, independent letting agents do not have consistency in how they operate. This may lead to variances in the way they manage properties if you use multiple agents.
Although most established independents have a good standard of expertise and generally exceed national agents in local knowledge, they may occasionally lack specialist knowledge if your property is facing unusual legal difficulties. Larger firms have a bigger pool of contacts to draw knowledge from.
For landlords in Bristol considering their letting agent options, using the services of Let’s Rent makes sense. As an established local estate agency solely focused on Bristol, Let’s Rent provides in-depth knowledge of the city’s rental market. Their focus on personal service gives landlords confidence in:
With over a decade of experience letting properties across Bristol, Let’s Rent can look after all aspects of successfully renting out your property. Contact them today to discuss your needs or browse the services they offer to landlords.