The Lowdown On Letting Agent Fees: Why Fees Vary Wildly

The Lowdown On Letting Agent Fees: Why Fees Vary Wildly 

Letting agents play a crucial role in the property market, facilitating the rental process for both landlords and tenants. However, fees can be a perplexing endeavour for many. How can one agent be so much cheaper than the other? What more can you expect from a higher fee agent? Read on to find out the dynamics between letting agent fees to figure out what’s best for you. 

Online Agents: Low Fees, DIY Service

Online agents often lure landlords with their enticingly low fees. However, this budget-friendly option comes with a trade-off – landlords are required to take on the bulk of the work themselves. Whilst they may offer a management service, you may find that you still have to do a lot of the leg work. This can be things like viewings, inspections, contractor access etc. These agents operate on a high-volume model, prioritising quantity over quality. While they may save you some pennies, the level of service and attention to detail can be lacking. If you’re a busy landlord, using an online agent may not be the best choice for you, and it comes down to the question of how much you value your own time. 

Corporate Agents: Premium Fees, But Is The Service Premium?

On the other end of the spectrum are corporate agents, charging premium fees to cover their extensive overhead costs and satisfy investors. However, the enthusiasm and personalised service offered by these agencies may not always match the hefty price tag. Landlords may find themselves feeling like just another number in a corporate machine.

There's nothing inherently wrong with a corporate agent and you will generally get a lot more from them compared to an online agent. However, you may find that you speak with numerous different staff members for varying reasons, which can be frustrating if you have to repeat your request/situation multiple times. 

Simple tasks may be charged for (such as annual statement) and you may find that with some maintenance jobs, the agent charges up to an additional 10% of the invoice. As long as they’re transparent about this, it’s completely legal. You must remember that the goal for corporate agents is to bring in as much revenue as possible as they’ll likely have numerous investors. 

Independent Agents: Moderate Fees, Personal Service

Independent agents, falling into two distinct categories, offer a middle ground for landlords seeking a balance between cost and quality. Some independents offer lower fees by cutting out certain operating costs, such as marketing and software they use. While these agencies may offer a budget-friendly option, landlords risk missing out on essential marketing strategies and may encounter errors due to subpar software.

For example, they may not be on every property portal, which reduces the exposure your property gets when it’s being advertised, which subsequently drives your price down due to lower interest from tenants. The property portals are generally very expensive (a quick google search will tell you how much Rightmove and Zoopla charge agents), so some agents may opt for just one. 

A further exercise you can do is check the adverts for available properties on any portal. You will see a number of properties that are not optimally marketed. Pictures are taken either on a phone or a basic camera resulting in poor quality images. It’s almost guaranteed that these adverts will also not have a floor plan, virtual tour or a video. This inadvertently will lead to less enquiries. And what do you think is the option to counter the lack of interest? Thats right - to reduce the price! We can confidently say that these agents are offering cheap fees to their clients. 

Conversely, other independent agents prioritize quality service and personal attention, charging moderate to high fees in exchange for a higher level of care provided. These agencies invest in top-tier marketing materials, thorough tenant screening processes, and cutting-edge software to ensure a seamless experience for landlords and tenants alike.

Where We Stand: Quality Service, Transparent Fees

At Lyss Homes, we proudly identify as an independent agency committed to delivering unparalleled service and value to our clients. Our fees are transparent and tailored to accommodate the individual needs of our landlords.

We prioritize service and protection above all else. Our management service includes Rent Protection Insurance and Eviction Cover, ensuring our clients' income is safeguarded against non-payment of rent and the costly expense of eviction. 

Additionally, our marketing efforts go above and beyond industry standards for lettings, featuring professional photography, detailed floor plans, immersive 360-degree virtual tours, and captivating marketing videos to generate excitement and secure the best possible price for your property. We list on all property portals (Rightmove, Zoopla, OnTheMarket, plus our own social media channels for maximum reach). 

When it comes to tenant selection, we leave no stone unturned. Every prospective tenant undergoes rigorous reference checks, providing landlords with peace of mind knowing that their property is in safe hands (and is also a requirement for the Rent Protection Insurance to be valid). Furthermore, our advanced software ensures compliance with regulations and streamlines property management tasks, safeguarding both landlord and tenant interests. 

From a financial safety point of view, for each new property we are instructed on, we also create a separate bank account specific to that property, which ensures funds are never mixed up with others. 

In conclusion, the fees charged by letting agents reflect a spectrum of services and levels of commitment. At Lyss Homes, we stand firmly on the side of quality, offering personalised service, comprehensive protection, and transparent fees to meet the diverse needs of our valued clients. We feel our pricing structure is fair based on the work we do and we take great pride in our presentation and service. Why not ‘Google’ Lyss Homes? You’ll see some amazing reviews from our clients about our service, and top notch marketing material for all our properties.



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