A recent article published in the property industry eye revealed that letting agents are failing their residents (tenants) in a big way. A survey done by AnswerConnect, (a telephone answering service) revealed that 31% of 2000 UK-based residents who contacted their agency with an out-of-hours emergency did not get a prompt response.
On top of that, 29% said their agency didn't respond to their queries at all, and 51% of renters described their relationship with their letting agent as neutral at best, or they felt extremely undervalued.
Do you find yourself going "yep, no surprises there"? We get it - poor communication is a problem in our industry. How many stories have you heard of friends or family feeling ghosted by their agent, with an important deadline looming? I have a good friend going through this right now.
No wonder people feel stress and frustration around renting.
It makes us want to shout from the rafters: YOU DON'T HAVE TO ACCEPT IT! WE'RE NOT ALL LIKE THAT!
Some of us invest a lot into making sure our residents, properties, and owners (landlords) feel supported from start to finish. And importantly - always know exactly what's going on.
That means prompt responses, things getting resolved, and genuine friendliness. Ultimately, you feel like you can count on us. Including when there's an emergency.
Recently I was speaking to one of our owners who had quite an ordeal with another agent before switching to us. Beth has a terraced property with multiple flats in Willesden Green.
"Every single tiny thing was going wrong. There were no inspections from the other agent. Because I live in Manchester I was having to come to London all the time. I had to gather together my own little team of handy men, and one problem led to another. The agents I had didn't seem to have any handymen themselves, and they would charge me to get quotes."
"I had to give the tenants my own phone number and I was getting phone calls and texts in the middle of the night. It was untenable on so many levels really. Part of the problem was the property was very very old and no one was looking after it."
Beth says the final straw was when the middle floor flat started leaking into the flat below. This was in the middle of the night while she was ill. The agents said they'd send a plumber but the plumber never showed, though the agents insisted they had. Of course the residents were very unhappy.
At that moment Beth knew it was time to find another agent - for herself and for her residents.
"I needed 24-hour assistance for emergencies and no one was able to do that but Paramount. They all made excuses and said 'Oh tenants will abuse it' or 'It'll cost you more money'. When I met with Reagan I was sceptical that anyone could provide a true 24 hour service. I went to the office in West Hampstead and met with Mehul [a Paramount Asset Manager], and that was reassuring but I still didn't believe that if I would call at 12 o'clock at night someone would actually go out. But now I'm very satisfied."
2 days in after signing the paperwork to switch to Paramount there was a burglary - Beth tells the story here: