Outsourcing – Why, How and FAQ’s
As with all industries across the UK and the rest of the world, the lettings industry has been affected by the pandemic and the ever changing and unpredictable circumstances we are all facing in modern life today. For many agents, the pandemic emphasised the potential of the lettings market to provide a regular income from managed business during more uncertain times, when this regular income was not guaranteed from the sales market.
The move to dedicate more time to the lettings market brings with it lucrative benefits and opens the door to more opportunities within the property industry as a whole, however it also brings with it a new set of challenges and decisions to your business.
For many agents, property management and client accounting are seen as a hassle and often the more unappealing and time consuming aspects of providing a lettings service. However, in order for agents to grow their lettings business, whether they are already experiencing a period of accelerated growth or they are just starting out, these areas of lettings come hand in hand with the benefits.
As agents grow, one of the main challenges they will face is maintaining the balance between delivering an effective service and keeping overhead costs low as the need to hire new staff becomes more pressing. Knowing when it is time to employ new property managers to ensure service levels are met is essential, but this decision is often impacted by financial pressures.
Outsourcing provides you with the resources to grow quickly and expand your business without the need to recruit, train and expand your infrastructure to accommodate new staff or business.
The Benefits to Outsourcing
There are a number of reasons why outsourcing works for many agents, here are just some of the main benefits:
- Time to grow and focus on other areas of your business
- No more staffing worries
- No training costs
- Overheads reduced
- Highly experienced team
One of the biggest headaches for all businesses is staffing. From recruiting, to training and retention, there is more to consider than just finding the right candidate for the job. It is the employers responsibility to make sure they provide the candidate with the right skills to be successful, which will take time and again will most likely mean that additional costs are incurred. A growing staff also means that you will need more office space. This results in the agent investing further to expand their office space or infrastructure, and increases overhead costs.
Outsourcing takes this challenge away from you. At Rentancy, we will ensure that experienced, fully trained staff are allocated to your portfolio, that will not only be dedicated to your business, but will also provide a high level of customer service that we pride ourselves on. For our fully outsourced clients, you will be provided with a skilled team of industry experts who are proficient in all aspects of the fully managed service. This will include property managers and accounts administrators, through to renewals and compliance administrators.
As you grow, it is likely that you will just be looking to hire one member of staff at a time. Why do this when we can give you a team?
We also know that inevitably, staff will take annual leave and there will be sickness. Choosing to outsource means that this is not a worry you will have to contend with. We will ensure you have full staff coverage throughout the year and the service will not be impacted.
Ultimately, outsourcing will provide you with more time to focus on other areas of your business. Whether this be on your sales side, expanding and growing your lettings portfolio or negotiating an acquisition, you will have the time to give your full attention to the areas of the business that need you.
Common Concerns and FAQs on Outsourcing
In any industry, there are always going to be concerns when trusting a third party provider with any aspect of your business. The most common concerns are:
Cost and Pricing
This is one of the main concerns for agents as although all of the above sounds great, it should not have a significant impact on the profitability of your lettings division.
1. Will it cost me more to outsource, over hiring internally?
Whilst on the surface it may seem that outsourcing costs more than a member of staff, most people don’t take into consideration the hidden costs associated with hiring. For example, recruitment fees, pension contributions, holiday/sick leave, training costs and other overheads.
2. How does the pricing structure work?
We try to offer a simple pricing structure that is flexible based on your particular needs and service options. You will be charged based on the number of units in your portfolio, and as such there is incentive from all parties to ensure your business grows. There are no hidden charges.
3. Will it cost more for you to cover out of hours?
The simple answer is no. If you opt for a fully outsourced package, out of hours is included and you will be covered 24/7, 365 days a year.
Handover and Operations
4. How will the handover of data and current ongoing issues be handled?
We have a flexible approach to onboarding as we are aware that every business is different. This will be agreed and discussed once we establish exactly what your requirements are. However we do have a team who will oversee the transition, and help with the data migration. A plan will be completed and agreed to ensure there is as little disruption to your team as possible and to facilitate a smooth transition.
Once we agree a “go live” date, any outstanding maintenance can be handed over to our property management team.
5. I am really involved in the day to day running and although I need help, I am scared to give up control.
It is only natural to feel this way, especially if you are currently involved on a day to day basis. Again, there is no one-stop, fixed approach to outsourcing and we are happy to work with you to find a balance which allows you to benefit from outsourcing, but also allows you to be as involved as you want.
6. Our landlords are used to a certain way of working and some can be against change. How do you suggest managing this?
It is inevitable that you will be worried about how your clients will react to the change. As we offer a white label service, your clients do not need to know you are outsourcing. We can seamlessly integrate and work as part of your team, as would be the case with any new staff members.
We are also happy to overview your procedures and ensure that any processes we have are suitable for you and your clients.
If you are thinking of outsourcing or want to find out more about how Rentancy can help you, please contact Max Burney on 0330 321 3500.