Thursday 1 October 2015

How much does it cost to let a flat in Clapham or Brixton? Nothing, I'll treble your monthly income if you do it right.

I was speaking to a landlord just the other day about his investment. He called me up to ask me about my letting fees. Well in fact he phoned up the office and my colleague answered. She put him on hold and put him through to me, whispering in my ear "I know you shouldn't discuss fees but discuss value on the phone, can you show me how?" 

The gentleman explained to me how he was looking to buy a 1bed apartment on the William Bonney Estate. I commended him on finding something in such a brilliant location. Being the sleuth that I am I punched in the postcode into rightmove as I spoke. Up it came. An immaculate 1bed ground floor flat. Again I mentioned to him how easy it would be to let. "But," I said, "I wouldn't buy this, I think you can get a 3bed for the same money and get at least 50% more rent every month, with more chance of capital growth, better tenant demand and less voids."

He was amazed. A long conversation followed. He couldn't believe that a letting agent was telling him to buy a different flat. "Any agent would want me to buy this property quickly so that I instruct them to let it." He said. Not me. I look at investments all day long, and there's nothing better than helping landlords make a better investment. They get a higher yield and ultimately they are happier to come back to me because I've given them solid advice. They thank me for my advice and ultimately we all win. You see, I've been doing this for over a dozen years now. I know what is a good investment. I know what is not. I am local. Every day. I see demand shift from area to area. Flat to flat. I know what lets and what doesn't. And people come to me for knowledge, advice, expertise. Value that you don't get from high street branded (or bland) agents.

I recommended two other investments straight away that had come to market recently. They fit in with his criteria: he had a busy job and didn't want to get involved with loads of refurbishments; looking for something with minimal fuss to let and take advantage of a rising market. I trust he will be happy for me to advise on furnishings to get the best tenant in the shortest timescale for that type of property, too. He still doesn't know what I charge to let and manage. That's not important to him. Value is important. The fact that if he follows my guidance he would be netting £1000pcm from his investment and not £300pcm. So how much does it cost to let and manage through me? Nothing sir, I just doubled your capital growth over 5 years and gave you treble your cash flow on a monthly basis. After my fees. Using my services therefore makes money, it doesn't cost you money.

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