• Southcourt Property Services Ltd. Est 1989.  Letting Agent Training since 1997
  • 020 3397 0070

Complete Letting Agency Training & Operating Manual

275+ page A4 Manual in de-luxe quality 4-ring binder

Easy to follow

Our step-by-step manual is an integral part of the Southcourt Letting Agency Business Package, and is ideal for home study. Written from our own experience as letting and managing agents in the UK lettings capital of London, we provide the essential blend of practical, legal and back-office know-how and guidance necessary to set up from scratch and build your own successful Letting Agency Business in 2017 onwards.

Comprehensive and complete

We cover the complete Letting Agency procedures, from when the telephone first rings to when a tenancy ends, show you our tried and tested systems, reveal trade secrets and our essential Top Tips for success, and describe the most effective practices and techniques in use in the business today.

Boost-start marketing plan

Our innovative boost-start marketing plan lays out the most productive methods of locating and signing up both new landlord clients and also tenant applicants, with no advertising costs at all. And we explain how, with creative use of our proven USPs (unique selling points) together with an inventive pricing structure, you should quickly gain a healthy market share.

14 sections

The manual is divided into 14 distinct sections, with a detailed contents list at the front so that you can instantly locate any specific subject.

Keeping up to date

Once you have your Business Package you can keep up to date in our Members Area.

Support

And don't forget, if there is anything you get stuck on, our new start-up agents have the benefit of unlimited telephone and email support direct to our main office.

Below are just some of the subjects we cover in detail –

Section 1 – Business Planning and Preparation

  • Overview of the rental market, recent developments
  • Planning for success – organising for a smooth and seamless start
  • Choosing a trading name, your business format, opening bank accounts, vat etc.
  • Organising communications, preparing the forms and documents
  • Key care, filing system, diary management
  • Business plan and cashflow forecast – forms included

Section 2 – Local Research of the Lettings Market

  • Researching your area through the eyes of a letting agent
  • Sourcing essential information including local rent levels, agency fees and charges
  • Specially designed research sheets included
  • Developing the right approach for your locality, defining your working area
  • Identifying and targeting the major sources of business
  • Learning from the competition, identifying their strengths and weaknesses

Section 3 – Marketing Strategy for New Letting Agents

  • Your Unique Selling Points (USPs)
  • Exploiting your natural advantages as a small and independent agent
  • Why competition doesn't matter, and how to make it work in your favour
  • How to ‘manipulate’ your fees – less is more
  • Optimising your all important ‘telephone image’
  • 3 essential ingredients for success
  • Attractive incentives to offer landlords

Section 4 – Practical Marketing and Finding Landlords

  • The Boost-Start Action Plan – how to launch your business quickly and inexpensively
  • Locating local landlords without advertising, including sources you never knew existed
  • Learn of properties becoming available to let – before they become available!
  • How to ensure you are the first and only agent a landlord instructs
  • Offer guaranteed rental payments to every landlord – we explain how
  • Simple ways to have tenants calling from day one
  • The most cost-effective methods explained – don't waste money on the obvious
  • Optimising your printed message and maximising advertising response
  • Winning ways on the telephone – turning 80% of calls into cash
  • How other local agents can help your business
  • Using the internet to your best advantage
  • 50 cost-effective ways to reach landlords and tenants – many completely free
  • Securing repeat and follow-up business, again and again

Section 5 – Taking on Properties and Meeting Landlords

  • The event sequence, choice of services offered
  • Types of accommodation, categories of landlord, importance of the agency agreement
  • Visiting the property and meeting the landlord, proof of ownership
  • Impressing landlords and maximising your credibility as an agent
  • Secrets of instant and accurate rental valuations
  • Vital rules of salesmanship that could win or lose you business
  • Giving professional advice and answering queries – even with your first property
  • Important safety issues, about bedsits, HMOs etc.
  • Enhance your image and profits by offering extras
  • How to to guarantee the landlords' rent without risk

Section 6 – Registering Tenants and Carrying out Viewings

  • Categories of tenants and those to aim for
  • Understanding tenants' priorities and satisfying their needs
  • Qualifying the applicants, horses for courses – matching tenants to properties
  • Sensible security precautions when arranging viewings
  • Know the dynamics – maximum viewings, maximum lettings, maximum fees
  • The right and wrong ways to conduct viewings
  • Local Housing Allowance (formerly DSS) claimants, the procedures and risks explained

Section 7 – Pre-Tenancy Procedures

  • The sequence of events, taking precautions to avoid timewasters
  • Importance of the holding (reservation) deposit
  • Referencing (vetting) tenant applicants – several methods incl. the easy way
  • Which references are important and which are a waste of time
  • What to do and what to watch for, reading between the lines, applicant's affordability
  • Guarantors, credit checks, the other references, minimum requirements
  • Granting the right tenancy, about break clauses, completing the legal forms
  • Essential information about rentals and tenancy deposits
  • Unsafe practices and pitfalls to avoid
  • Company Lets, Holiday Lets, non ASTs, Lodger Licences explained (agreements included)
  • Preparation of the property for letting, transfer of utilities, Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
  • Handling clients' monies and the tenancy deposit, money laundering regulations
  • Preparing the inventory & schedule of condition

Section 8 – Managing the Tenanted Property

  • The key to smooth property management – making 50 properties feel like one
  • How to check for compliance with safety legislation – and ensure ongoing compliance
  • Checking the tenants into the property against the inventory
  • Processing of rentals – paying the landlord and yourself
  • Administering the client account, ongoing management procedures
  • Periodic inspections, rights of entry for agent and landlord, what to look for and what to do
  • Arranging maintenance and repairs, eliminating minor repairs for the landlord and yourself
  • Emergency action e.g. gas leaks
  • The correct ways to extend, renew or terminate a tenancy, statutory periodic tenancies
  • When and how to serve notices, rent increases, regaining possession
  • Importance of pre-checkout visits, checking the tenants out of the property – points to watch
  • The right and wrong ways to refund the deposit
  • Landlords' tax issues explained, overseas landlords and the CNR
  • Organising for success, bonus income opportunities you can exploit, easily and legally

Section 9 – Important Health and Safety Requirements

  • Essential knowledge and practical guidance on compliance with safety regulations
  • Including Gas, electrical, furniture furnishings and fire safety
  • Smoke detectors, general product safety, duty of care
  • The Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)
  • Compliance with the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
  • The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)

Section 10 – Troubleshooting Tenancy Issues

  • Effective handling of occasional problems, including
  • Dealing efficiently and effectively with late or non-payment of rent
  • Tenant causing nuisance or annoyance, criminal activities
  • Apparent abandonment of the property, tenant wishing to leave early
  • Landlord's failure to effect repairs
  • When and how to use Section 21 and Section 8 to end the tenancy, other issues

Section 11 – Legal Knowledge for Letting Agents

  • The legal side simplified; we explain in practical terms the essentials of over 35 acts of parliament and regulations affecting letting agents and landlords from safety regulations and consumer law, through relevant tenancy law, the law of agency, lettings and landlord legislation, legionnaires disease precautions, deposit protection, through EPCs, HMOs, and including the latest ASA requirements for letting agents to display their fees – all covered in understandable language

Section 12 – Maintenance of Tenanted Properties

  • How to spot and diagnose problems caused by damp in buildings, through condensation, leaking roofs, damp course breakdown, rising damp

Section 13 – Trade Services, Suppliers, Professional Bodies, Specialised Information

  • Specialised suppliers, products and services for letting agents
  • Tenant referencing and specialised insurance services
  • To Let board suppliers, professional associations and how to join one, sources of grants
  • Safety inspection contractors, specialised software, further studies, keeping up to date
  • 8 sources of additional income for letting agents
  • Course examination – check your knowledge
  • Further topics including holiday lettings, company lets, and lodger licences

Section 14 – Document Completion Examples and Standard Letters

  • Document completion examples, standard letters etc.

The manual is part of our Letting Agency Start-Up Package, which also includes all admin and legal documents, standard letter templates, agreements and support, and comes with free software.