It’s hard to believe, but Lucie White & Company has been going strong for ten years! It feels like only yesterday that I took those first tentative steps towards building a business; we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs over the past decade but I’m very proud of what we have achieved so far.
Someone asked me a few weeks ago to reveal the secrets of my success. I’m not sure if they are secrets, as such, but there are a few ground rules that I have tried to stick to:
1. Trust your instincts
Being part of a smaller team means that we have built much closer relationships with our clients, which in turn creates trust and loyalty.
There is great job satisfaction in offering a higher level of service that I instinctively know is better for my customer.
2. Be sensible and straightforward
Renting out a property means a long and brutal battle with red tape: there are at least 130 pieces of UK legislation with which every landlord must comply (no matter the property or the tenant); in some cases there can be up to 700.
That’s pretty daunting if you haven’t done it before – so our job is to use our knowledge and experience to make life as easy as possible for our landlords and their tenants.
3. Understand your customers’ pain points
Unless your portfolio is your full time job, a rental property is probably something to juggle alongside a career and a family – and we all know that there aren’t enough hours in the day for that!
Our team has plenty of practical experience of the lettings market, but each of us also owns at least one property so we’re familiar with the personal stresses, strains and emotions of buying or renting a home. Because we can empathise, clients trust us to look after their investment as well as their peace of mind.
4. Know your place – and make the most of it
Because we don’t have the huge overheads of a high street estate agent, we’ve always managed to keep our fees low.
This is particularly important against today’s political and economic backdrop, as imminent changes to income tax legislation could hit landlords hard.
Switching to a lower-cost agent could be a way to lessen the impact, so we’ll be helping existing and new clients to mitigate the new rules with cost savings wherever we can.