For a successful let do you go sole or multi-agency?

Last week I was talking to a friend whose flat in Ealing is up for rent. It’s a lovely flat but when she pulled out her phone to show me her advert on-line, I was surprised to find that she had instructed four local agents! Why so many? Well she was certain that more agents would mean more competition (everyone keen to earn their fee) and that more people would see her property. Right?

Will more people see her flat? No, not really. Over 90% of people find their next home online. Agents know this and so are signed up with a least one of the big two portals. By engaging four agents, her advert will be seen by the same number of people, they’ll just see it four times. And instead of attracting interest that’s actually more likely to look a little desperate and put people off.

Will agents work harder to let her flat? Again, unlikely. After the initial flurry of interest and viewings, an agent faced with the choice of devoting time and effort to a multi-agency property where they have a 1 in 4 chance of earning their fee, or a property where they are sole agent, will invariably choose the latter. Or worse, in order to get across the line first, they may take short-cuts with the tenants they introduce!

My advice? Firstly, review the adverts. Which agent had taken the best pictures and written the best description to attract tenants? Secondly, what was her ‘gut feel’? Which agent did she believe would offer her the best service both initially and over the lifetime of the tenancy? Once she’d weighed up the alternatives and decided which agency came out on top, it was a simple to contact the agent and instruct them for a month on a sole agency basis.

What was not so simple was cancelling the agents she had not selected!!