The buy-to-let (BTL) market is huge. However, landlords can sometimes be difficult to attract. 36% of landlords use BTL mortgages, which might seem a substantial amount but is dwarfed by the number who fund their properties with their savings or inheritance, a total of 58%.
Despite the majority of BTL mortgages being privately funded, the BTL market looks set to grow as millennials increasingly rent rather than buy their homes.
To attract landlords, you must understand their needs and talk their language. You have to remember that you are marketing to an audience who mightn’t be so confused by the finer details of mortgages as the general public.
Optimising your service for landlords
Our first point is so obvious that we are almost tempted not to say it... Oh well, let’s say it anyway - it’s really important that you know what you’re talking about!
Landlords want mortgage brokers who are experts in BTL mortgages. You need to show your value by going beyond what landlords can do independently.
If you’re not up-to-speed on the ins and outs of BTL mortgages, you should get studying their finer points quickly. Even if you are already well-versed in BTL mortgages, you need to stay on the pulse and research new mortgages as they are launched to the market.
Landlords are all about generating maximum profits from their portfolio. This means you need to find them the most competitive deals out there.
If you can show landlords that you have detailed knowledge of the rental market, you will come across as better accomplished in guiding them in their choice of mortgage.
Listening and relationships
To find a landlord the best deal, you have to pay close attention to their individual circumstances.
Understanding their approach to property management is key. Is their portfolio self-managed or through an agent? Are they actively looking to expand their portfolio? What type of properties do they favour? Are they managing their property portfolio for capital growth or for rental yield? You get the idea. Asking these types of questions demonstrates your credibility and helps to build the relationship.
What’s more, getting to know landlords’ situations is a great way to build relationships. If a landlord has a great relationship with you and you really understand their needs, they will build trust with you which as a result will naturally lead to placing more business.
Communication is key. Landlords are notoriously time poor. This means that you need to be quick to respond to their enquiries and provide them with information that addresses their specific needs.
When in the early stages of developing a relationship, it might help to send them some useful content that addresses their needs. This will help to position you as experts in buy-to-let mortgages and will help to convert them into customers.
Delivering a service that comes across as tailored is an excellent way to make your service stand out from the rest. Remember that landlords are likely to be more reluctant to use a mortgage broker than residential customers, so you need to ensure that your service radiates professionalism at all stages.
Professional landlords will be attracted to mortgage brokers who can show they have plenty of experience in the BTL market.
Try to enhance your firm’s website so that it portrays your business as the experts. A modern, professional website will convey a similar message about your services and proposition. If your website is dated, visitors will feel the same about your services.
When landlords visit your office, make sure they know that your firm provides a top of the range service. Here, the little touches matter.
Try to ensure that the entirety of the customer journey shows attention to detail, right from the moment they first contact you to when they meet you in your offices. It matters how the phone is answered, as does the quality of the coffee you serve! You want to build the perception of value that will reassure them that they’re getting the best possible service and mortgage advice from you.
It really is worthwhile spending a bit extra on ensuring your website and offices look up to scratch. Of course, these changes will not only enhance your service in the eyes of BTL customers - any changes you implement will make you seem more attractive to the residential market too.
Do your utmost to make your business as attractive as possible to landlords, and reap the rewards of doing so in the future.
If you haven't already downloaded our free guide to buy to let tax you can do so here.