April was a solid month, given the Easter break, Passover and the fact that half term fell in the middle of the month. The feeling in the market is that the further delay on Brexit has meant many people who were putting their moving plans on hold have decided that they are fed up with waiting and with money cheap (mortgages rates remain low) they are deciding to just get on with things. The number of MA’s the company carried out is on par with what we carried out last April, and the number of viewings we carried out in April was 25% up on last year and the new sales agreed for April are up 17% on last year. I believe the Easter holiday and the looming Tenant Fee Ban (read more about this latter in the newsletter) has had some effect on the letting side, with many tenants holding on so they need not pay Landlord or agent fees, although that said we only took 2 less holding deposits than in April last year so despite a slow month in lettings for billing things still bode well.
Individually, I would like to mention Martin Collins who agreed 7 new sales in the month, while Muswell Hill, North Finchley & Kentish Town Sales offices have had their best billing month of the year so far, as did Kentish Town Lettings. I would also like to mention Kimberley Harrington and Lizzie Cox who between them accounted for just shy of 50% of the total lettings billing in the month.
Overall, the focus and hard work you are putting in is reflected in the fact that eight of the Sales offices and eight of the Letting Departments (inc Property & Block Management) are up on billing year to date, to the end of April. Please don’t let all this hard work go to waste by taking your eyes off the ball, keep focusing on providing the best customer service and experience you can, recognising and developing every opportunity.
The latest mystery shop results provide lots of opportunities for training (see the mystery shop article) it has shown us where we can make great improvements which will ultimately help us all give a better customer experience and more business opportunities. In both Sales and Lettings the next few months leading up to the Summer will be busy and provide many opportunities, it is down to you to be on the ball and make sure you make the most of them - if you are prepared to put the effort in – I promise the possibilities are endless so make sure you set up your pipeline now for a strong push so you can get to 15% and 20% ASAP.
The tenant fee ban which comes in at the end of the month is a major change to the letting market and it will cause many agents to suffer. I know some are concerned about how it will affect us and the market in general, at Martyn Gerrard we haven’t charged tenants admin fees so we are well set to deal with the ban when it comes in. Any change brings with it opportunity and we have spent a great deal of time developing the offering we give our landlord clients including how we charge for our management service making it a great deal more attractive to landlords which will mean a lot more business opportunities for the branches.
I would like to end by telling you about Staff Circle a new and exciting online application we have been helping to develop which will really enhance communication and engagement with everyone in the company. Through the program, you will be able to set, manage and measure your goals and performance on the league table which will be updated weekly rather than having to wait to the end of every month. We are in the test stage at the moment and hope to be rolling it out later in the year.