Whether you are beginning your search for your first property, or you already have a portfolio of properties, it is key to choose a buy-to-let broker that looks after your every needs. A broker that offers you value and and is not just there to sell you a property and then disappear. So, how do you choose the right one? Well we here at Flambard Williams have compiled a list of key attributes that we consider to be essential when deciding who to use.
Are they a company that have a track record, look at the likes of Trust Pilot. How long have they been trading and are they a company that answer your questions in an open and frank way, giving both the pros and cons of each development.
Educate or Sell
A professional broker should help you search for the right property for you the investor, and should not be there to just sell you what they have. Here at Flambard Williams, our brokers are trained to listen to your requirements, understand your risk appetite and then go and search for the right property for you. If we do not have the right property then we will say so, but we will never sell you something that is wrong for you. We are happy to advise on all aspects of the market and help you as a client on your journey into the buy-to-let market, whether we sell to you or not.
The company you choose must have an efficient and friendly aftercare team. Many companies will take their commission and then leave you to your own devices, as far as they are concerned their job is done. Well that is far from the truth, and it is often at the latter stages that a client will need advice and assistance. Here at Flambard Williams, we have a dedicated team who cover all aspects of the purchase. This is facilitated by our people on the end of a phone or by a new fully automated deal tracker that the client can interact with, download documents to, and at their leisure log into and see at what point in the process their transaction is.
Recognised in the Industry
In any industry excellence is recognised, and the property market is no exception. To have any award in your chosen industry should demonstrate to any would be client that the company they are about to deal with is recognised by it’s peers, and is considered to excel. Although this is not a requirement it is a testament to the company’s achievements and performance in their chosen field. This year alone, we have won three prestigious awards, namely at the Bentley Property awards 2017-18. Added to this, we were asked to contribute to this years’ Parliamentary Review.
Are they Independent?
This is a key factor to consider as many brokers are tied to certain developers and as such do not have the freedom to offer you, the client, the best option for you as they are limited to the properties their developer builds. This is a common problem and means that you need to find a truly independent broker that can search, research and deliver a development or property that gives you everything possible without restrictions.
Make sure your broker can offer you off-market properties. Many agents will have property on their books that can be found on Zoopla or Rightmove and that is not necessarily the best place to find those early opportunities and the best-priced deals. A good broker should be able to show you a property that you the investor cannot find yourself, allowing you the opportunity of being first to market when it comes to a new development. Many times a lot of these developments get sold out, or at least a lot of the best properties get sold ahead of them hitting the major websites, and in most cases, the off-market opportunities are offered at special prices, not found in the open market.
How Does your Broker Earn Their Fees?
In all industries, a business will make money by providing a service or a product and in this case, the property market is no different. In the case of the off plan, buy-to-let property market fees paid to a broker should be met by the developer, and that will not impact on the price of your property. Transparency is key, so beware of any hidden fees that are not explained.
Are They Members of a Regulatory Body?
In most industries, a regulatory body ensures that the company you are dealing with adheres and follows the rules of good conduct in their chosen business. In this case, in an industry like property where it is not mandatory to be a member of any such body as it is a non-regulated industry membership of such bodies is key.
Can, or Have you met Them Face to Face?
This may seem a strange one to include on the list, but you would be surprised the number of people buying property do so over the phone without having actually met the broker. Now in this modern day and age this doesn’t necessarily mean physically as there are many ways you can meet someone without travelling. The use of video technology with Facetime, video conferencing or Skype allow any individual to meet their broker and build on that relationship, a key element in any relationship.
Does your Broker Have Multilingual Capabilities?
The buy to let market in the UK is a very International market drawing in investors from around the globe. In most cases, these investors are English speaking, but it is not necessarily their first language, so a company that has the ability to speak clients in various different languages can help facilitate the transactions on behalf of the client and make them feel more comfortable when negotiating.
The list above is not definitive but is to be used as a guide to help you as an investor navigate a market that can be a little confusing at times, populated by many companies that offer on the surface what would seem very similar services. In our opinion, any company purporting to be a property specialist/broker should at least meet this criteria and offer their clients the service they deserve. For more information, or to speak to one of our award-winning property specialists, call us today on: 0207 183 0646.