Tis the season of goodwill – Landlord’s Log

Tis the season of goodwill – Landlord’s Log

17:33 PM, 15th November 2011, About 12 years ago

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There has been lots of talk of rogue traders and corrupt, so-called professionals in our industry, especially on the internet forums. What was needed was a platform to allow landlords and their agents to sort the wheat from the chaff.

It’s all very well knowing who the rogues are and avoiding them but what we really need to know is who the good people are, right? That’s probably why we see so many questions on forums saying “does anybody know a good ??? in the ??? area.

Thousands of landlords read Property118 every week and each of us knows at least half a dozen decent folk that provide the services we need.

Just imagine if we all knew or could easily find out who each others best contacts are. We clearly don’t mind sharing these details as most of us already do it on a regular basis.

Also, what a lovely way to thank all those good businesses by writing a nice testimonial for them. It’s a fantastic way to build on an already good relationship.

Well, I’m delighted to announce that such a platform now exists and it’s right here on Property118.

Over 183,000 businesses providing services to landlords are listed in our directory. To bring it to life and to make it a resource that every landlord will want to use at some point requires action from the landlord community.

Many of you good folk have already left testimonials and several businesses have got 40+ on their Directory profiles already. Therefore, they feature highly in our Directory searches. To name just a few beneficiaries of this we have LRS, TenantID, Discount Lettings, BidOnMyHouse and many, many others.

So, as it’s the season of goodwill, please take a few minutes of your time to thank a business that has helped you.

To link to the relevant page please click here.

We made a conscious decision to avoid the risks associated with defamation to the businesses listed on our website. There’s an old adage, if you’ve got nothing good to say then say nothing.

Our algorithm allows businesses that provide genuine good value for money and service to rise to the top of the searches. Cream rising to the top so to speak. All listed businesses have the ability to accept or reject comments before they are published. We monitor the number of comments they reject or ignore and may take action to remove businesses from the Directory based on our findings.

In time, a search will return all the best businesses on page one and landlords and their agents will be able to see who has commented and when. If they don’t know any of the commenters they have the ability to contact them or move on to look at testimonials from other businesses where they do know the people that are commenting.

In the meantime, while the number of testimonials build, you may wish to use the multiple private messaging system to contact up to six companies. This facility allows you to type a single message describing your requirements and requesting contact. All you have to do then is sit back and wait for them to call you. You can of course telephone them too if your enquiry is urgent.

Property is still very much a cottage industry despite the fact that the PRS provides 4.3 million UK homes and is growing quickly. My vision, ever since I created Property118, was to unite the industry in good practice without having to resort to defaming the not-so-good businesses. It will take time to achieve this but I want this to be my legacy to the industry.

To quote a phrase of my dear Nan, now passed, “knocking the next door neighbours carpets doesn’t make your own look any better”.

My hope is that my Nan would have been proud of my creation and that our industry will embrace this concept.

I have not made any money from Property118 yet, that’s not to say we haven’t sold any advertising. As you will see from the website, we have, but it will take time before my investment is returned.

Obviously, the more traffic that visits the website, the greater the premium that can be charged to advertisers so I need you to help me spread the word about the services.

We are very conscious that our advertisers must not offend our Directory subscribers which will become the mainstay of our business. We also have to consider whether accepting an advertiser could compromise our Testimonials based Directory. Therefore, we do not accept advertisers that compete with any of the sectors listed in our Directory which includes listings for trades and professionals offering a service to landlords. Examples are solicitors, accountants, mortgage brokers, Gas Engineers etc.

We also carry adverts from smaller providers operating in niche markets. Current examples include Bridgebank Capital (a Bridging Finance Company) and National property Group which is the only Rent to Buy operation we are comfortable with.

We have just over 183,000 businesses that provide services to the PRS listed in our Directory. Most of these listings are free at the moment. The mainstay of our monetisation program is to offer these businesses greater web exposure and the ability to improve their business profile within our Directory at a cost of £25 a month +VAT. For this they receive a fully Search Engine Optimised business listing and the option (included within that price) to add up to a 3,000 character business description, to include a Google Map showing the location of their business, their business Twitter feed if they have one and their You Tube channel if they have one. A good example is the profile for Landlord Referencing Services.

We have 96 different types of professions listed in our Directory. Our first business goal is to sell upgrades to just one member in each profession in each of the 2050 towns and cities in the UK. We are seeking investment to accelerate this process. The faster we grow, the more facilities we will be able to offer to landlords.

The benefits to landlords for using the site are, in no particular order:-

  • The ability for them to thank their preferred contacts by leaving them a Testimonial and helping them to climb the directory search results and thus secure more business
  • To use the Directory to find new useful contacts. There is complete transparency so they will be able to see who left testimonials, when they left them and even have the ability to make contact with a person who left a Testimonial if necessary. we all know other landlords but we don’t know all their contacts. Most landlords are happy to share contacts and provide references so we have simply created a platform for that.
  • To keep abreast of the latest news affecting the PRS as it happens
  • To read hints and tips from other established landlords and providers of services
  • To use the Numbers Crunchers that I use myself
  • Everything in this list is completely free for landlords

Mark Alexander
Mark and his family have been investing in property since 1989, initially in the Norwich area but more recently across the length and breadth of England. Mark created Property118.com as a social network for landlords with a vision of becoming the UK’s largest online property investor directory.
Mark’s experiences and strategies as a landlord are shared here

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