It’s the end of the year, not the end of the road
2017 will hardly go down as a fantastic year for landlords and agents. We’ve had tax changes, more regulations, and an imminent but not yet specified ban on fees. Public opinion and political rhetoric have stayed firmly on the side of the tenant, and landlords and agents have been painted in a poor light in large swathes of the press. A few have quit the buy-to-let business, but many others are continuing in property rental because it remains – still – worthwhile, profitable and, for many, very enjoyable.
We start the new year with a lot of unknowns ahead. But we may as well embrace the changes, not least because they might stem the tide of criticism the sector has faced. Once we are a licensed, regulated and monitored industry, we’ll be able to rid ourselves of tags that routinely get attached. Words like dodgy and unscrupulous will be reserved for the real rogues, not unfairly used about the decent majority. The industry will be stronger and better for it.
And yes, that is an optimistic stance, but we’re feeling positive. It’s a new year, a fresh start and a time for making solid progress towards goals. If you’ve already made plans for 2018, good on you, but if you haven’t, it’s not too late. Start now and think about every aspect of what you do. What works well, what doesn’t? What are the sector’s key players doing? Can you follow their lead? Do you perhaps need a change of focus, refining your target market? Would technology enable you to speed up transactions or improve communications? Think about the good things that have happened in 2017. Can you build on them?
A lot of the larger players in the market are merging businesses. Landlords’ portfolios are growing and the smaller voice in the industry may find it harder to be heard, but there is strength in numbers. Join a local organisation, investigate business networks, get online and become a member of an industry pressure or support group. Consolidate, cooperate and innovate and you’ll be fine.
We’re not at the end of the road yet, but we’ve begun the journey to a better future. Enjoy the rest of the trip.
And have a very happy New Year.
LegalforLandlords has lots of bright ideas to support your property business in 2018. Call us to find out more.