What are the Benefits for Landlords to Signing an Exclusive Right to Rent an Apartment?
Landlords have different alternative routes when it comes to listing a rental property. Those options range from listing it directly, to using any of dozens of real estate agencies in the area. This article will discuss the benefits for landlords to signing an “Exclusive Right to Rent Agreement,” and what are the important factors to look for in a real estate agency that will receive the exclusivity.
What is an exclusive right to rent agreement?
In this type of agreement, you as a landlord give exclusive rights to one agent or company to rent your property during a specified period of time. What’s unique in this arrangement, is that it entitles the agency to be the exclusive listing agent for that property. It commits the landlord not to list it with any other agent or real estate company. This agreement is signed for a limited period of time, and the agent is paid a commission only if the property is rented during the fixed term of the agreement. During periods of high vacancy rates, this can be quite problematic for landlords especially when many companies do not have exceptional and unique marketing platforms that can syndicate listings to the widest possible audience.
What are the risks and benefits to the landlord?
Some landlords may believe that this type of exclusive agreement limits exposure to their unit. This does mean they can’t list it with every brokerage. However, by carefully examining all options, it can be quite fruitful with the right company. Here are some key takeaways to examine that could be beneficial or punitive depending on how you set up the structure of the exclusive.
Having to deal with only one agent or company translates into having a single point of contact, a single line of communication, a streamlined schedule of showings. This, in turn, means less headaches and greater peace of mind for you as a landlord over having to deal with multiple agents. There is no question that having a single point of contact will reduce the amount of calls you will receive from agents. The broader question is whether a confined synopsis of your apartment is the right path during uncertain economic times. Diversity of thought and opinions on what do you with your apartment and how to market the unit can be vast and helpful. Different agents often notice things and have different strategies that other agents may not. Property managers often have their own agendas and are used to certain companies or agents, and these companies and strengthen or weaken over time. Technologies and teams change so it’s important you examine their marketing efforts and achievements over both the short and long term. Before you decide to give any company the honor of your exclusive right to rent, have them explain how they will make your apartment stand out among the thousands of other apartments out in the marketplace.
Because as a landlord you would only have to deal with a single agent, there is a single set of listing documentation forms to sign. Also, a single stream of emails and communications to reply to and a single source of rental applications. In short, as a landlord using this type of agreement you will benefit from increased time efficiency in the rental process. It’s important that you look at what you are signing. A properly priced apartment will rent quickly so there is no need to sign long exclusivity for an apartment. When an agent asks you to sign for 90 days or longer be very leery as it shows they have little faith in their ability to get the apartment rented. Some agents get exclusives just for the sake of saying they get many exclusive right to rent agreements to get more exclusives. Efficiency can be great, but hard work and due diligence of the agent and company are far more important. Do they have a specific marketing plan for your unit? Do not be fooled by glossy marketing material of certain national brands that focus on residential sales because they are probably not the best choice for apartment leasing. Renting apartments is vastly different than residential sales. Renting apartments requires a broader team based approach and broader and quicker real time feedback than residential sales. In essence, it maybe counter productive to go with efficiency at the expense of results. It maybe wiser to seek companies that have exceptional data points on the vacancy rates of apartments that are your competition.
Most landlords know that numerous agencies list their units in disparate and incomplete marketing methods. The internet is so diffuse and wide at this point that without working with a company that accelerates at local search engine optimization and social media, you could be shortchanging your chances of the best possible outcome. For the most part, some agents with limited abilities to provide proper marketing channels will tell you they will “throw it up on mls” and see what happens. Here is the truth however, MLS maybe great for residential sales but it is a poor performer in getting apartments rented. There are few agents that like to co-broke rental apartments because the commissions are small compared to sales listings. The bottom line is that the commission for the agent becomes so small when they have to share it with two parties and their office. Many agent that tell you that they will take your apartment listing and put it on mls often just “set it and forget it” this is why units on mls has never really taken root as a dominant channel in rental leasing. Most apartment leasing agents look at mls as the platform of last choice or hope. Many apartment listings languish up on MLS because it is simply easier for a great rental agent to keep calling landlords and find new units that are about to come to market rather than rely on losing half of a potential commission. With a huge amount of apartment vacancies across the country; it simply doesn’t make mathematical sense to give an exclusive right to rent to an agent that places the listing on mls and doesn’t do much more. However, if you give your exclusive listing to an apartment leasing company that uses the widest syndication technologies or has high ranking websites, you will almost always see better performance. Find companies that have unique websites with strong local domain names. If your apartment is located in South Boston, it may serve you well to see who owns domain names that match those keywords. See if they have strong social media presences in those neighborhoods. The greater the presence and exposure to proprietary online websites with virtual tours – the better! Of course, this relies on the assumption that the agency has a good digital team behind them using state-of-the art real estate technology and resources.
What factors to look for in an exclusive listing agent?
There are many factors to weight in when considering giving an exclusive right to rent listing to an agent. From marketing considerations to technological and logistical issues, we work very hard at Boston Pads to make sure we earn your exclusive business. We treat everyone of our apartment listings as if it were one of our own. Bostonpads was developed to optimize property owners exposure. Bostonpads is the product of years of working with landlords and listening to their needs. Below is just a small example of what Boston Pads brings to the table:
1. Proven Track Record – We at Boston Pads have most experienced team in the Boston rental market – and the track record to prove it. Our solid, growing network of 15,870+ landlords is a testament to our strongly held belief that landlord relationships come first. We want you as a landlord to be happy with our services so we continue to receive your listings year after year! We rent the most properties for landlords each year. Our technology and teamwork has earned local and national notoriety as the most comprehensive apartment renting solution in New England.
2. Paperwork Expertise – All the forms and documentation in our leasing packets have been created and developed by expert real estate professionals. We work extensively with industry leading real estate attorneys to make sure forms protect all parties and transactions flow smoothly. New forms are drafted with every change in legislation, markets, and special situations (including COVID addenda). We help get landlords to the proper resources so that their questions are answered in easy speak so that they can also craft custom addendums that keep them in compliance.
3. Quality Control – At Boston Pads, we have strong quality control checks in place for every real estate transaction. We make sure our management team checks every transaction to ensure that all contracts and documents are filled out properly, lessening the possibility of any problems arising later. Unless a company rents apartments on a nonstop basis – many important items can be overlooked. You want apartment rental expertise that only comes through the experience of renting thousands of apartments.
4. Digital Documentation – Our company uses electronic signature and dedicate storage solutions for documentation in our rental transactions. This happens at the corporate level; so even if the agent you work with isn’t available at that moment, we can obtain and email all leases and forms related your specific transaction when you need it – whether it be on the same day, or even years later. We have you covered.
5. Proprietary Database Technology – We at Boston Pads have a proprietary database and software specifically developed to make the most out of your listings. No other company in the Boston area has a shared real time database with over 120 agents spanning across six key offices and a full time technical and listing staff updating data seven days a week. This ensures that your listings are up to date and have the information needed to get your property rented to the most qualified of tenants. Regardless of whether you like to call, text or email in your listings – we have a live professional standing by to help get your listings out to market faster than any other service.
6. Pricing Expertise – We price properly. Boston Pads uses the proprietary information of all the 182k listings in our database to properly price your property using the widest and most accurate real time comparable data. Our agents are trained to provide you with the pricing feedback to help you maximize your rental income. No other real estate company in the Boston area has this level of resources. With over 67,000 galleries and 12,000 videos and virtual tours – we can see information that other companies can’t compile.
7. Safety is paramount – We have all agents use company specific photo identification key cards. Your tenants never have to worry about who they are letting into their units again. Our agents are trained to follow all COVID related protocols, and remote virtual showings are available to potential tenants. Our apartment leasing training platform has live instructors that go over best showing practices.
8. Largest Virtual Tour Team – Our virtual tour team works closely with landlords to get the most advanced media so that your property is shown in the best manner possible. We have a professionally trained media team that gets the best photos, videos and virtual tours so you don’t have to worry.
8. Key Security and Tracking – Our landlords’ keys are under lock with camera surveillance and also a new KeyTrak system. Each key is signed in and out electronically every time using a finger print scan. Nightly automated reports are run to ensure keys are returned daily. There is a reason more landlords trust us with keys than any other real estate platform. Agents from other offices often come over to see our keys and are blown away by it’s presence. The best indication of whether or not a real estate company generates trust with landlords is to see how many keys they provide to them. Property owners only give keys to companies they know like and trust. We feel honored our landlords see our value.
You don’t have to do the hard work alone- we’re here to help!
In short, when it comes to signing an exclusive right to rent agreement you want leaders in technology innovation. We at Boston Pads are constantly innovating and delivered the highest level of landlord care. We were the first real estate company in the area to adopt electronic signatures for leasing paperwork in 2012. We pioneered the education of numerous landlords into utilizing better tools for them. Our team continues to provide the best real time vacancy rate information in the region. We developed the Real Time Vacancy Rate(RTVR) and the Real Time Availability Rate (RTAR) for each neighborhood in Greater Boston so that our property owners could get a daily pulse of the market. Our landlord are treated to the best real time comps in the industry. We continue to learn and stay abreast of the most up to date technology – in compliance with current rules and regulations – to make sure paperwork is being done in the most secure, professional and immediate fashion. If you want to know more about us, or you want to talk about that listing you’ve had trouble renting, please reach out to us now! You can fill out this form, or give us a call at (617) 208 2197 and one of our licensed professionals will be happy to talk.