Letting agents are feeling more optimistic about the letting sector than they were at the outset of 2020 despite the challenges of Covid-19, according to new research.
More than 350 letting professionals took part in the latest State of the Industry survey from Goodlord, with 80% of respondents saying they felt “positive” about the future of the letting industry, an increase of almost 50% since the start of the year.
Over half of respondents - 53% - also said they felt “very positive” about the future of their own agency.
Some 84% of respondents said that they were confident their own businesses had the financial resources to continue operating for the foreseeable future, with only 3% of respondents saying they were either unconfident or didn’t know.
Despite a positive outlook amongst the majority of agents, 47% of respondents still cited the ongoing impact of the pandemic as their biggest concern, dwarfing Brexit-related worries.
Fears about leaving the EU have faded almost into oblivion; with only 2% citing it as their main concern, despite the fast-approaching deadline and prospect of a No Deal.
Two-thirds of survey respondents said that arrears had increased as a direct result of Covid-19. Half of these said that arrears had increased by up to 10%. Six percent of respondents said that arrears had increased by over 30%.
Coronavirus related concerns now dwarf Brexit, which 20% of property professionals said was a concern in our survey at the outset of 2020. Fears about leaving the EU have faded almost into oblivion; with only 2% citing it as their main concern, despite the fast-approaching deadline and prospect of a No Deal.
Compliance remains a major concern for many agents, with a third of respondents naming this as their biggest worry.
Property professionals find compliance the most challenging part of the lettings process, with almost half of survey respondents describing it as “difficult”. This was slightly ahead of property management, which 43% of respondents considered difficult. Check out and managing void periods were also described as difficult by almost a third of respondents.
Goodlord COO, Tom Mundy, said: “We’ve always known that the lettings industry and those working in it are incredibly resilient. But the last six months have proved that they can weather the most intense of storms.
“After a full industry shut-down, followed by an unprecedented period of demand, the market is demonstrating the strength of its foundation. And whilst concerns remain in the market - from compliance to Covid complications - optimism remains very high and industry professionals are feeling confident about the future.”
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