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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Miln

Is helping your customers YOUR responsibility?

Could your Agency help customers weather the storm of the rising costs of living? As recent winners of Best Product for Landlords at the Property Reporter Awards: Vaboo reveal all.

The cost of living is soaring, and forecasts expect it to continue to rise, hitting customers particularly hard and affecting everything from food prices and second-hand cars to fuel and energy costs.

Over April energy bills increased by more than 50 per cent, the Bank of England also raised UK interest rates and warned households to expect the worst hit to real incomes since comparable records began 30 years ago.

There are few aspects of the economy left unaffected by the current cost of living crisis. In addition to inflation, which is set to soar over 7% in April, things like the Russia-Ukraine conflict have all contributed to the crisis in the UK.

This financial crisis has had a huge impact on the rental market, affecting millions of rented homes. As of February 2022, rent prices have risen by 8.6% with a record high price of £1,069, according to HomeLet Rental Index. Many people are also left fearing if they will be able to afford rent as the monthly cost to let a home continues to rise.

Statistics for this year show that many families in Britain are around £1,000 worse off per year than they previously were, with prices rising as wages remain stagnant.

Renters are worried – and rightly so. Covid-era protections have now disappeared, so if you can't afford to pay your rent - you face immediate eviction and potential homelessness. A tenant survey by Vaboo of over 125,000 renters found that those worried about the rising costs of living has increased from 75% during the pandemic to 89%.

It is a huge issue – but is it your responsibility to address it?

Times of crisis is when the best agents come to the fore. They understand the needs of their clients, of their tenants, and the requirement to build relationships which will persist long after this financial crisis is over. It is undoubtedly a challenging time but one which we will come through stronger than before and with a greater flexibility and understanding to help us be resilient and adaptable in the times to come. This is a time for agents to raise their brand above the rest and lead their customers through these difficult times.

Landlords are increasingly concerned about the effects of increasing costs for both themselves, and on their tenants' ability to pay their rent.  The rising cost of living has left a lot of landlords with no other option but to increase their rent figures as a way to sustain their own livelihood.

When incomes are squeezed, there’s a natural tendency for people to pay much closer attention to their spending. And this is where you can help both your tenant customers and your staff weather the storm.

So instead of using your social platforms to let people know how well your business is doing, how many new instructions you have received, and how you are outgrowing your competition ….

Think again.

Instead – show them you care.  That when times get hard you value the relationships and want to find ways to make a practical difference.

We were very proud at Vaboo to claim the title of Best Product for Landlords at the recent Property Reporter Awards. This is where you might say "But aren't you a tenant reward platform?" And we would say – “Exactly!”

Demonstrating that you have a solution to help customers save money on everyday essentials, and thus help them pay their rent - is key to attracting new Landlords – and making a real difference in the lives of your customers.

Smart Agents and Landlords recognise the power of customers who feel looked after, engaged and valued. And never on a purely human level has this compassionate approach to renting been more vital.

Landlords and tenants love it. Landlords understand that when we are saving their tenants money, their rent becomes more affordable. Don’t let some of the most loyal customers you’ll ever have in your business go anywhere else.

- Ian Crampton, Director - Ferndown Estates

Let us help you, help them.

Get in touch with our team and find out how you can do more.

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