Part 1: What value do you actually get for your money in using Keystones for Lettings?

Landlords, Letting

Part 1 – The marketing & viewings

At Keystones, we get approached day in and day out by vendors and landlords that want to work with us.

We choose NOT to work with all clients as some people want a different type and style of service than what we choose to offer and how much we can offer it for.

We are not for everyone.

We love transparency which is not common in a lettings agency and we want to be clear with our customers about what they are receiving for their money. I know that when I receive a service, I want to know exactly what I am paying for rather than being left in the dark. So, I have below written a full breakdown of what goes into the marketing, viewing, and renting of a property so that our landlords know what type of service they are receiving for their money.

Rentals do work slightly differently to Sales, my advice is to pick your rental agency extremely carefully, there is a lot more involved and more risk if the agent is not doing their job properly. So, let’s go into it.

The Marketing

Keystones advertise on Rightmove, Zoopla and On the Market because it is very important to obtain full coverage on your listing. Some agents may leave out one of the property portals to save money which can limit their exposure to buyers and tenants, depending on where the buyer/tenant is looking for a property. We aim to give full coverage and the more exposure we give a property the more leads we will find. The wider we cast our net, the more we can catch into the filtering process. Meaning more choices of buyers, and more tenants for our landlords and sellers alike. Obviously, the more portals mean the more money an agent is spending on their marketing budget for your property.

An agency can choose whether to purchase additional premium products to make your property stand out on the portals and receive more clicks, which equate to more viewings, more tenants and potentially in some cases higher rent. Again, the way we work is quality of tenant over higher rent. Again, this is more money spent and if the client doesn’t know this, it can easily be hidden.

Rightmove itself varies depending on the package, and how many offices or shops an agency has and every year Rightmove will always try to upsell more expensive packages to its agents. At present in 2023 we pay £2,700 Per Month including VAT for both sales and lettings. This includes packages which we invest in for our landlords and vendors.

There is also the CRM Software system, we use this to hold our data, create our brochures, manage the listings including feedback and match your properties out to potential tenants or buyers. We will then use the database to call out, confirm viewings, email, and virtually run our business.

The software system functions to manage the tenancy up to move-in and the whole tenancy if you wanted Rent Collection or Property Management too.

Our software system runs our maintenance department (which can incorporate other software such as fixed flow) and certificate reminders such as Gas Safeties, EPC’s and EICRs, you can also populate it to remind you of Licenses that are also due.

There is a whole banking system aligned with our software system that will track rent, maintenance money, money on account/suspense and agency fees, as well as landlord invoices. It can also do End of Year Statements, Sort and Pay (Non-Resident Landlord Tax) and lots of other boring accountancy stuff that helps the smoothness and running of a tenancy.

Here is a brief rundown of the amount of expenditure that goes into the marketing side of running an estate or lettings agency.

Marketing Breakdown:

Rightmove: £800 – £3,000 per month per branch (depending on the features)
Zoopla: £400 – £1,500 Per Month Approx. per branch
On the Market: £500 – £1000 Per Month Approx. per branch

Floor plan Software: £££
Camera Software: £££
CRM Software System: £££
Board: An amount per Board (printing, erecting of board and includes 1 re-erection and sold slip)
Social Media Advertising: Monthly Fee’s and Sponsoring adverts
Window Display: Included in Shop Rent
Anti-Money Laundering Check – £££

Time/Labour Breakdown:

Valuation – 1 hour approx. + travel time/petrol
Photos/Floorplan at the property – 1 hour Approx. plus travel/petrol
Writing the particulars – 30 mins
Creating a Floorplan – 30 mins
Brushing Photos of house – 1 hour
Putting the above together and putting it on portals – 30 mins
Anti-Money Laundering Legal Checks – 10 minutes

Total: 5-6 hours of Labour


Here at Keystones, we aim we believe in accompanied viewings and believe that we are there to earn our corn in the marketplace, of course, we are the experts at showing people round houses and getting them to buy property. Here is a breakdown of what goes into the pre-qualification phase, viewing booking stage and viewing stage.

Pre-qualification stage:

After we advertise your property on all the property portals, we will start to actively call out through our database (usually around 600-800 revolving people at any one time depending on the area of the agency) to try to get viewings for your property. We will also receive leads from the property portals as stated above.

We will qualify each applicant (as any good agent with its staff should) to ask if they are in a working, how much they earn, how many people are moving in and when they need to move by – the aim here is to get an overall story of the tenant, also to have a good chat with them and find out their story.

You can usually get a feel on the phone before booking a tenant in on whether they are a good-natured person, know how much they earn, and if their story matches up.

Once we book someone in, they are emailed their appointment, we will text them the day before to remind them of their viewing for the following day and then call them the next day to remind them of their viewing in the next few hours. We don’t ideally want no-shows or cancellations, this prevents that.

If there are multiple tenants, then this can take quite a long time to do.

Once the viewings go ahead, we book out a slot to conduct the viewing. With tenants, we usually group people together and hopefully receive a holding deposit on the property.

Time/Labour Breakdown:

Applicant Prospecting: 2-12 hours depending on interest levels and duration a property is on market.
Booking viewing/texting/emailing: 30 mins-1 hour
Conducting the viewings: 30mins – 8 hours depending on how long a property is not selling.

Labour of a Negotiator: £££
Petrol: £££ depending on the number of viewings providing it is a 5-mile radius
Phone Bill: £££ (Progression/Prospecting/Offers/Care calls)
Training: £££ Per Month

Read Part 2 Here

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  • Keystones Property Collier Row
    13 Clockhouse Lane, Collier Row, Romford, Essex, RM5 3PH, United Kingdom
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