Is it best to choose a local or national letting agent? 

Clan Gordon is an award-winning letting agent voted one of the best at managing properties and securing tenants in Scotland and Edinburgh.

Renting out a property can be a complex task, especially for first-time landlords. Not only do you want someone passionate about letting your property, but you also need an agent who understands the local market and can provide a personalised service. 

From finding tenants, marketing the property, conducting viewings, managing repairs, collecting rent and staying legally compliant, making the most of your property involves juggling a lot of tasks all at once.  

While landlords have the option to handle these responsibilities themselves, paying for the help of a professional letting agent is often worth every penny. They can act as a guide to keep you from falling into the common pitfalls of letting your property 

But should you choose a local or national letting agent? Of course, not every letting agent is a good one. Still, generally, it’s worth weighing up the unique advantages of the offer and the differences between local and national letting agents.  

As a local letting agent who has served Edinburgh for more than 15 years, we’re proud Clan Gordon is recognised as an award-winning local letting agent. It’s why we were named Edinburgh Letting Agency of the Year. We’re here to empower landlords with the knowledge they need to choose between local or national letting agents that will significantly enhance the rental experience for them, the property and their tenants. 

As a first time landlord, the service has been excellent. Hannah has been fantastic from the start, quick to reply and with clear answers. Very happy!...

Robbie C

National letting agents: pros and cons 

National letting agents such as Open Rent or the Connells Group have a larger profile and naturally hold a larger portfolio of managed properties. With branches all over the country, they cater to buy-to-let landlords with properties in multiple locations.  

However, for most buyers, sellers, or renters searching locally, national letting agents often do not have the local expertise necessary to provide accurate advice or effectively market properties. 

The biggest advantages of using a national letting agency are their large-scale teams and experience handling a wide range of property types. This level of expertise can be beneficial if you have properties scattered across the country as a buy-to-let landlord.  

However, for those focused on a particular locality, a national letting agent’s lack of specific knowledge of an area’s property market can be a massive drawback. 

When it comes to buying or selling property, understanding the local area is crucial. National letting agents often operate under central management rules and regulations, which may not account for the unique aspects of each branch’s locality.  

Furthermore, employees and management within the large chain operations may move between different branches of the business, reducing their familiarity with not just the local market, but with their landlords. The last thing you need is for your assigned agent to leave without someone who knows as much about your property and the local market ready to take their place. 

Independent letting agents: tailored service and local knowledge 

Independent letting agents offer a tailored approach to their clients, just like the family-run shops on the high street that put the customer’s specific needs first. Unlike national agents who operate under a central head office, independent letting agents can provide a more individual experience.  

They are typically run by professionals with extensive knowledge of the local area and a deep understanding of the local housing market cultivated over many years. 

Tailored approach and community focus 

When working with a local letting agent, you have the opportunity to develop a more intimate and productive working relationship compared to larger agencies or online platforms. Local firms often maintain smaller teams, leading to less frequent staff turnover and facilitating familiarity between clients and agents. 

Building a strong rapport with your letting agent enhances communication and promotes a greater understanding of your individual needs and preferences. Whether discussing tenant requirements, addressing concerns, or seeking advice on property-related matters, having a dedicated point of contact who knows you personally can greatly streamline the rental process.  

Unlike online platforms where communication is typically carried out through impersonal channels such as email or chatbots, local agents offer a more personal touch. Phone calls, face-to-face meetings and direct interactions are commonplace in the relationships between landlords and local letting agents.  

These traditional modes of communication foster trust, create transparency and reinforce the agent’s accountability to their clients. 

Moreover, local letting agents possess deep-rooted connections with tradespeople and other industry professionals in the area. Their robust network enables them to promptly address repair and maintenance issues that may arise during tenancy.  

Whether it’s fixing a leaking pipe or ensuring the boiler is functioning optimally, local agents can rely on their established relationships to handle these matters swiftly and effectively. 

Setting the right rent 

Determining the optimal rent for your property can be challenging without an in-depth understanding of the local rental market. Local letting agents possess valuable insights into current market trends, enabling them to set competitive rents that strike a balance between attracting quality tenants and maximising your rental income. 

Their expertise allows them to accurately assess factors such as location, property size, amenities and demand to arrive at a fair rental price. By relying on their knowledge, you can avoid overpricing or underpricing your property, ensuring it remains attractive to potential tenants while yielding optimal returns for you as a landlord. 

Clan Gordon are outstanding in everything they do! From receiving a call on a Sunday evening 2hrs after enquiring to my property manager to the attention to detail and professionalism that they show consistently every day.

Tom - All Agents Review

Local property marketing that works 

Local letting agents excel at crafting tailored marketing strategies specific to Edinburgh’s rental market. They understand what features and selling points resonate with prospective tenants, allowing them to highlight your property’s unique attributes effectively. 

In addition to advertising properties on popular online portals like Rightmove, Zoopla, and Citylets, local agents leverage their own databases of prospective tenants and harness the foot traffic generated by their high street branches. This multi-channel approach ensures maximum exposure for your property and increases the chances of finding suitable tenants quickly. 

By entrusting local agents with the task of marketing your property, you benefit from their experience and proficiency in showcasing its best qualities. From professional photography to compelling property descriptions, they know how to present your property in its best light and generate interest among potential renters. 

Dispelling myths about independent local letting agents 

Despite the numerous advantages that local letting agents offer, several misconceptions about them still persist: 

Myth #1: “They charge more for their services.” 

Contrary to popular belief, independent letting agents do not necessarily charge higher fees. At Clan Gordon, for example, we offer flexible rates based on the level of service you need for your Edinburgh property. 

Whether it’s just finding tenants or full property management, we offer our services at a competitive price. Moreover, many national and online letting agents often have hidden fees that are only disclosed after you start working with them. 

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Local letting agents like us offer transparent pricing structures from the outset that ensure you know exactly what you’re paying for. 

Myth #2: “Independent letting agents can’t spread the word as effectively.” 

Listing your property on a national or online letting agent’s website might generate a significant number of views, but that does not directly translate to local viewers who are genuinely interested. Independent letting agents focus on attracting credible local tenants who are more likely to follow through with viewings and get moved in.  

Their targeted approach ensures that your property receives attention from potential tenants who are actually interested. They’ll also do a better job at vetting them, carrying out credit checks, getting guarantors, handling deposits and going above and beyond. 

Making the right choice of letting agents for your property needs 

Both independent and national letting agents offer different advantages; the decision ultimately depends on your specific requirements and preferences. If you value a tailored, localised approach with extensive knowledge of an area, a local letting agent may be the ideal choice for you.  

On the other hand, if you have properties scattered across different regions that you want to be managed by the same business, a national letting agent could better suit your needs. 

To find the perfect fit, do some window shopping. Visit national and local branches or compare their websites and online reviews to compare their approach and customer service. Pay close attention to any interactions that are personalised to you and your property.  

This will be one of the biggest indicators to gauge which option makes you feel most confident about entrusting them with the management of your property. Remember, whether it’s through an independent or national estate agent, choosing the right professional will help you navigate the real estate market more effectively and confidently achieve your goals. Your property is a valuable asset: placing it in the right hands will give you the peace of mind you deserve. 

If you’re searching for an Edinburgh letting agent who understands the unique dynamics of the local rental market, look no further than Clan Gordon. With our exceptional knowledge, experience and dedication to client success, our professional property managers are well-equipped to assist Edinburgh landlords in navigating the city’s thriving rental market.  

Schedule a call with the Clan Gordon team today to learn more about how we can take care of your property management needs.