"All in all, client accountancy represents a reduction in time, stress, costs and risk for you, and it represents peace of mind for your landlords"
- Sally Lawson - Agent Rainmaker
Time after time, I see frazzled agents trying to ‘do it all’ and ‘be all things to all people’ – they’re reluctant to hand over responsibility to their own staff, let alone an outside service.
But these are the agents who simply aren’t progressing, because they’re spending every single day keeping on top of an ever-refilling to-do list, and they’re never getting down to the action which says ‘grow the business’.
Since setting up Agent Rainmaker, I’ve been encouraging agents to down tools and take one step away so they can look objectively at their company, work out how to expand their services, and portfolios, and increase their revenue as a result.
As part of that, we look at which responsibilities can be given to team members and – crucially – we delve into which tasks could be completely outsourced. Whether it’s your marketing or your call handling, there is a wealth of specialists out there who can take on a specific part of your business to-do list, leaving you free to concentrate on the bigger picture.
Outsourcing certainly isn’t a new concept: Deloitte predicted this year (2023) that the total spent on outsourcing across the globe would top $731billion. YouGov states the majority of businesses use a separate company for at least one of their functions, with almost a quarter doing so for accounting (not including payroll).
That’s absolutely an area where I believe letting agents can benefit from outsourcing, specifically when it comes to dealing with rent, deposits and any other money associated with tenancies.
Client accounting involves accuracy and regulation compliance, meaning it’s not something which can be rushed or done while multi-tasking and thinking about the 100 other tasks which the agency needs to complete that day. It’s also something which is much more efficient when undertaken by a specialist.
Half of all UK businesses who outsource say they do so because they don’t have the qualified staff for the task at hand (again according to YouGov), and 30% say outsourcing delivers better results. Both of these are huge benefits associated with client accounting – because the professionals you would outsource this function to (CASPs) are specifically trained to handle funds in accordance with industry standards and regulations, and most have amassed a huge amount of experience and knowledge which ensures efficiency and effectiveness.
The accuracy you can rely on with a reputable CASP is even more crucial when you think about risk management – handing your client accounting to someone with little knowledge or experience could prove hazardous when it comes to compliance.
Investing in hiring and training staff specifically to deal with accounting is likely to be costly (both in terms of money and time) and, as previously mentioned, taking this task on yourself is hugely time-consuming.
So, by far the most preferable option is trusting it to an expert. There are, of course, costs associated with outsourcing – but often the time saved by having an expert undertake the tasks, and the ability you now have to focus on generating increased revenue within the business, means you’ll actually be saving money overall.
The accuracy a CASP can provide goes hand in hand with efficiency – you don’t have to worry about covering sickness, holidays or staff turnover because the outside firm will do that. Your landlords will be paid on time, and have the reassurance of knowing you’ve got an expert team looking after their financial transactions.
You don’t even have to worry about taking on and training more staff over time because the CASP team will be able to scale up their level of service as your business grows.
All in all, client accountancy represents a reduction in time, stress, costs and risk for you, and it represents peace of mind for your landlords. And all of that adds up to a bigger and brighter future for your agency.