Who is the best estate agent in my area? The Landlord’s take when buying BTLs.

By Georgia Galloway | Friday 17th May | 8 minute read

Using an estate agent is the preferred way to source buy-to-let (BTL) properties for 68% of UK landlords. But who comes out on top in the poll overall and regionally, and how do landlords benefit from using them?

68% of landlords in the UK preferred using estate agents when buying investment properties (2024 Landlord Survey). When searching for the best estate agent as a landlord, it’s invaluable to know the other landlords' rates nationally and regionally. So, who is the best estate agent for landlords? As voted by landlords?

This article uncovers the top 10 estate agents and the top agents regionally, discusses the benefits of using an estate agent, and offers tips to landlords on selecting the right one.

Martin & Co - voted best estate agents by landlords

Which is the best estate agent (according to Landlords)?

Topping our survey is Martin & Co. They are the preferred estate agent among landlords for securing Buy-to-Let (BTL) properties, capturing over 18% of all votes.

Philip Skorochod, Director of Martin & Co Bournemouth, comments, "I'm thrilled that landlords voted Martin & Co the top British estate agency in 2024.

We strive to build strong relationships with our Landlords. We go to great lengths to help landlords find the right properties, and once they're refurbished, we help them achieve the best rental yields by placing great tenants.

Consistently high client service levels and knowledgeable advice are priorities, and our team's dedication clearly sets Martin & Co. apart from other estate agents.

Martin & Co. is officially the best place for Landlords to go, whether they're sourcing property, finding great tenants, or both."

One landlord said, " The Biggest challenge (in 2023) was getting an agent who understood my requirements until I partnered with Martin & Co."


What are the top 10 best estate agents in the UK?

Here are the top 10 best estate agents based on the percentage of landlord votes they've received.

Position

Estate Agent

% Of Landlord Votes

1

Martin & Co. Estate Agents

18.40%

2

Savills Estate Agents

14.68%

3

Hunters Estate Agents

10.18%

4

Fine & Country Estate Agents

9.98%

5

Connells Estate Agents

7.83%

6

Pattinson Estate Agents

7.05%

7

Haart Estate Agents

6.26%

8

Knight Frank Estate Agents

6.07%

9

Belvoir Estate Agents

5.48%

10

Strutt & Parker Estate Agents

2.54%

1. Martin & Co. Estate Agents

Over 18% of landlords chose Martin & Co. to secure BTL properties. With over 30 years of dedicated local expertise, they've established itself as a reliable and trusted letting and property management professional.

Martin & Co. is committed to streamlining the letting process, identifying suitable tenants, and nurturing enduring, positive relationships with dependable and responsible renters.

Find out more at martinco.com

2. Savills Estate Agents

Savills offers a comprehensive range of services for landlords in the residential, rural, and commercial sectors; their ‘lettings specialists provide honest and transparent advice throughout the process, aiming to establish a trusted relationship with clients.’

Find out more at savills.co.uk

3. Hunters Estate Agents

Hunters provide comprehensive landlord services covering tenant finding, referencing, tenancy agreements, rent collection, and maintenance. The services are categorised into ‘tenant find’, ‘rent collection’, and ‘fully managed’.

Find out more at hunters.com

4. Fine & Country Estate Agents

Fine & Country uses independent estate agents, merging local property expertise with global brand technologies, market insight, and marketing. Their approach to selling exclusive homes combines individual flair, attention to detail, and the expertise of local agents to establish an international network with potent marketing capabilities.

Find out more at fineandcountry.co.uk

5. Connells Estate Agents

Established in 1936, Connells is renowned as one of the nation's leading facilitators for new home sales. It represents esteemed UK developers and numerous regional and local housebuilders.

Find out more at connells.co.uk

6. Pattinson Estate Agents

Pattinson offers a range of services for landlords, including tenant find and fully managed options. Their ‘platinum service level’ includes rent protection and legal cover. Pattinson conducts free viewings and ensures thorough tenant referencing.

Find out more at pattinson.co.uk

7. Haart Estate Agents

Haart is part of the Spicerhaart Group, one of the UK's largest independent estate agency groups. It operates across England and Wales and offers various property services, including residential sales, lettings, property management, and mortgage advice.

Find out more at haart.co.uk

8. Knight Frank Estate Agents

Knight Frank, founded in 1896, has extensive industry expertise. It handles legal and financial aspects, ensuring minimal void periods and optimal returns on investment. Its services encompass property marketing, tenant sourcing, contract management, rent collection, reviews, and renewals.

Find out more at knightfrank.com

9. Belvoir Estate Agents

With 25 years of letting property experience, Belvoir Group manages 65,000 properties across the UK. Their offices, owned by local individuals, are held to high industry standards, ensuring prompt landlord updates on legislative changes. Leveraging local knowledge, they excel in identifying prime investment property locations in each area.

Find out more at belvoir.co.uk

10. Strutt & Parker Estate Agents

Strutt and Parker have a network of more than 50 offices and some of the industry's most dedicated advisers. They aim to deliver exceptional service across the entire property spectrum and consistently provide innovative real estate solutions locally, nationally, and internationally.

Find out more at struttandparker.com


Which is the best estate agent for landlords in each UK region?

Estate agent preferences vary across the UK, with Martin & Co. emerging as the preferred choice for landlords in five regions, including London. These are the top estate agents based on the locations where landlords own their properties.

Regions where landlords own rental property

Preferred Estate Agent

London

Martin & Co.

South East

Savills

East England

Savills

North West

Other (local estate agents)

South West

Savills

North East

Martin & Co.

West Midlands

Martin & Co.

Yorkshire and the Humber

Martin & Co.

Scotland

Other (local estate agents)

East Midlands

Martin & Co.

Wales

Other (local estate agents)

Northern Ireland

Other (local estate agents)

Martin & Co was the top choice for 5 of the 11 regions, while Savills was preferred for the South East, South West, and East of England. These choices reflect the importance of finding an agency attuned to the specific needs of landlords in each region.


Why do Landlords use estate agents?

Many landlords enlist the services of estate agents because of the convenience, specialised knowledge, and broad network they provide in managing properties.

Our Landlord report found the main methods in sourcing investment properties:

  1. Estate agents (68%)
  2. Private sale (45%)
  3. Auction (32%)
  4. Contacting property owners directly (29%)
  5. Private network (29%)
  6. Other (0.5%)

What are the benefits of using an estate agent to source BTL properties?

8 benefits of using an estate agent to find investment properties are shown below.

1. Access to new property listings

Being privy to new property listings is a significant advantage in a competitive market. Estate agents provide investors with early access to potential BTL properties, increasing the likelihood of securing lucrative deals before they become widely known. Estate agents can provide landlords access to off-market opportunities by leveraging their relationships with sellers, developers, and other industry professionals. 

2. Understanding requirements

Estate agents understand these needs and ensure that the properties presented align closely with an investor's financial objectives and long-term strategy.

3. Local knowledge

51% of investors value local knowledge, and their insights into neighbourhood trends, property values, rental yields, and potential pitfalls allow them to make informed decisions.

4. Negotiating assistance

Successful property negotiations often depend on the expertise of professionals. Estate agents bring invaluable negotiating skills to the table. Their ability to secure favourable terms and navigate complex negotiations also benefits investors.

5. Ease and convenience

Investors prioritise ease and convenience, and the burden of property search, paperwork, and negotiations is alleviated, allowing investors to focus on the broader aspects of their investment strategy.

6. Good reputation

Reputation matters, and 49% of investors recognise the importance of aligning with reputable estate agents. A good reputation signifies trustworthiness, reliability, and a history of successful transactions.

7. Good communication

Effective communication is key in any business relationship. Estate agents keep investors informed at every stage of the property acquisition process. This commitment to communication fosters trust and ensures a smooth collaboration.

8. Close relationship

Building a close relationship with an estate agent goes beyond a transactional partnership. 36% of investors appreciate the benefits of a close working relationship, which creates an understanding of individual preferences and allows for an effective property search.

How do you choose an estate agent?

When looking for an estate agent to help you find Buy-to-Let (BTL) properties, consider these helpful tips.

  • Look for an estate agent who knows the rental market inside out. They should have a solid track record of helping landlords find good investment opportunities. Ideally, the estate agent should have a thorough understanding of the local area and be able to find properties that will have a decent rental yield. 
  • The ability to find reliable tenants. A good agent will thoroughly screen you to ensure you get tenants who pay on time and take care of your property. This avoids costly damage and increases the length of time of occupation. They should also be knowledgeable about local rental market trends so they can advise you on areas with high demand or new up-and-coming areas.
  • Reviews. It never hurts to ask for references or testimonials from other landlords they've worked with. Hearing about their experiences firsthand can give you a good sense of whether they're the right fit for you. Review sites like Trustpilot or Google Reviews allow landlords to filter results and research specific locations. These reviews are invaluable when looking for an estate agent who will cater directly to their needs. 

Finding an agent who offers property management services might be worthwhile if you're not keen on managing the property. They'll handle maintenance, tenant queries, and rent collection, leaving you with less to worry about.

These tips should help you find an agent most suited to your requirements. providing you’ve chosen well, it should just be a matter of time before they present you with the right investment opportunity.


How can I buy a BTL property quickly?

Act quickly and decisively when your estate agent has sourced you a great BTL. Here are our top 3 tips to ensure your offer is accepted.

  1. Act decisively. In a competitive market, time is of the essence. Be prepared to swiftly submit your final offer to the seller to demonstrate your intent to purchase and ensure the estate agent's fighting your corner (they'll want to get the deal done as much as you).
  2. Act like a cash buyer. Even if you don't have cash upfront, presenting yourself as a cash buyer can improve your offer's acceptance. You can do this by setting up a bridging facility in advance, proving you're ready to move without delays.
  3. Bridge finance can help. Bridging finance can provide fast short-term property finance to cover the gap between buying and securing long-term financing.

What is bridging finance?

Bridging finance is a short-term loan designed to provide immediate funding for the purchase of a buy-to-let property in the UK. It enables investors to quickly secure a property, even when they don’t have the cash themselves. Landlords and property investors often use bridging finance when they need to act quickly by covering the gap between the purchase and longer-term financing. This type of loan is ideal for those who need to move fast to take advantage of market opportunities, complete property renovations before securing a traditional BTL mortgage, or sell an asset to repay the loan.


Final thoughts

The 2024 Finbri landlord poll highlights the role of estate agents in UK landlords' strategies; with 68% preferring this method to source BTL properties, Martin & Co stands out as the top choice.

As landlords increasingly recognise the importance of reputable estate agents, the statistic that 50% of landlords plan to buy an investment property this year underscores these professionals' role in navigating the competitive market.

The 2024 Landlord Survey showcases Martin & Co. as the top-rated estate agent among landlords for buy-to-let properties, capturing an impressive 18% of votes. This preference underscores the value landlords place on using estate agents for sourcing investment properties, benefiting from their expertise, local knowledge, and access to new listings. The survey provides a comprehensive overview of the top estate agents, regional preferences, and the advantages of leveraging estate agents, helping landlords more easily expand their property portfolios.

Congratulations to Martin & Co, and a thank you to Philip Skorochod, Director of their Bournemouth branch.

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