Decorating for Letting Agents

Updated Apr 22, 2023 | Posted Mar 22, 2022 | Professional insight, Business | 2 comments

Very long post warning and I’m sure there will be a lot of criticism from the ‘the only way is perfection’ brigade. Professional decorating for letting agents isn’t for everyone, but this is my experience, you can always balance this work with quality work and use agents for the easy money.

My name is Craig Williams and nearly all my decorating work is for lettings agents (insert gardener insult here!) and there is so much work available with them. If you send an email to the office manager of nearly any letting agent explaining what you can do for them, you’ll receive lots of work (once they’ve tested you with a couple of houses). They struggle to find decorators due to reputations of landlords’ payment terms and they sack off so many as they can’t stand bullsh*t, excuses and being let down all the time.

All a letting agent wants is a decorator that does what they promise. You can’t overrun by a week because a tenant is waiting to move in. You can’t shuffle them around and let them down, their primary focus is reliability. It doesn’t have to be a perfect job but it does need to be reasonable, but nobody is nit picking. So long as you’re clean and tidy, do a fair job and always deliver on time, they will love you and flood you with work. They’re not bad customers to have!

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Remember that when using a letting agent, you’re not working for those landlords who are trying to screw you (we’ve all had those and I’m with you there, I won’t work for them either). It’s landlords who are hands off and want an agent doing the work for them, so long as the price is right and the standard is fair, they just want it done and the letting agent is the one paying you the money.

As I said, this isn’t for everyone. It’s all white or grey walls, white satin woodwork and put that Mirka back in the bag as it’s a quick fill and sand for your prep. You can still take pride and do a nice job of your decorating. It’s also nice knowing that you’re giving a tenant a fresh new house when most on the market are cr*p. If you work on £1200-£1500 to decorate a house (walls, ceiling and woodwork) which you can bash out in 3-4 days easy, then it’s really not bad money at all. My best one was a 2-bed apartment that I quoted £800 for walls and ceiling, it only needed one coat (white on white) and bashed it out in a day, you do the maths!

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To summarise:

 

CONS

  1. Payment terms are on rent cycles so up to a month for payment. No exceptions, you work to the agent’s system, you’re just a contractor.
  2. It’s not the most satisfying work
  3. Everything needs doing yesterday

 

PROS

  1. Easy to clear £300 a day if you’ve got your sh*t together
  2. Most jobs are in empty houses, you collect the keys and do it in your own time (can do 2 at a time, no waiting for anything to dry)
  3. No customers walking around after you finding shadows or non-existent imperfections
  4. Prices are agreed by email, and you get what’s agreed
  5. Empty house means picking your own hours, radio on, oven and kettle at your disposal and often a washing machine for the rollers and dust sheets
  6. Regular work and easy money.

 

As I say, decorating for letting agents is not for everyone, but something worth considering.

Updated Apr 22, 2023 | Posted Mar 22, 2022 | 2 comments

About the Author

About the Author

Mike Cupit has been in the decorating industry since 2002 and has mostly worked as a Trade Decorator in the domestic sector (peoples’ homes). Self-proclaimed “product geek”, Mike has a passion for paint and decorating tools. Mike now spends most of his time testing paint products and tools, comparing them to similar products on the market, and blogging about the industry in general.

2 Comments

  1. Marcus

    Good post mate . Like the sound of that kind of work . Just need a break from the constant searching for clients . I want to be flat out working . How. Do if you get into painting for agents .

    Reply
  2. Dave morrad

    Hi I’m a small Decorating business of 6 staff and am looking for this type of works we do internal and external works would like to be considered thanks

    Reply

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