The humble To Let board has been around for decades, but it looks like its time may be up if certain councils get their way. Reading Borough Council for instance is so fed up of letting boards that it’s asked agents to stop using them around the university in the area.
The problem? Letting agents are clamouring for students so much to fill their homes that parts of East Reading and the surrounding streets of the university are awash with To Let and Let By boards all year round.
It’s an “eyesore”, says the council, and while the ban on boards is voluntary a number of agents have indeed agreed to tone them done or remove the boards completely. A lot of them have already started but the council is still sending letters out to agents encouraging them to take part.
Sign of the times
The ban isn’t on For Sale boards, as they are far fewer in number and less bothersome than the To Let boards. So why aren’t letting agents in the area utterly rejecting the proposal or marching on the council with a different kind of board – a protest board?
Because, as was mentioned in the meeting between the council and letting agents, the majority of their leads are now coming from website advertising.
Web advertising for student letting agents has become so crucial to their target market that a lot of local agents in certain parts of the country are agreeing to voluntarily take down To Let boards for aesthetic reasons. Could that have ever happened as closely as five years ago? Certainly not a decade ago…
Student lettings on the web
That’s not a trend confined to student accommodation specialists in Reading. Web advertising for student accommodation providers has been on the rise for years. Why? Because it’s a great way for students to see prospective properties before they head to university and helps save them money.
Students can reduce traveling costs by investigating properties to let online, and can also shop around to find lettings agents that offer different properties and terms. It’s a target market that’s also incredibly web-savvy – lettings agents advertising online in the right way can potentially speak to a larger market than they’re used to.
Does it mean the end of the To Let board, though? Probably not. Though the agents in Reading might be reducing the number of them on a voluntary basis it’s hard to see any company in any industry completely close off a marketing channel that still produces results despite the growth of another.
To Let and Let By signs may reduce in number, especially if councils request it, but it’s going to be a very long time indeed until they die out completely.
If you’re looking for student accommodation in Leeds and want to take advantage of some of the finest student services in the area, including paying your bills at a time that suits you and your needs 24 hours a day, contact Pickard Properties today.
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