Love thy tenant/landlord

Endsleigh operate insurance products for the landlord market - a niche but growing market. Our brief was to increase traffic to Endsleigh’s landlord insurance page by earning coverage, links and shares in order to boost key positions in search. Another element of this relationship was to increase brand awareness and consideration, associating Endsleigh with stress-free lettings and building relationships to provide future marketing opportunities.

But there’s a backdrop to the account story – the media! Journalists love publishing stories about ‘unscrupulous landlords’ and ‘tenants from hell’, often pitting the two groups against each other. After speaking to an ‘accidental landlord’ (someone who became a landlord simply because they had a second property to rent out) it became clear that stress-free lettings were possible when a landlord and a tenant had established a good, working relationship.

Introducing the ‘Better Relations’ campaign
There are lots of guidelines and law, present in legislation, to ensure that both landlords and tenants receive appropriate legal protection, for where an issue might arise. But after monitoring social sentiment on both sides, it became clear to us that there was perhaps an opportunity to encourage better working relationships between landlords and tenants in the first place. We saw an opportunity to encourage an informal contract to prevent issues not having to be escalated in the first place: things don’t have to go all Pacific Heights. In direct contrast to the easy route of pitting groups against one another, this is another example of how we like to bring our internal Make Life Better philosophy into our work.

The campaign began with a survey of over 2,600 landlords and tenants, where we benchmarked the state of relations between the two groups. This led to the creation of a new section on the Endsleigh website, which we christened ‘The Better Relations hub’. The hub provided advice and guidance for both groups, built around the queries that were prevalent search – and those survey findings.

The next phase of the campaign focused on how small acts of kindness (for example, help with DIY or the gift of a bottle of wine) from landlord to tenant can actually increase the length of a tenancy. We provided case studies that generated lots of social engagement and comments. One particularly amazing story appeared on Property Tribes, where a landlord waived the deposit for a 20 year old man living in a homeless shelter, after he was offered an apprenticeship with the fire service. The tenant ending up holding the tenancy for 2 years and went on to be a fireman. We believe there is more good in the world than bad, and certainly now in tenant/landlord relations.

Our next phase revealed that ‘landlords not fixing things quickly enough’ is tenants’ number one pet peeve. We curated DIY maintenance advice via third-party articles and videos, to help landlords and tenants fix the most common problems (informed by search insight) and published these on the hub. Unblocking a sink became strangely popular.

In the third and final phase we worked with the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme to develop a landlord and tenant responsibilities guide. It aims to be an unofficial charter to help clear up the confusions about rental responsibilities, which the research had identified. This was also included in a ‘Better Relations’ flyer that Endsleigh printed and handed out at several major landlord and letting agent events.