Any landlord trying to obtain high occupancy figures needs to be sure that they have mastered the art of selling their property, in rental terms, to potential tenants.
This isn't always something that is easy to obtain advice on. For example, if you are looking for landlords' insurance you can speak to specialists such as UKinsuranceNET or similar experts. If you are looking for financing, you may speak to your local bank.
Yet who do you turn to when looking to understand just why some potential tenants are not even turning up for viewings? The answer is nobody, other than perhaps other landlords who might offer some of the following advice:
- make your property look pretty from the outside (e.g. flowers etc.) Many potential viewers won't even bother knocking on your door for a viewing if they don't like what they have seen externally already;
- deal with peeling paint on windows and drainpipes. Even if it is not peeling but seriously stained and dirty-looking, get it sorted;
keep your garden, at the very least, tidy. Many people, particularly female renters, are known to be put off by garden areas that look more like a community tip than somewhere they would want to live in;
- fix front paving areas on your property. You may not be able to do much about the public pavement but if your paths and frontages are cracked, broken and uneven, it creates a bad impression;
- be prepared to spend on curtains or blinds. These are very visible on the walk-past inspections and if they look tatty and dirty, that might be the last you will see of your potential tenants. Keeping curtains fresh and clean does not cost a lot of money;
- clean your windows. Yes, this can be tricky during the winter months with frequent rain etc. Even so, people can usually tell at a glance whether or not a window has been stained by recent rain or hasn't been cleaned for the last six months;
- ask your neighbours to tidy their front gardens. True, this might be a challenge for your diplomacy skills. Yet if their front garden and entrance areas look like an appalling mess, it won't make it easier for you to encourage potential viewers to enter your property;
- if at all possible, provide a parking space for viewings. If it takes potential tenants 30 minutes to find somewhere to park, they may simply give up and go elsewhere where it is much easier;
- ask any existing in-situ tenants to cooperate. That might mean asking them to make sure that they are not dismantling motorbikes in the garden or anything similar, at the time the viewing is expected.
Basically, remember at all times that first impressions count.
It doesn't matter how beautifully decorated and presented the internals of your property are, if the outside is conveying exactly the wrong message, you may struggle to get anyone to even admire your handiwork inside.