The latest official statistics show that there are now nearly five million households living in private rented accommodation – an increase of almost two million households in the past decade.
If you are a landlord looking to attract tenants to your particular accommodation, therefore, the competition is likely to be stiff. So, how do you make your rental property stand out from the rest?
To help landlords to show off properties that appear bigger, better, homelier, cosy, cleaner - and generally more desirable - Landlord Today recently suggested some of the simple and straightforward ways that might make a property stand out:
Know your market
- what is likely to make your rental property stand out from the rest is the fact that it offers more of what any prospective tenant will want;
- the key, therefore, lies in knowing just what it is the tenants in your target market want – and that means careful research of the demographic, the availability of other properties in the area, and the levels of rent charged by rival landlords, suggest agents Propertymark;
Advertising and listings
- the internet and a host of web-based agents offer simple and straight forward ways of advertising your let property to prospective tenants online;
- letting agents Urban, for example, offer the timely reminder that many tenants are going to be approaching their property search with a list of definite “must-haves”;
- keep your description of the property short and succinct, therefore – maybe using a list of bullet points, rather than paragraphs of waffle – to highlight its key features;
- practically every other let property you see listed is going to have one or more photographs of the interior – and, perhaps, the outside;
- many of these pictures will have been, quite obviously, taken on a cell phone;
- to make your listing stand out from the rest and to give it the edge of quality, therefore, consider getting your photographs taken professionally – letting agents Urban suggest that pictures of roomy and well-equipped kitchens frequently steal the limelight;
DIY repairs and maintenance
- it’s certainly worth making sure that everything works as it should in any property you want to let;
- of course, you need to leave serious or potentially more dangerous repairs and maintenance to the professional tradesmen who know what they’re doing, but there are more of the smaller, niggling jobs you can just as easily do for yourself;
- a fresh lick of paint, for example, may make an immediate difference to those all-important first impressions when you are showing prospective new tenants around;
Shine a light
- those simple maintenance jobs extend to ensuring that light bulbs are replaced before you are showing around any new tenants;
- indeed, one of the most effective – not to mention cheapest – ways of immediately breathing new life and vibrancy to any room is to introduce additional lighting, by way of floor lamps, desk lamps, or even a change of lampshades;
Your shop window on the market
- you might want to think about the way you are marketing your let property as a shop window onto the world of prospective tenants;
- as with any shop window, you want it to be interesting, but free of clutter and sufficiently well ordered to show off its most attractive features;
- all those small, routine, housekeeping jobs – such as cleaning the windows, vacuuming the carpets, making the beds, and plumping up the cushions, therefore, are going to make a big difference and help your property stand out from the rest.
In these difficult days with a coronavirus pandemic still hanging over us, those final points about basic housekeeping ring truer than ever.
Advice from the government published on the 23rd of June 2020 made clear that it is now perfectly acceptable to open your let property for viewings by potential tenants – unless, of course, there are already tenants in the property who are “shielded”, self-isolating or otherwise vulnerable.
Nevertheless, previous advice is still in place about precautions that need to be taken about social distancing and cleaning regimes designed to keep the virus at bay.
That advice was first published in a government statement on the 21st of May. This included the recommendation that viewings should be limited to members of the same household only and that any such visitors should be encouraged to avoid touching surfaces, wash their hands regularly, and perhaps even bring their own hand sanitiser with them.
When showing them around, you should open all the internal doors and windows – to ensure good ventilation throughout the property – and make sure that all surfaces, such as door handles, are cleaned with alcohol-based products between each viewing. Face masks may give further reassurance, too.