If you are having difficulty in letting your property, particularly in a fairly buoyant market, you may wish to think about the following tips:
- marketing. You may need to think about where you are advertising and whether or not your chosen outlet makes sense in terms of your target tenant segments. For example, if you are keen to let to students then advertising on the internet and special student sites may be more successful than using (e.g.) conventional establishment newspapers;
- external appearance. If you are getting initial inquiries but find that these are not translating into viewings, it may be that the external appearance of your property is letting you down. Many potential tenants will do a walk or drive-past prior to arranging an internal viewing, so make sure that your property looks smart and tidy from the outside;
- internal appearance. Little is likely to discourage potential tenants more than a property that looks tired and tatty once they enter it. This may be particularly a problem if you are targeting families or young professionals. Getting out the paint and putting up some new wallpaper is neither expensive nor hugely time-consuming – but it may make a huge difference;
- working status. No potential tenant is likely to be impressed by your stories of how various things around your property are not working currently and how you plan to fix them soon. Make sure that appliances and lights are all fully working and in the case of gas appliances, that they have been subject to the legally required safety inspections;
- value add. Having home comforts that are more than minimalist may make all the difference in your success rate. Doing things such as fitting dimmer switches and adding a microwave to the kitchen, may increase people’s perceptions that you care about their comfort and suggest things such as lifestyle benefits;
- image. Different people want different things out of a rented property. Young professionals may typically incline towards modern clean lines and decor. Families may prefer rather more traditional and homely comfort type surroundings and perhaps a garden. Think about the image your property is presenting and whether it is appropriate for your target market segments;
- professionalism. Remember that potential tenants may be assessing you as a landlord (or your agents) as much as you are assessing them. If you look slovenly and disinterested (or your agents likewise) during viewings, it can be a huge turn-off.
- culture. Remember that tenants are your customers, so avoid lecturing or patronising them. Don’t attempt to lay down the law to sort out right at the outset just who is boss. That comes with the tenancy agreement if you reach that stage. Stay polite, professional and think of your activities as a business. For example, talk to potential tenants about your let property insurance and what this means or may not mean for them etc. Show that you’re on the ball!