Do you remember the first time you saw the buy to let property in which you decided to invest? As you pulled up outside, there was probably something about it that made you think “this is the one”.
It’s what estate agents call kerb appeal – and just as it was likely to have won you over, so too is it something just as likely to attract your tenants.
Sometimes, it might be difficult to put your finger on quite what it is that gives a property kerb appeal – you simply know it when you see it. For you and your tenants, it might be a question of whether the place looks attractive from the road or, more likely, the first impressions it creates at first sight.
Kerb appeal for your tenants
The Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) certainly thinks that kerb appeal is an important factor giving your property that essential edge over others that potential tenants might be viewing. And online estate agents Zoopla confirm that it is critical enough for them usually to use the lead photograph that emphasises a property’s kerb appeal for any of their listings.
As more properties are advertised for rent, the buy to let market is becoming increasingly competitive and you are likely to need to go that extra mile in making sure that potential tenants choose yours over neighbouring places to live.
Improving the kerb appeal
To maximise the potential and marketability of your buy to let property, therefore, you might want to improve its kerb appeal. How might you do that?
The front door
- one of the very first impressions is given by the front door to your let property – it’s not only one of the first features seen, it is also the doorway to the whole of your let premises;
- keep it well-painted and clean – using soft greys, or bright colours such as dark blue or red if you want to make a splash;
Driveways and paths
- hopefully, they won’t need resurfacing, but at least give any driveways and paths in the front garden a thorough clean;
Know your boundaries
- tenants will want to know just where your property ends and the neighbour’s starts, so varnish any wooden fences, paint metal ones, and oil the hinges on gates to be sure they open easily and don’t have an annoying squeak;
The greening of your plot
- well-tended plants, shrubs and other greenery give the front aspect of your property some more colour and a sense of softness – immediately improving its kerb appeal;
- there’s probably nothing more off-putting than sad-looking, old and greying net curtains hanging in the windows of your let property;
- just a modest investment in new drapes, blinds or shutters – especially in colours that match your newly painted front door – may make the world of difference.
Has your let property got kerb appeal? If not, you might want to give it some, to attract the more discerning – and potentially more responsible – tenant who is going to respect your property.