Getting the right sort of tenants for your property is by no means easy, even if the market is buoyant and in your favour.
Here are a few ideas for making the task just that little bit less traumatic:
- aggressively review your advertising approach. Advertisements stuck in the local paper might be fine but if you are looking to attract tenants from other areas or move your property upmarket, then that might not be the best approach. Make sure that your advertising environment matches your letting aspirations;
- make a real visual impact statement – and in a positive way! Potential tenants may make a snap decision within a few seconds of seeing your property from the outside alone. Even if that impression is favourable, they may do likewise again within a minute of entering the property‘s front door. Therefore, make sure that externally your property is in tip-top appearance and that first-impression internal areas such as entrance hallways also have an equally favourable impact;
- remember that viewings are a form of marketing and avoid making apologies. Potential tenants may be easily put off if they are greeted upon an initial viewing by a lengthy list of apologies for things that are wrong with the property. Make sure that nothing is so bad that you have to apologise for it;
- avoid patronising or begging potential tenants during viewings. The former will make you look like a potentially difficult landlord to build a relationship with and the latter will simply make you look desperate. Adopt a behavioural style of polite and friendly neutrality;
- ooze professionalism on the phone and during viewings. Landlords who can‘t find their draft tenancy agreement, are not sure what the utility costs are, don‘t know where the boiler is or who seem hazy on local amenities, simply do not help to market their properties. Have all your documentation and facts to hand, tell your tenants that you have some of the best landlords insurance around and at all times appear to be in relaxed but total control of your business;
- be cautious with humour and storytelling. Jokes and banter do not always communicate well to other people and you may risk looking either flippant or offensive. It is also wise to avoid reciting past battles you have had with tenants or associated traumas. You want potential tenants to associate your property with the concept of problem free renting and not past problems.
Try to remember that even a superb property that might be right in all respects for a tenant, might be difficult to let if you as the landlord are coming across badly.
Make an effort to be objective about your approach to viewings and communications with potential new tenants. Think carefully about whether you need to change aspects of your own style!