You’ve gone through the process and secured the perfect buy-to-let property, invested in improvements and now all you need is some paying tenants to push things forward.
Depending on the area your property is in, the state of the market and demand at any given time there is guarantees as to how quickly you will secure tenants. You can take some simple actions to increase your chances of a quick transaction.
Empty months can be catastrophic for landlords, with a two to three-month period without rent coming in often completely eradicating cash flow and increasing the chances of the property being a debt burden.
Prospective tenants will appreciate the fact you have gone the extra mile and take pride in the property as if you were living there yourself.
Seriously consider how much rent to charge
You might believe your property is the best in the area and worth so much more in rent than other properties but pushing up the rental price could be a serious misstep. Great properties often fail to secure tenants because their price of renting is out of step with the area and the needs of the potential tenants.
It is often better to come in at the same price of similar properties (or lower) if it is still profit-making and secure tenants than push for higher rents. Don’t fight the market and avoid empty months.
Finish repairs and improvements first
Potential tenants are likely to be put off if they look round while it is still undergoing repair and maintenance work. Do all the necessary repairs and improvements before showing people around. Use highly rated tradesmen and don’t cut corners on cost.
Refreshing the décor for new tenants will make the place feel brand new. This can work wonders and leave a positive impression in the mind of those considering the property. This is a relatively quick and cheap solution to getting tenants and securing higher rents.
Update the furniture
The furniture needs to be up to the expected standard. Especially in properties asking for higher rents tenants will expect up-to-date, quality furniture in good condition. Research has shown that landlords can charge up to 21% more for a furnished property, and offering the best quality furniture will help you secure tenants willing to pay.
Increase “curb appeal” by improving the exterior
No matter what you have done to the interior of your property, it is outside, stood on the pavement that potential tenants will be starting to make their mind up about the renting. Touch up paint jobs, tidy the garden or front yard, clean windows and guttering and make the place inviting from the moment they set eyes on your property.
Get professional photographs taken
The photos included in your listings are arguably the most important factor in securing tenants. Poor quality, unclear images will put people off before they even really consider your property. Most letting agents will have staff trained in taking decent photographs of the properties they work with.
If you are taking the shots yourself make sure you use a good-quality camera, that there is lots of light in the room (take them in the day for natural light) and remove clutter and distracting objects from the shot.
A listing should be between six and ten photos paying particularly close attention to the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, lounge and garden.
Let the agent do the viewings
If you are using a letting agent, let them do the viewings. They are professionals who know the market and what tenants are looking for. They are also likely to have more availability to conduct viewings and manage the process. If the property is popular organising all this could become a huge burden. You are paying the agent, let them do the job.
Clean the place
Take time to deep clean every part of the property. The tenant should feel that they can move in that minute and be 100% happy with how it is. This simple process can make a large difference in securing tenants willing to pay higher rents.
Put a letting board up
While a majority of house searches are now done online, you can't discount people exploring a local area in person for potential places to live. Take part of the 'To Let' board that often comes as part of a letting agents service. This traditional promotional approach could secure you a tenant as quickly as using technology.
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