Voids. A word no landlord wants to hear.
If a property has sat on the rental market for a while it can be bad news and if not managed correctly, an old property advert will make the property look even less appealing! Plus an empty property, especially during winter, can deteriorate.
So this is why I have put together five ways to best avoid all this from happening!
If your rental property is just another advert in what is an ocean of similar properties on the internet; the ways below might give it the competitive edge.
1. Choose a good Lettings Agent
Perhaps an obvious one, however we see so many poorly marketed properties, its something that must go on the top of this list. Having a pro-active lettings agent who is enthused about the property is sometimes as important the property itself. Make sure you shop around for the best Lettings Agent, perhaps mystery shop them. Accreditations aren’t everything at all, however do check which bodies they’re registered with.
2. Take good photos
There has been research done to say that ads with high quality photos get better results than those with lower quality photos. You can quite often see the difference, not just in quality of photos but quality in photographer. While I am not saying every agent has to have a degree in photography a little time and care over some photos would be beneficial. If you are a Landlord who is not happy with the photos either take the initiative and do them yourself or ask the agent to do them again. Basic things like having lights turned on, wide angle lens used and curtains open are all easy wins.
3. Inform your tenants at least 24 – 48 hours before viewing
We have all walked into rental properties where our initial thoughts have been “Oh My God” and not in a good way. Sometimes this can be purely because the tenants are messy rather than anything worse. However if you give tenants an opportunity to clean and make the house is presentable then it will help the viewing immensely. A good relationship with your tenants is an essential part of this so nobody is offended and the viewing has far better chance of being successful. You can even try to incentivise the tenants to have the property presentable for a viewing!
4. The advert description
Descriptions of To Let adverts are sometimes very poor; certainly lacking in detail and care taken. Look on Rightmove and the amount written for a 1 bedroom flat for sale is often substantially more than for a 3 bedroom house for rent. Why is that? Potential tenants shouldn’t be under estimated, many want value for money and its very easy now to compare properties on internet portals. The “Key features” are crucially important as attention grabbing highlights, these appear as bullet-points at top of the online advert, and should be well considered. These should be the property’s biggest selling points, its key marketing, six points is minimum I recommend!
5. Keeping your property in good condition
We know deep down that the kitchens and bathrooms have a limited life span; and they are usually thought of as what sells a property to a tenant or buyer. It can be an unwelcome & expensive pill for landlords to swallow when paying for a replacement kitchen that they’re not going to personally enjoy but it can be a necessary evil. To many times in unloved rental properties the landlord just about got away with it on the last tenancy… but they will struggle to do again on a new tenancy… yet they refuse to swallow this proverbial pill! If you are ever struggling with a void period, take a look at your property through the eyes of a prospective tenant and check out your competition; this is easy to do and remember a rental property is not just an investment, its also going to be someone’s home.
It may only need a professional clean to create a sparkle, focus on areas such as the oven, the kitchen, in summer the outside areas… but remember residential property is something that requires constant maintenance from a landlord and generally a certain amount of love to keep on giving!
- Horizon Lets Tips for Landlords
- Five-Step Plan to Help Marketing Your Rental Property
- Tenant Moving Out Information
- The Importance Of Building A Good Relationship With Your Tenants
- Landlord’s Guide to Letting Property