As a landlord your property is your business, so when it’s empty it could mean you make a loss. That’s why it’s important to ensure you find the right tenants quickly and hold onto them. Our advice will help you to do so.
As a landlord you’ll be keen to ensure your property (or properties) is clean, safe, fit for habitation and ready to be moved into.
While a lettings agent will help you to find a tenant and complete the paperwork, as well as manage your rental, there is usually a finder’s fee and a charge for this service. This charge can be around 15% of your monthly rental income although they’ll vary depending upon where you live. Be certain to look at which charges are applied, such as those for an inventory or cleaning. It’s worth shopping around for an agent that can help take the weight off so all you need to think about is the bottom line.
Be realistic about how much you can charge for your property. Charge too much and your property may remain empty for longer while you continue to pay the mortgage. Choose an agent with a good reputation; they don’t always have to be big firms either. Well established independents can draw on experience and may have a great deal of knowledge about the location and type of tenant your property may best serve.
However, it’s possible to find tenants without paying to advertise through an agency. You can take the traditional approach of advertising in your local paper, or you might decide to advertise using social media. Advertising online is instant as there’s no need to wait for your ad to be printed in the paper.
For many, finding tenants without an agent is desirable and there are sites on which you can advertise property for a relatively small fee.
You might decide to advertise your property on sites such as Zoopla or Rightmove, which can be a cost-effective alternatives to a conventional letting agent. Often the feel is fairly low but you can select different advertising packages.
All you need to do is submit your online photographs and property description to the sites who will advertise it for you. You will be the one showing prospective tenants around and when you’ve found the right person the agent then completes the referencing and contract on your behalf for a fee.
Today, tenants tend to spend less time browsing the windows of letting agents and more time online searching for their desired property. Prospective tenants search for specific criteria in particular areas and search engines do a great job of locating that information for them.
To help capture some of those searching for properties like yours, you could try to explore the options that social media offers. If you have several properties to let out then you might consider setting up dedicated Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages where users can interact with your pages, ask questions and find out more information. Link your social accounts to your other media, like your website or blog, and take every opportunity to share good news and updates.
Whether you decide to let your property out using conventional methods, or by harnessing the opportunities digital media can present, you’ll want to make sure your property looks its best.
If you go through a conventional lettings agent, they may take photographs of your property for you. Often they are best placed to identify the features that appeal to potential renters so your property looks its best. If you’re managing the letting of your property yourself then be sure to take pictures of your property looking as clean, tidy, light and spacious as possible. If you are not confident about your photography skills you might consider hiring a professional.
Floorplans can be a deal maker or breaker. Prospective tenants want to make sure a visit is worth their while and if they can see that a property meets their needs by glancing at property floor plans first then you increase your chances of finding the right occupant.
How to get a floor plan of your house is fairly straightforward and a quick online search will throw up companies who can give you quotes for your property floorplan very quickly. Choose from a simple 2d plan or a fully interactive plan where a prospective tenant can virtually take a stroll through your property without actually having to visit. Decide what is best based upon your budget. You might consider a top of the range virtual tour to be best for the kind of property you want to let in a particular area.
Empty property means an unpaid mortgage and drop in income, so how to find tenants fast may be at the forefront of your thoughts. If you choose a letting agent they will already possess knowledge about the area and how best to advertise to attract a tenant to fill it. They will take care of showing the tenant around and managing all of the practicalities. Their knowledge can be an advantage, especially if you have found yourself in the position of being an ‘accidental landlord’ and therefore you don’t know much yet about how best to get someone in.
If you’re going it alone then do your research to find out what you can reasonably charge for your property. What are the services, schools and transport links like near your property? Be realistic about the property benefits and don’t over-charge as this might mean people are put off viewing it or may not stay there long.
As a landlord your property is your business investment, therefore you will want to look after that investment as well as your tenant, that’s why it’s a good idea to ensure you have the right level of landlord insurance . Find out more and contact us for a quote today.