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View Full Version : Marketing a house versus a flat!



Ericthelobster
03-09-2006, 16:27 PM
I'm currently advertising a one-bedroomed house for rent; bit disappointed in the response I've received to my advert. I've pitched the rent slightly below the market rate for a one-bedroomed house, but slightly above the rate for a one-bedroomed apartment or flat.

There is certainly a difference in the rents (and indeed, purchase price) of similarly-bedroomed houses and flats; what I'm trying to do is work out the selling points of a house over a flat so I can "sell" the idea to prospective tenants! Otherwise I fear I may have to drop the rent to match that of flats to remain competitive.

My house has no back door (as it's a corner terrace and therefore has no rear outside wall!) but there is access into the shared yard out back via a passageway on the pavement. I realise the lack of a back door may be significant, though. It's very well presented and comprises a double bedroom, bathroom, kitchen/diner, and living room.

So - please help: other than a back door/yard/garden, what do people consider are the pros of living in a house over a flat!? Other than having your own front door to the street (dubious advantage) and having nobody living above you, I'm not entirely sure....

P.Pilcher
03-09-2006, 23:16 PM
I think that you've answered your own question. If tenants are going to pay more rent for a one bedroomed house than a similar flat then they expect to get more - such as private parking, a front and rear entrance, garden, additional storage space/more rooms and so on.

P.P.

Ericthelobster
04-09-2006, 10:09 AM
Mm, probably right. As it happens I've just got a 'taker' who hopefully looks like he will go through OK, however it will have had a void of probably 2 weeks - so I think there's a lesson for me there next time this property is vacant! :rolleyes:

Ericthelobster
05-09-2006, 19:45 PM
Aargh - famous last words!!

The punter arranged to meet me this afternoon at the house to complete the application, which hopefully was a formality - his choice of time; bit inconvenient for me but never mind. So I down tools and get down my ladder, go home for a shower and change of clothes and switch to landlord mode. Arrive at the house in good time - no applicant. Try phoning - no answer, so after 20 mins I give up and go home, get changed again. No response to phone/voicemail/texts since then so I assume he's simply found something better and couldn't be arsed to let me know. Meanwhile I've missed the advert deadline for the local weekly paper, so at the very least he's cost me a week's rent, never mind the hassle this afternoon.

Someone remind me again why I'm a landlord...?

Surrey
05-09-2006, 20:18 PM
Meanwhile I've missed the advert deadline for the local weekly paper, so at the very least he's cost me a week's rent, never mind the hassle this afternoon.

A lesson for all of us, along the lines of "don't count your chickens". If you had continued advertising the property in the local paper and the prospective tenant HAD come up trumps, it would have only cost you the price of the ad plus the hassle of phone calls and having to say "no, sorry, it's gone."

So we can all learn: not to make assumptions, however likely they are to be true; that it only happens once it's happened (whatever "it" might be); that it may cost a bit to cover several angles but at least if Plan A goes pear-shaped, Plan B will still be operational. Oh well, next time, eh?

As for why you're a landlord? Dunno, beats me too! (Just had to cough £150 for a new tumble drier, didn't realise the old one was faulty as previous tenants hadn't mentioned it... with that and assorted other expenses changeover can be a costly operation, might recover by month 3...)

P.Pilcher
05-09-2006, 20:34 PM
And Eric's problem is why I started using agents to find me tenants years ago!
They are paid to put up with this hassle and I only get involved when a tenant has been found and jointly approved. My agent's won't move a muscle until the tenant, after viewing and completing an application form shows interest by paying an interview and credit check fee. I've never been let down yet.....touch wood!

P.P.

Ericthelobster
06-09-2006, 07:13 AM
A lesson for all of us, along the lines of "don't count your chickens". If you had continued advertising the property in the local paper and the prospective tenant HAD come up trumps, it would have only cost you the price of the ad plus the hassle of phone calls and having to say "no, sorry, it's gone." Yeah normally I'd have done just that; however I had a good feeling about this particular punter and my instincts don't normally let me down so badly! Aside from that though, it's still not a total no-brainer, since an advert costs me £61, versus £94 potentially lost rent for a week...


And Eric's problem is why I started using agents to find me tenants years ago!
They are paid to put up with this hassle and I only get involved when a tenant has been found and jointly approved. My agent's won't move a muscle until the tenant, after viewing and completing an application form shows interest by paying an interview and credit check fee. I've never been let down yet.....touch wood!Is that not a very expensive option though - don't you end up handing over 15% of your rent income or something?

P.Pilcher
06-09-2006, 08:39 AM
Depends what you call a lot really: I have so far (touch wood) never been let down by an agency selected tenant. Some potential tenants who contact me direct on hearing on the "tenants grapevine" of a vacancy seem to disappear without trace when I refer them to the appropriate agency.
The agency I use mainly is an old independent estate agent who has been doing residential lettings for years and years. There is no VAT and I first met them when I purchased one of my rental properties through them a number of years ago. As I am quite capable of managing my own properties they merely find tenants for me. I pay them a flat fee of £200 per tenant. They also relieve the tenant of the credit check fee and an interview fee. I use my own AST of which they have a copy and, I hate to say it, our agreement is mainly verbal. However it seems to work extremely well. When a new tenant is found, I organise the handover myself where we agree meter readings, they sign my AST pay deposit and first month's rent and I hand over the keys. On leaving the property I visit the agent's office and guess what - theye is a £200 invoice waiting for me on the desk!
Some people may consider this a lot, but it cuts out the hassle for meand we all know how much we loose when we have to get rid of a destructive, non paying tenant.

P.P.

soo
06-09-2006, 09:34 AM
wow - £200 finding fee per tenant sounds fantastic. lucky you, not suprised you use an agent - compared with diy, i pay £50 per ad, usually twice, then ref fees, and the hassle of travel to and from the property for viewings.

Unfortunately, every agent i've ever used for tenant finding charges me a percentage of the rent - usually 10%, so i'm already £1500+ out of pocket, then there's the renewal fee of 8% when my tenants want to stay another year. I've never managed to find a regulated agent in london who does not charge a percentage, and despite my arguing that there is no need to 'renew' the tenancy, they insist.

now i don't use agents, but if your's would be willing to travel.................... r


oh, nearly forgot, re the original post - does the house have a loft, and is it accessible? if yes, i'd find the house sooooo much more desirable, due to all the storage space.

P.Pilcher
06-09-2006, 12:00 PM
O.K. but out here in the sticks, I can't get anything like an annual rental return of £15000 per property, nor will my agent's overheads be anything like those of yours in London.

P.P.

strangey
06-09-2006, 12:25 PM
I don't know if this helps , but when I advertise for new tennants, I try to arrange them to all see the property at roughly the same time , I book them in 10 mins apart, starting from 9am on the closest saturday morning if the advert comes out on a thusday or friday as is normal.
This way I have found that they spur each other on and I have usually received the deposit off of one of them by midday. Of couse this hasn't worked every time, but probably 80% of the time, depending on which property I'm letting.
It's just an idea that works for me!