If you’re currently having a timeout between tenants take the opportunity to improve before the next move, say the experts at Belvoir.
“Making improvements to your rental property can add value, maximise profit potential and help minimise the potential of future voids,” says owner of Belvoir Portsmouth Samantha Bateman.
“As access is likely to be limited during a tenancy, however, it’s useful to assess and update your property between tenants in order to fulfil your investment plans. Here’s how…”
1. Be honest
“Always be honest with yourself about the property and what needs to be done in order to fulfil its potential,” says owner of Belvoir Birmingham Central Major Mahil.
“Put together a ticklist and then take an objective look at the property (both inside and out) and compare it to others that are available in the area. Is it in line with what’s currently on offer? If the answer is no, then how can you make it better? Act now!”
2. Review and renew
“Are you making the most of your marketing? If not, it may be time to review and renew your campaign,” says Samantha.
“Is the marketing write up a reflective and accurate description of what you are offering, plus are you reaching the maximum audience and utilising all the advertising mediums available, such as local newspapers, web portals and social media too.
“Make a detailed plan so you know the ‘what, where and when’ of how your marketing will be executed moving forward.”
3. Camera ready
“Empty properties present better photo opportunities than cluttered ones, so ensure you have new marketing photographs taken for future campaigns while the property is vacant,” says Major.
“A tenant’s furniture or clutter can detract from a property’s potential and make rooms appear smaller than they actually are. Likewise, a future tenant may find it harder to visualise their own belongings in situ if the current tenant’s taste were very different to their own.
“Make sure the photographs are taken on a bright sunny day and curtains and blinds are fully open. Turn lights on too if necessary.
“Marketing photography should take a potential tenant on a journey around the property so ensure a wide selection of photographs are taken in order to show off the key highlights of the accommodation and outside space.”
4. Is the price right?
“As part of your rental property assessment and appraisal it’s also important to review your current monthly rental ask,” says Samantha.
“Requesting too much may result in long periods of void, while asking too little can lead to reduced profit potential.
“Are you in line with current market conditions? Assess similar properties in the area which have been let recently or ask your local lettings agent for a valuation visit.”
5. Spring clean
“It goes without saying that a property should be spotless when it is remarketed so while it is empty it’s advisable to give it a thorough spring clean,” says Major. “Some landlords hire professional cleaners to do this for them.
“As part of your spring cleaning MOT, it may also be useful to freshen up paintwork and think about the decor, perhaps replacing carpets and curtains if necessary too.”
6. Update and renovate
“Modern tenants want modern living solutions so make sure your property is up to date,” says Samantha.
“Bathrooms and kitchens are particularly pertinent here and today’s tenants want to see modern appliances and white goods (if they are being supplied with the property) that are in good working order.
“Think about replacing dated window dressings with modern materials too, plus updating old-fashioned light fittings with contemporary designs. These small changes can have a massive impact.”
Remember, ongoing maintenance also matters and it’s important to think long term.
“Savvy landlords think about the future,” continues Samantha. “Maintenance undertaken while a property is empty will prevent existing problems escalating during a tenancy when access may be limited.
“Minor on-going maintenance is always going to be better for your property – and your purse – than major repairs because issues have been left to grow.”
7. Go green
“Many tenants want to feel that they are living in an eco-friendly environment so take the opportunity to introduce some eco-friendly elements if you can,” says Major. “Additionally, these may make your property more attractive to future tenants as they may help reduce their utility costs too.
“Review loft insulation and ensure all pipes are lagged. Add cavity insulation also, plus provide a water butt. Perhaps consider investing in double-glazing or solar panels.
“Before undertaking any major updates always do the maths to ensure the return will be worth the initial investment.”
8. Great outdoors
“Although many landlords concentrate their attention (and budget) on interior improvements assessing and updating the outside of your property is equally as important,” says Samantha. “In fact, a trimmed and tidy garden can help you make a great first impression on future potential tenants.
“Ensure that gutters, drains and downpipes are free from debris and weeds, cut back overlarge trees and shrubs, plus make sure any boundary walls or fences are stable and secure.
“If you wish, update the garden design too in order to provide a low maintenance outside space which will appeal to the widest cross-section of tenants.”
9. Added value
“If you have the time (and funds) why not think about adding value to your investment?” asks Major.
“Adding extra facilities through interior alternations, such as creating a second bathroom or extra bedroom, can help increase the monthly rental return, plus add pounds to the asking price on resale. Garage and loft conversions, single and double storey extensions and conservatories are all popular additions too.
“As always, make sure the sums add up before committing and permission is granted where needed before work begins.”
10. Ask the experts
“If you’re looking for more ideas to utilise your time wisely between tenants then ask your local agent,” says Samantha. “They are industry experts and know what makes a property more attractive to potential tenants, plus what a landlord needs to do in order to protect and maximise their investment.”
Article Courtesy of: Belvoir