Don’t you just love the run up to New Year? The chance to switch off and make merry over Christmas – even if just for a couple of days – gives us all the headspace we need to hit January running, with a fresh perspective and bag loads of energy.
Which brings us swiftly onto New Year’s resolutions. Love ‘em or loathe ‘em , January’s indisputably the perfect time to take a good long look at the way you’ve been managing your rental portfolio and bottom out how you can make it work harder for you…with a few simple changes.
With 10 years’ experience in helping landlords to secure the highest yields and avoid the void on even the seemingly hardest to let properties, here’s www.buytolet-furnishings.co.uk’s rundown of the 10 most meaningful resolutions for 2014, which will make your property portfolio work harder than you have to:
Package it up
Resolution number one is a winner – by opting for a professional furniture package for your rental properties you’re scoring a hat-trick:
1) You save money – specialist companies like Buy to Let Furnishings by LOFT Interiors have done all the research to curate furniture packages specifically designed to include everything you need for rental properties from a 1 bed apartment to a 6 bed HMO. Buying in bulk they secure discounts, which are passed on to you.
2) You save time – no more trawling round different furniture shops means you can free up time that could be more profitably spent boosting your property portfolio.
3) You create a great look that tenants love – we’ll come on to this more in a minute, but getting an interior designed look is vital to influence prospective tenants, who make up their mind about a property seconds after walking through the front door. Furniture packages takes the guess work out of what works. Don’t forget you can buy specialist accessory packs too for the perfect finishing touch.
Dress for success – Resolve not to ignore the detail. Accessorising your rental property with homely touches will see it let out in no time. It’s like the old cliché of percolating coffee and wafting freshly baked cake scents from the kitchen when you have a rental viewing. But it’s a cliché because it works – so don’t forget everything from artwork on the walls to a beautifully dressed bed. It can be a subconscious deal clincher for tenants to be and can mean you can command a higher rent.
Go bespoke – Gone are the days when generic flatpack furniture does the trick in a rental property. There’s been a buzz about ‘Generation Renty Something’ for some time now and you need to capitalise on people who are renting for the longterm, rather than as a stop gap before buying. With this in mind, sell a lifestyle to your prospective tenants – think about the profile of your target tenant and design and lay out your property to suit. Young professionals are probably less bothered about a dining table than they are about a comfy sofa and space for a media centre. Don’t overstuff the property with furniture, but do add one key piece, like a statement chair, which will create a buzz.
Pictures speak a thousand words – if you’re going to the trouble of getting your property looking its best, then don’t let yourself down at the last hurdle. Make a promise to yourself that smartphone snaps won’t do. A professional photographer is well worth the outlay if you’re marketing your properties yourself, because in this fast moving age, pictures are what grab people’s attention. Don’t forget to stage the property before its papped.
Call in the experts – if interior design isn’t your forte, it’s also worth relieving yourself of the stress of dressing your property and bringing in the experts. LOFT Interiors’ crack squad of interior design and dress to rent specialists can be briefed in a phone call and have your property looking so good you’ll want to move in, in record time.
Don’t let the ‘superhalls’ win! – Private landlords are facing stiff competition from a new breed of super halls of residence. These super-slick, hospitality class developments are making waves for the smaller student landlords. 2014 is your year to fight back. We’ll arm you with the tools you need to compete, and give you this piece of advice: furnish and dress for the professional market and you’ll be right on target for today’s student tenant.
Lay it all on the table – the next time your property is up for renewal, resolve to not only provide tenants with a clear and air tight tenancy agreement, but also run an inventory to take stock of the condition of fixtures and fittings at the start and end of the tenancy. This way there’ll be absolutely no ambiguity about deposits.
Practice damage limitation – Tenants can be hard on their homes and sometimes the way they treat their furniture can leave a lot to be desired. So, always opt for furniture that’s built with tenants in mind, made out of hardwearing, durable materials. Be sure to comply with UK legislation and look out for the CRIB 5 logo which means soft furnishings are in line with landlord regulations.
Spend today, save tomorrow – Most landlords can write the cost of the furniture off over 12 months from the positive cash flow generated by the property, making it a great investment for the future. While mortgage rates are still low, now’s the time to invest in your property, so that when times are tougher in years to come, you’ll have less to worry about.
Make property management someone else’s problem – the one resolution that we know most landlords would love to make is to be kind to yourself. Being a landlord can be a 24 hour a day job and midnight calls from irate tenants are the last thing you need. For the sake of the fee, why not give yourself some space and take on a property management company, so it’s them who receive those middle of the night interruptions?