Maximise your investment with these six simple steps from the experts at Belvoir
With basic bedsits a thing of the past and today’s tenants wanting more from a rental property than ever before, it’s vital to make sure yours stays streets ahead of the competition. Here’s how…
1. Competition comparisons
In order to evaluate the appeal of your property it’s first necessary to assess what else is on offer.
“Thoroughly research the local rental market, paying particular attention to properties that are similar in size and specification to your own,” advises owner of Belvoir Swansea and Belvoir Mumbles Ben Davies.
“Look at the major property portals, online reviews and social networking websites. Ask your local letting agent too.
“During your research ask yourself: What are other landlords doing well? What aren’t they? What upgrades could they make? What improvements could I make? And, importantly, how can I differentiate my property from others like it?
“Take inspiration from what you see, making a ticklist of areas of improvement which can be executed with your budget in mind.”
Networking can provide further valuable insights too. Join online landlord forums, networking groups and visit property exhibitions in order to share ideas and learn helpful lessons from others in the industry.
2. Frontage facelift
Once you’ve assessed the competition, take an objective look at the frontage of your own property and create some kerb appeal.
“Your property’s frontage is the very first thing that any prospective tenant will see and, as always, first impressions last,” says owner of Belvoir Nuneaton and Hinckley and co-owner of Belvoir Tamworth Clayton Foston. “In fact, the exterior of your property will feature strongly in the marketing material, plus it’s not uncommon for tenants to do a ‘drive past’ before even committing to a viewing.
“Give your property’s frontage a facelift by ensuring driveways and paths leading to the property are neat and weed-free, and that front gardens are tidy and appealing. Exterior paintwork should be refreshed as necessary, plus door furniture should be smart and windows should be smear-free and clean. If possible, make sure dustbins are stored away from the front of the property too.
“A property’s exterior is often seen as representative of its interior so a neat and tidy frontage will help ensure that a prospective tenant will want to open the door and see more.”
3. Premium properties
Premium properties can command premium prices so make sure yours is showcasing its potential and in-line with the demands of the market.
“Today’s tenants want a well-maintained property which is move-in ready with good quality fixtures, fittings and appliances,” says Ben. “Bathrooms and kitchens, in particular, can make or break a property’s appeal so make sure yours are contemporary, stylish, updated and refreshed if necessary.
“Before viewings commence make sure all outstanding jobs are complete so that a tenant can imagine themselves and their furniture in the property.
“Remember, too, that poorly executed maintenance, including shoddy paintwork and ill-fitted units or fixtures, can dramatically reduce a property’s premium potential.
“Also pay attention to the finishing touches as these can add perceived value,” he continues. “Even the quality of the curtain poles, light fittings and switches, window and door furniture and skirting boards add to the overall picture of a property.
“A good quality property with no outstanding maintenance issues will encourage the tenant to look after the property for you, plus will reinforce that you care about the property and will deal with maintenance issues swiftly should they arise throughout the tenancy.”
4. Added value
“Are there any additions you could make to the property that would add value for your tenant?” asks Clayton.
“Parking, for example, is often high on a tenant’s ticklist. If adequate parking isn’t already available at the property perhaps you could create it by utilising garden space or hiring nearby garages?
“Think about modern living too. High-speed internet availability and Sky packages etc are often in demand, as are energy-efficient properties which can help minimise utility bills.
“And what about creating more living space? En-suite bathrooms, conservatories and loft and garage conversions can all add value for the person living there, plus will add pounds to your asking price on resale.
“Always be mindful, however, that any major changes are likely to need the appropriate planning consent and any improvements you make or additions you add to a property have got to be financially viable with regards to potential rental return and expected capital growth.”
5. Outdoor appeal
Has your property got outdoor appeal? Easy maintenance outdoor areas are a plus for any property and can help propel yours ahead of the competition.
“Make sure the garden is weed-free, well presented and appealing,” advises Ben. “Any large or overgrown shrubs should be cut back to maximise space, lawns should be freshly cut and border fences and walls should be repaired or replaced as necessary.
“In fact, even the smallest of outdoor spaces can add the wow factor to a property if executed imaginatively. Think colourful pots, raised beds and cosy seating areas. Create height, colour and texture too to really sell the outdoor living lifestyle.”
6. Help on hand
If you’re struggling to look at your property objectively, are stuck for ideas or simply want a helping hand, then talk to your local agent.
“We see a cross-section of rental properties on a daily basis and will be able to advise you on where yours fits within the competition,” says Clayton.
“Sometimes landlords get ‘too close’ to a property and are unable to look at it objectively or from a business perspective.
“As experienced agents we know what tenants want and need from a rental property, plus what level of specifications are in demand.
“We can advise on what improvements can be made, where value can be added, plus how the profit potential and yield will be affected by any work carried out.
“It’s a competitive market out there but the best rental properties let with ease and at speed… make sure yours is one of them.”
Article Courtesy of: Belvoir