Landlords who invest in Buy to Let properties will be keen to maximise the return on their investments (sometimes referred to as rental yield). But how can you best achieve this? Gary Pemberton is the owner of Belvoir Warrington, which was recently awarded the title of Belvoir 2021 Franchise of the Year, and he has some great advice for landlords…

“Maximising your return on investment is multi-faceted, and includes three key factors – marketing, presentation and pricing,” says Gary.

Marketing

“Marketing is key to getting the best return on your investment. Where possible at Belvoir Warrington we do a full Reevo 360-degree virtual tour of each property, using professional photography, and accurate floor plans. Due to Covid-19 restrictions we try to avoid viewings with the tenant in situ, but virtual tours are very powerful and the closest thing you can get to an agent walking around a property going from room to room filming with a WhatsApp Video.  We recently let a property within half an hour of the new tenant viewing the virtual tour! The rental market in Warrington is incredible at the moment, and we are finding that potential tenants are very happy to do the virtual tours and make decisions based on this low-risk viewing strategy.

“Social media is also very important when it comes to marketing, but the photographs you use in your marketing and the accuracy of the descriptions is important. There are currently over 170 rules and regulations to consider when renting out a property and if I wasn’t part of a franchise, with constant access to the most up to date information I think it would be very difficult to keep up with everything and remain legally compliant. For this reason, I think it’s far better for a landlord to ask a professional property management agent to manage their properties.”

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Condition and presentation

“Your rental property is probably one of your biggest assets, so have pride in it and make sure it is well maintained and presented. This doesn’t necessarily mean having to paint throughout on every tenant change, but it does mean casting a critical eye over the property and asking yourself what needs doing. In addition, before the tenant moves in make sure the property is clean and tidy and the grass has been cut, and that this is reflected in the inventory.”

Price elasticity

“Pricing has entirely changed in the last 15 months. Pre-February/March 2020 you could rent out an apartment in Warrington for about £475, but now the same property is fetching £525. Pre-Covid we would often drop the price slightly if a property had been empty for a week or so, but we have the opposite situation at the moment. An apartment that rented for £599 last year is now renting for £649 and can be let within 30 minutes of going onto the market. Don’t be naive when it comes to pricing, because it can make the job of finding tenants much more challenging. For example, I have seen private landlords putting properties on to the market at the same price as 15 months ago and ending up with 50-60 enquiries! Filtering through all those enquiries and getting the right person for your property will be very difficult and time-consuming. You need to put the property on at a price that is right for the current market so that you can find the right person and undertake referencing etc.

“Using price elasticity will always get your property rented out and help you to find good tenants who will look after your property and avoid having empty properties. Voids are the biggest challenge when it comes to return on investment, although that is not a problem at present, but when the market inevitably changes landlords must have realistic expectations about what can be achieved. This is where a specialist agent comes into their own. At Belvoir Warrington we go through all of our properties at a weekly team meeting and then call our landlords to give them feedback, which is very important.”

To find your nearest Belvoir office visit: www.belvoir.co.uk

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