If you need to let your property fast, either because your have just completed on your purchase, or in between tenancies on a existing unit, then the most crucial aspect is to have the property quickly occupied by a paying tenant. Some units may take longer to let, but that will most likely be down to the market place or the condition of the property.
Voids can be cancer for property investors. If it means dropping the rent a little to get a tenant in then proceed to lower the rent. 1 month void at £500 will cover almost a year at £50 less a month. It’s much better to get the tenants in and then increase the rent slowly over time. But 2-3 months void will eat ALL NET Cashflow and eradicate far more than the benefit you may get of an above market rent.
Whatever the reason may be, here are 7 simple steps to help you get your property let quickly:
1) Ensure the property is listed on all the major online portals
Getting the most exposure of your property is crucial if you want to let the property fast. These portals will help generate more views. Over 90% of tenants now start searching for their next property online. Getting the property on Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location, and many other UK property portals will help generate as many tenant enquiries as possible, perfect for getting your rental property off to a good start. You will also be in a better position to drum up the competition on your group viewings, thereby increasing the rent & getting the unit let quicker.
Natural light in the property will appeal to a wide range of tenants and will help go a long way when a potential tenant is looking to let the property. If your property feels and looks spacious and open, this minimalist effect will unconsciously be a big plus in the tenants eyes even though it might not have been their top priority. If they can envision living in your property and making it their home by putting their stamp on it, it will appeal to a wider range of tenants and let much quicker. If for any reason your property is looking dated, then sprucing it up can make all the difference. This could be a lick of paint and a deep clean with some great plug-in air fresheners. Therefore neutral & light decor will amplify the property's potential.
3) Ensure the property is clean
It might sound really obvious, but one of the quickest ways to let the property fast is to ensure it’s clean and tidy when potential tenants come to view it. A grimy property will only put off potential tenants, so it important to ensure your property is clean but also clutter-free. If there is any clutter, make sure you tidy this before you show any prospective tenants, as the property will otherwise look small and dingy. Any ‘stuff’ you have lying around won’t help tenants visualise themselves living there during the viewing and will put them off from making an offer.
The best advice is to keep things minimum and remove any offensive or personal belongings as it will entice fasters offers which will increase your bottom line. Dressing a property well will also help a lot, you need to make it feel as warm and homey as possible. If you need help with this bring someone in who knows how to get it looking right like I had to (different side of the brain!).
4) Curb appeal
Even the shiniest of properties, with a good and clean interior may have trouble letting if the property’s exterior doesn't look as inviting. You don’t want to put potential tenants off before they’ve even set foot inside. Therefore going "back to basics" by making sure your property is in the best condition it can be can help you rent a property faster and maximise the value you get.
Here are some quick and easy ways to help you:
- Scrub up paving and paths
- Tackle vegetation and lawns
- Clear the cracks between paving
- Refresh gravelled areas
- Give front doors a new lease of life
- Refresh door hardware
- Add potted plants or trees
- Smarten up doorsteps
- Light up the porch
- Get glass gleaming
- Scrub up window frames
- Dress windows
5) Get some professional photos done
Photos are vital if you need to find tenants. Too few might suggest you have something to hide, which can be off-putting. So always ensure you have clear and bright photographs taken of the rooms/property you want to show off. This can either make or break you letting your property. If potential tenants can’t get any idea of the property in the first place, they are unlikely to get in touch for viewings. Most letting agents will ensure their staff are trained to take attractive photographs of the exterior and interior rooms and display several on their website and all portals. But here are a few things to think about whether you’re instructing an agent or not:
- Use a good-quality camera
- Turn on the lights in any dark places
- Take photos during the day in natural light
- Remove distracting items from the shot, such as rubbish or building materials, and don’t show your reflection in any mirrors
Your listing should have around six-to-eight photos in particular paying close attention to the kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, lounge & the outside.
6) Allow pets
Although this is a bit of an ‘out there’ tip, your property will likely stand out from the majority of other properties which simply state ‘no-pets’. Although we have a growing population of pet owners, a recent study conducted found that nearly 50% of landlords would not take any tenants with pets. So how can you stand out & let your property quicker? You might suggest that although they can have a pet, they will need a bigger deposit and a clause in the AST stating the property must be professionally cleaned when they vacate to ensure all smells and any infestation is completely removed.
7) Redecorate between tenancies
Refreshing the decor between the incoming new tenants and the old ones leaving will make the place feel brand new. This relatively cheap and easy fix with powerful colour combinations will make a tremendous impact and improve the standards by securing higher rent and minimising voids.
Other tips might include:
- Having good floor plans
- Having a thorough property description
- Setting a competitive rent
- Having a high speed internet provider
- Being flexible with viewing times