Present your rental property properly and the tenants will come

Present your rental property properly and the tenants will come
Demand from tenants in the private rental sector has arguably never been higher.

But many landlords, admittedly facing increased costs and legislative pressure, continue to present their buy-to-let properties in a mediocre and 'needs must' way.

That approach could be costing you the opportunity to seek increased rent in a high-demand market.

Regardless of the number of properties available in your area, standing out from the crowd is key - even if the number of rental properties in the market is dwindling.

And in London, standing out from the competition is arguably more important than anywhere else - renters in the capital have high expectations and are willing to pay for a property that is head and shoulders above any other options they may have.

So how should you present your buy-to-let to potential tenants in order to maximise your rental potential?

Furnished properties to rent

Considering whether to offer your rental property furnished or unfurnished is one of many big decisions facing you as a landlord.

Offering a furnished property can sometimes mean a higher rent.

But there are also other factors to consider, including your target market.

Smaller urban apartments tend to work better as furnished rental properties, while larger family homes are often unfurnished as those kind of tenants often come with their own furniture.

While furnished properties can let quicker, reducing costly void periods, and can command higher rents, there are strict fire safety regulations to adhere to.

And, most importantly, you should always factor in potential wear and tear to your furnishings.

Replacing items could end up costing you more in the long run and really can eat into your profits.

Think about who you are renting to

If your property is a two-bedroom flat in zone 2 then there's a strong chance it will appeal to a young professional or couple looking for good transport links into zone 1 for work.

So, make sure you cater for their needs.

With that in mind, you could ignore the standard advice on blogs such as this which will almost always tell you to keep the property's decor neutral.

Neutral is unlikely to appeal to a young professional couple so put some life into your property's decor.

But remember: Make sure anything you do is on trend and likely to appeal to the demographic you're targeting.

Stage your rental property for marketing

Even if you've decided to rent out your buy-to-let property unfurnished, presenting it as an empty shell on your lettings agent's marketing material.

Photographs online are everything when it comes to selling or renting out property.

And allowing potential tenants to see how the property looks with great furnishings is key.

Of course, you won't want to be spending out on expensive furniture simply for marketing photos .- especially if you're letting your property unfurnished.

If your current tenant has kitted out your rental nicely with their own furnishings, ask them if they would mind the agent doing some marketing photos with their things in situ.

You could even offer an incentive like paying their council tax for a month if they aren't keen.

If your property is already empty, consider hiring some furnishings for the purposes of marketing.

But always make it clear that the property is being marketed unfurnished.

Think about security

Often, improved security is overlooked in favour of other pressing budget requirements.

But tenants do place great value on security, particularly family renters with children, so taking steps to install a security light or CCTV might be a cost but can pay dividends in terms of appeal.

Consider some incentives

What's the one thing almost all renters need beside the actual roof over their heads?

That's right - broadband.

Being connected is hugely important to renters in 2019.

In London in particular, the rise of flexible working and start-ups means having a fast and secure broadband connection is right at the top of renters' must-have lists

There are some great deals to be had on broadband so consider signing up and covering the cost for your tenants.

Small touches like that could make a huge difference and help you stand out from the competition

If you have any questions about renting out your property, speak to your local Ellis & Co office who will be able to answer any questions.