1. Do your homework
First off you need to review the local market. What does the competition look like? How much do they charge? Where do you fit? Is your property attractive enough and in a good enough location to justify the price you want?
Price is important, but many people will happily pay more to get exactly what they want. What are the premium features that people will pay more for and is it worthwhile adding them to your property? If you’re in what’s seen as an unattractive area, then there’s probably no point embellishing it. But if you’re in an up and coming area, then a few superficial tweaks can make a huge difference.
Take all of those factors into account and then test out price points until you get to your property investment sweet spot. That is the price position that attracts tenants and still delivers you a good enough profit.
2. Grab everyone’s attention
The headline is key. The last thing you want is for everyone to skim past your ad. Put key information in the headline, for example: ‘Available to rent – number of rooms – area’.
The text should be clear, concise and alluring. You want to paint a picture and make them feel at home. Walk them through the house, pointing out the main features in each room.
While you want to highlight the good points, you should also be honest about any flaws in the property. People do appreciate honesty. They’ll see the flaws anyway if they come to a viewing and they are more likely to take the property if they feel that they can trust the owner.
Lifestyle is just as important as the property. Mention nearby local amenities, especially those that fit the profile of your ideal tenant. So if that’s families, they’ll want to know about schools. If it’s young professionals, tell them about cafes and bars in the vicinity. Include links to the local area to give them a good overview of living in London, or living in Aberdeen for example.
Bullet points can be used to reinforce key benefits and features. For example:
- Freshly decorated
- Wooden floors
- Near to schools and shops
- South facing lounge
- Stainless steel appliances
3. Quality photos
Make sure the property is immaculately clean and tidy before you take any pictures. Personal belongings and photographs can be off-putting, so try and make things as neutral as possible. Make it a blank canvas that potential tenants can imagine themselves adding their personality to.
Natural lighting is much softer and more attractive, so try to take the pictures at the best time of day to maximise the light. If you expect to be letting the property regularly, then it’s worth investing is some professional shots.
4. Floor plan
Having a floor plan increases viewing by 50%. So it is well worth putting one together. There are several free or cheap online apps that you can do your own floor plan with or you could use a service like Fiverr to get one drawn up by a professional.
5. Marketing blitz
There’s no point in being shy with marketing or restricting it to one platform. Take a blitz approach and get your advert out everywhere.
Start with an old-fashioned garden or wall board. It can still be one of the best ways to catch the attention of people who are looking for property in that area.
Obviously you’ll want to promote the property online. Put it on all the free sites, like sparerooms.com and findaflat.com. If you’re offering short-term lets, then check out airbnb.com and bookings.com. Over time you’ll find the platforms that work best for you.
Finally, don’t forget word of mouth. Offer a finders fee of £100 or so and let everyone know. Tenants who are leaving can be one of the best sources. Chances are they have friends who’ve always liked the property when they’ve visited. Help make it easy for them to pass on the baton.