Are you happy with the tenants your property is attracting? Do you dream of your property appealing to a stable family who want to stay for years? Or highly paid professional sharers? Or are you just fed up that loads of people want to view your property, but no one is putting down a deposit?
If this is you, then you may need to take steps to widen the pool of tenants your property is likely to appeal to.
Tweak your property to meet your target audience’s needs
The concept of a target audience shouldn’t be new. When you acquired your property, you most likely had a certain type of tenant in mind. It’s usually based on the profile of the local renting population. If the reality has differed from what you imagined, then maybe your property isn’t meeting your target tenants’ needs.
Different types of renters require different things. Families are a particularly good case in point. Top floor flats without a lift can be unappealing for those with small children. Who wants to haul a heavy pushchair or buggy up several flights of stairs? And what about outdoor space? Most parents want somewhere that their little ones can enjoy during the summer.
Some of these problems can be solved with a little imagination. For example, could you provide ground floor buggy parking? You may need to liaise with your neighbours but it’s amazing how accommodating they can be, especially when children are involved. Or, if you have a lack of green space, highlight how close local parks are in your property listing.
If you’re interested in attracting professional sharers, their needs are different again. Whereas a family may prefer somewhere cosy and homely, the sharers may be looking for something more contemporary and stylish, with entertaining space and enough bathrooms to prevent queues in the morning. Adding an extra shower room and breakfast bar to your kitchen may be all it takes to attract them.
Increase the overall attractiveness of your property
Although making sure you keep your target tenants in mind is important, you may need to improve your property’s general attractiveness as well. This is the concept of old-fashioned kerb appeal.
It may be a cliché but if your prospective tenants are impressed by look of your property from the outside, then they’ll have already decided they like it when they get inside and look at the interior.
Top tips for triggering a wow reaction before the viewing even begins include:
- A tidy front garden, sparkling windows and scrubbed paths. These can help make the most of what you’ve got. A clean outside can be just as important as a spotless interior and this is often neglected.
- A well-tended window box. A splash of colour can immediately increase attractiveness and make your property feel like a home. If your outside sills can’t accommodate pots, then consider placing flowers on an internal table that can be seen from the outside.
- Well-painted surfaces. Freshly painted window frames, external doors and gates can give your property a real boost and leave the impression that it’s well looked after. Peeling, yellowing paintwork on the approach can undermine all that good work you’ve done inside.
Deep clean as much as you can
Even with a professional clean, limescale can linger on bathroom rims and greasy food crumbs hang around between kitchen appliances. No tenant wants to feel surrounded by someone else’s dirt, so it’s important to remove as much evidence of previous occupants as possible.
It might take several attempts to break down some of the most stubborn stains, but it’s worth it if the reward is sparkling surfaces. Concentrate on the kitchen and bathroom – these are key. Not only can a great kitchen sell a property, it can also attract great tenants.
The more natural light, the better. It may not be possible to increase the actual amount of light your property receives but there are a couple of tricks you can use. Mirrors are an easy way to make rooms not only appear bigger but lighter as well. Introducing brighter lights or bulbs, with higher lumen counts, can also give your light levels a boost. Multiple light sources, such as floor and desktop lamps add to an ambience of welcoming cosiness.
Ditch the feature wall
It may have been the height of fashion back in the noughties but, in all likelihood, your new tenants are not going to share your taste for bold colours. Go instead for neutrals and encourage your tenants to bring their favourite colours to the property through their choice of bedspreads, throws and other soft furnishings.
Nothing is more off putting for a prospective tenant than promises that repairs will be done. You may as well save your breath. Tenants simply won’t believe you, and pointing out the defects only draws tenants’ attention to your property’s faults. It also gives the impression that you don’t always get things fixed immediately.
Cracked light switches and chipped gloss paint may seem minor but they can also detract from that sophisticated look you were hoping for. Don’t put that small job off until later – get it done now, before the viewing.
Finally, get feedback
When a prospective tenant doesn’t take your property, ask for feedback. You spent the time showing them the property, they can repay the favour by taking some time to tell you what they thought. What did they like? What didn’t they like?
Brace yourself. Some of their comments may feel unkind or unfair but, if you can avoid taking it personally, there are some great insights to be had. If a similar comment is repeatedly mentioned by different tenants, then it’s worth taking note and possibly doing something about it.