To make tenants fall in love with your property at first sight, it needs kerb appeal: that initial spark a tenant feels when they see your property for the first time from (you guessed it) the kerb.
Some properties have kerb appeal by the bucket, whereas some are a little harder to love. Until now, the ingredients of this property love-potion were obscure. But no more.
OpenRent’s Kerb Appeal Survey has discovered what things tenants look out for when they see a property for the first time.
We asked 200 tenants what features make them fall in love with a home the moment they set eyes on it. And the good news is, landlords can use this list to make their own properties more attractive, helping them find great tenants fast.
10. Attractive External Features: 69% Important
Charming features like big windows, pretty chimneys and period brickwork enter the list at number 10. These things are hard to change or improve, being part of the structure of the property. But you know that if your homes possess these gifts, you’ll have an advantage over other properties in your area.
9. The Buildings Next Door: 74% Important
That’s right — sorry landlords! The buildings next door to your rental property have a big influence on how potential tenants perceive your property. No matter how pretty your house looks, if those next door have let their front garden become a tip, it’s going to drag your place down, too. Maybe time to have a word with the neighbours…
8. An Attractive Front Door 74% Important
Tenants love an appealing front door, enticing them into the property and promising more pleasant surprises within. The front door has a symbolic importance. It is the first point of physical contact your tenant makes with your property at a viewing and forms the boundary between their cosy home and the big bad world outside.
7. A Well Kept Garden: 80% Important
A well kept garden is a massive plus for your property’s aesthetic, even if the visiting tenants have no intention of keeping it in pristine condition. This is especially true as people spend more time working from home. A beautiful garden to escape into is truly desirable.
6. Well Maintained Fences, Hedges and Gates: 85% Important
The way your property marks its boundaries has a big influence on how tenants rate it. No one wants to add ‘repaint the fence’ to their move-in to-do list. Overgrown hedges, rusty gates and gaps in fences panels may prompt tenants to look elsewhere.
5. Tidy Paths and Driveways: 85% Important
Nothing says “small house with poor storage” like seeing items cluttering up the approach to the property. Make sure that your property’s approach is free from mess, with any grass and hedges well trimmed.
4. The Street: 86% Important
Being on a beautiful street will help your property punch above its weight. Some streets are famous and highly desirable; others are quiet and homely. Buying an investment property on an attractive street will help you attract tenants for years to come.
3. The Neighbourhood: 89% Important
The part of town your property is in can also work wonders for its kerb appeal. The general vibe and feel of the area as tenants approach for their viewing has a powerful sway on their desire to live there.
Although there’s not much you can do to change the neighbourhood your property is in, do keep an eye on how areas change over time. Try to match the kind of tenant you are hoping to attract with the neighbourhood the property is in.
2. A Well Lit Property: 91% Important
A warm, radiant aura, spilling out of your property’s windows as the dusk sets in; a freshly painted facade, beautifully illuminated with tasteful uplighting; inlaid lights in the garden path paving; a strong, motion-activated flood light to deter any unwanted visitors. The better-lit your property is, the happier potential tenants will be. That’s what our respondents have told us.
In general, it is best to book viewings during daylight hours, when your property will be at its brightest. Tenants will also take good note of the direction the property faces and whether outdoor spaces are south- or north-facing, since this makes a huge difference to the natural light they will receive.
1. How Secure the Property Looks: 94% Important
Given the dislocated and transient nature of renting, is it any wonder that having a home which looks easily defensible is tenants’ top concern? The UK is in the grip of an obsession with buildings which are ‘secured by design’, to keep the baddies out. Unsurprising, then, that this trend is also seen in the rented sector.
The good news for landlords is that studies consistently show that it is the perception of security that residents crave — even if the local crime statistics show they are more likely to be struck by lightning than burgled. So even if you know they achieve nothing, adding superficial security features like CCTV, house alarms and big, heavy locks is the number one way to make tenants fall in love with your property.