We’re analysing our rental data to bring landlords valuable insights on how to find great tenants quickly.
By looking at the most popular times for tenants to view your advert, and send you a message, we can learn some valuable lessons.
The First 48 Hours
The 48-hour period after your advert first goes live is usually the busiest. These keen early-bird tenants may end up being the best applicants you find, so it pays to be prepared. Make sure you have enough time to stay on top of the interest you receive.
That could mean:
- being able to conduct viewings the week immediately following your advert going live
- deciding on your tenant referencing plans in advance
- deciding what holding deposit you will take (this is now restricted to one week’s rent)
All these things will help you be prepared to move quickly when those first enquiries come in during the first 48 hours of your tenant search.
But why are the first 48 hours the busiest, anyway? There are two reasons.
(i) Search Alert Emails & App Notifications
Firstly, tenants create alarms for new properties that meet their criteria. When a new property is published which meets their criteria, they will get a notification.
OpenRent allows users to create these search alerts easily. As do the portals, Rightmove and Zoopla. In theory, a tenant could be receiving three emails containing your property in one day, in addition to receiving notifications on the Rightmove and Zoopla apps. That’s a lot of prompting to look at your advert in the first day or two!
On top of all this, if tenants are searching for joint tenancies with family or flatmates, then they will be sharing your advert on social media and messaging applications.
(ii) Sorting Order: New to Old is Default
Secondly, for tenants just generally scrolling, being new means you will be at the top of the search results. Both Rightmove and Zoopla list properties from newest to oldest by default.
That means that you will have pole position on Day 1. You may still be on the first page on Day 2. But by Day 3, you will have moved to the second or third page.
OpenRent, incidentally, does not rank properties based on how old they are. Because we are the landlord’s agent, not just a portal, we know that all our properties are available and remove them when they are let. That means that how ‘old’ they are is much less important.
On OpenRent, your advert will always rank top of the results when it is the most relevant property, no matter how long it has been live.
Perfect First Time?
The importance of the first two days does not end here. On top of ~12% of enquiries coming through in the first 48 hours, it is also true that a massive 44% of advert views happen in that time, too.
This graph shows the amount of views a randomly selected advert received on OpenRent. This property had nearly half its views on the first two days. It was let on Day 7 (the average OpenRent property is let in seven days) and then shown as ‘let agreed’ on the OpenRent site on Days 8, 9 and 10.
This is just one property. Remember that page-views vary significantly by day of the week. More on that here!
How to Use this Data to Find Tenants Quickly
If the majority of people who see your advert will do so in the first three days, then it is crucial to make sure your advert looks great as soon as it goes live.
The majority of tenants who are looking for a property in your area with your number of bedrooms will see your property almost as soon as it is uploaded. If your property goes live with bad photos or without the right information in the description, then it will be too late to change it later.
The tenants who wanted to see those nice photos will not be returning to your advert. They will be looking at the newest batch of properties in the inbox or at the top of the portals listings.
Top Landlord Tips from this Data:
- As a landlord, if you want to hijack the portals’ algorithms, you need to get your advert right first time.
- Be prepared to act on high-quality tenant enquiries as soon as the second or third day. That means: