Sunday, 12 June 2016

An Aylesbury landlord’s tale…

Marketing your property correctly is a key factor when managing your investment. You want the best possible rent but you also want a good quality long term tenant who can move in at a time that minimises any void period. Often there are compromises to be considered… Got a great tenant but time scale is a bit adrift? Timing great but tenant wants an appliance supplied that you had not budgeted for? These issues can make a difference to the short and long term costs i.e. on your return from your investment.

One of my tenants in a Fairford Leys detached coach house gave notice to leave in May. I was about to go on holiday so quickly put it on the market at £725.00pcm and jumped into my cab for the airport. The kitchen has recently been refitted and I was keen to see an enhanced rent over and above the rent I was getting from a long term tenancy. After all the market is very strong and of course you can let anything at the price you want can’t you?
The original photo was bleak and unattractive

Back from holiday 2 weeks later I reviewed the progress. We had had only 3 viewings and no one keen to take the property. I realised very quickly that I had acted in haste and ignored my own advice that I dispense every day.
Do your price research properly and do not think you can buck the market trends unless you are letting something exceptional. (I reduced the price £30 to £695, the lettings market is more dynamic than the sales market and a small reduction is often enough to make a real difference).
Make sure the photographs are good quality and up to date. (I had no photos of my nice new kitchen, instead relying on the strength of the market to be enough to find me a tenant).
Make sure the description is well written and in full with room sizes and descriptions. Make the property sound attractive by pointing out its main features. (In this case a private garden, multiple parking spaces, detached dwelling etc.).
These adjustments were put in place very quickly with a significant response. Six viewings across four days and two applicants that were keen to take the property…I had a choice of two great applicants with flexible timescales, the ideal scenario for any landlord.
So you can see how a busy estate agent can sometimes not get the marketing right even when the property is their own. I guess I could claim to be too busy looking after my landlords to look after myself properly!
If you are trying to let and not getting the right results consider the action above or ask why your agent has not done so.
Incidentally we have now invested £1000 in a new camera to upgrade our photographic capability and floorplans have been ordered for some of our larger stock to enhance the marketing.
Are you, or do want to be, a local landlord/investor? Pop in to my office in Temple Street when you are passing, my advice and knowledge are free and my coffee is passable.