Friday, 20 October 2017

Its Not Just Hallowe’en That Is Scary In October!

I touched on the current state of the Rental market in Aylesbury in my last article which would appear to be slower moving than it has been for any of the previous months of 2017.

This is what makes October scary if you are trying to let. For the 3 years prior to 2017, October was the lowest performing month in all three years and whilst this year, we have already exceeded the performance against October 2016, we are still seeing the market do what it seems to do year in, year out.

This was backed up by a recent Rightmove webinar, which confirmed that October for the rental market up and down the land follows the same pattern. In a poll conducted on this webinar, 55% of agents claimed it was harder to find good quality rental applicants for their properties in October and only 9% said it was still easy to find good quality applicants.

If it is just a trend, then we should see November pick back up to normal levels as in previous years. December will tail off toward Christmas but should start well.

But who has time to wait? each month that your property sits on the market is money lost.
I know I say this all the time, but it’s true… Listen to the advice of your agent!!!

Of 67 Rental Properties that have been loaded to Rightmove in the last 7 days leading up to 19/10/17.

17 are price reductions.

6 Have been marked as LET AGREED, yes that really is Just 6 Let in the last 7 days of the 245 properties available to let currently, which is around double the amount of available properties at the start of 2017.

So, supply has increased, demand appears to have slowed, but it has not stopped.

It’s really important to note that people are still looking at Rightmove, they are clicking to view properties online, but this activity online is not converting to viewings.

There could be any number of reasons for this; they aren’t sure if they really want to move in the lead up to Christmas, they have concerns about what Brexit could mean for their personal situation (work stability, right to remain or any other possible concerns that could come up from the mess that is Brexit),

it could also be that they just haven’t seen anything that is making them stop and think ‘I really must call to have a look at that property’.

The property market is really no different to any other market place, in that you have a product you want someone to purchase (or in this case rent). Your product needs to be compelling enough to get that interest and you want your product to sell (rent) before your competitors.
Regardless of the size, design or layout of your property, everyone has different preferences and your objective is to get the largest target audience to want to see your property over anyone else’s.


There are three main factors to think about and the more of these that you get right, the better positioned you will be to achieve your goal.

The Presentation has to be right. The property should not be cluttered or in a poor state of repair. 
You should not accept anything other than good quality photographs from your agent
But, if its cluttered and in poor decorative state, your agent may not even take internal photos... Is that doing the property justice in attracting you a good quality tenant?

The Price.  just because property “X” around the corner achieved top rent back in the summer and it is a similar property does not mean yours will too. The lettings market is dynamic and fast moving and getting your price right when you come to market is essential.

Make your property top of the list by pricing it to compete with everything else around, not to be hidden in amongst the rest and certainly not to stand out for being priced above and beyond anything else that is out there.

For every week that a property sits empty on the market, that is money lost, not just in rent but in utilities, council tax and mortgage and maintenance costs. Is coming on the market £25/£50 below the rest of the market a loss? or is it securing you a good tenant sooner than the rest of the market and cutting your expenses?

The Agent.   The last piece in the puzzle. Your agent should want to Let your property, it’s how they make money. They should want you to be happy that you have a good tenant that will remain your tenant for as long as possible, so that when the time comes you will come back to use them again and again. 

They should also want to give honest advice on the market conditions to ensure your property gets a good tenant at a correct rent in a sensible timescale.  Your agent should not shy away from having difficult conversations with you about, pricing, presentation and market conditions.

The conditions of the market could be at their slowest, but by taking an agents advice and getting ahead of the market as much as possible, will put you in a better position than any of your competitors.

It’s all too easy to forget that your target audience has access to the whole of the Aylesbury property market with the touch of a phone screen. They can search in price order, they can search for what has come to market most recently, if your property has sat on the market for a month or more at a price that is not competitive, how likely are they to even notice your property? Remember 67 properties have come to market in the last 7 days… your property needs to be top of that list.