Whatever the neighbourhood, whatever the style and whatever the price, a prospective tenant has one question in mind when they look at your property: “could I see myself living here?” While it’s true that many tenants aren’t looking for a ‘forever home’, just like any shopper, they’re not immune to a bit of ‘wow factor’.
The trick here is to focus on points that will actually have an impact. Overhauling a whole property could easily wipe out its revenue and, in our experience, is often unnecessary.
To see an immediate impact on your rental income, you should therefore focus on these five points:
1. Light, bright and airy – Picture a hotel brochure. What do you usually see? Big windows. Lots of light. Plenty of mirrors. So make sure that your windows are clean and unobstructed; that your walls are a light colour; and avoid heavy curtains. Upgrade your light bulbs to 100 watts where possible, and make judicial use of mirrors.
2. First impressions – Anyone paying for a product wants to feel - right from the start - that they’re getting their money’s worth. So repaint the front door; clear the driveway; hide the wheelie bins; and accessorise a garden with low-maintenance plant pots. If your prospective tenant has a ‘good feeling’ before they walk inside, it will change their attitude to everything they see next.
3. Bathrooms make a splash – In rental properties, bathrooms have more of an impact than any other room. Aim for a clean and sterile look and feel, with no hint of previous use. If appliances, tiling and paintwork can’t be new, they should at least look And absolutely no mould or limescale.
4. Clean carpets – Many landlords swear by laminate but, particularly for the young professional market, there are rooms which benefit from carpet (e.g. bedrooms). These must be free from stains but there’s usually no need to replace them – a professional cleaner should be able to get everything looking (and smelling) like new.
5. Details, details – Walk through your property or, better still, recruit a fresh-eyed friend to identify minor bugbears that a new tenant might notice. Broken blinds, sticking doors, stained window sills and unmown grass all project a ‘cheap’ aura and can be resolved at minimal expense.
One mistake that you shouldn’t make is to start thinking of your rental property as a home. It may well be a home for somebody but, for you, it must stay strictly as an investment. Tenants don’t always treat everything with the respect that it deserves – so we’ll be looking at how to minimise wear, tear and repair in our next blog.
Until next time!