The key to renting is advertising a property, unless you have a strong network to utilise and can spread the news about your rental properties, advertising really is something you need to maximise.
For a lot of landlords out there, it’s difficult to know where to start. Advertising a property where and with who? What price should you be charging in rent and deposits? What should you write in your advert to ensure a maximum number of people are interested?
Before you go to the high street, use an online letting agent! I know we are one and of course I will always promote our services, but you really could save £100s by using the services of an online letting agent when advertising a property you own.
Advertising A Property: Where…
Offline (in news-shop windows etc.)
Online (using websites that advertise your property on major web portals such as Rightmove, Zoopla etc)
Advertising A Property: Online – what to do and how to do it:
Start by researching your local area to see what price to rent yours at, look on rightmove and Zoopla and compare others that are being advertised and compare the condition inside – this will give you a really good idea what yours will go for.
If you are still unsure you could call a letting agent and see what they recommend – all letting agents will have access to online searches through Rightmove and Zoopla to look at the surrounding areas and see what has let/ is up for let that is like yours.
Generally Landlords ask for one month to 6 weeks rent as the deposit, be aware the most you can ask for is two months
I would also suggest being a little cautious over asking for a very large deposit as this may put your property out of some tenants budget
What company to use when advertising a property:
Decide what services you require – are you able to conduct the viewings yourself or would you rather someone else did them for you. Most online letting agents require you to complete the viewings yourself and wherever possible I would advise that you do! However if you can’t then you may need to look for a local agent. If you go for a local agent try to get a few round so you can get their opinion on letting the property and also negotiate over their charges!!
Research potential websites where you can post your property rental listing yourself – this gives you great control over what is shown to tenants
Check that they advertise on all the major websites and look for ones that are members of the Property Ombudsman as this will shortly be made law
Ensure the service that is listed is exactly what you require, for example, if you dont want to deal with all the enquiries and pre-screening yourself, ensure that the service you pick does that for you
What to write/ add to your listing:
Create a listing at the website or websites you select
you should be able to complete a form about your property, which will assist you in providing all the information that is needed. However if you are still unsure take a look at other properties being advertised
Make the listing descriptive, think about what is special about the property and what would make you view, if you were a tenant looking. Pay particular attention to the summary description as this is the first thing tenants see in their search results and will entice them to read more
You should be able to include several pictures to give potential renters a good idea of what the property looks like. This is essential for your listing, not showing images can lead to tenants assuming there is something wrong with property and that is the reason there are no pictures
Make sure that you add your EPC details as all adverts must now display this rating (most agents will be able to organise one for you if you don’t already have one)
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What next when advertising a property?
Sit back and wait for the enquiries to flood in!!
Once your advert is live ensure that you get links sent to you so that you can check how it looks and act on any mistakes immediately to prevent missed opportunities
Your agent should be pre-screening the applicants before they are put forward for a viewing, but just in case ask the agent when they call you all the main questions that you want to know if they dont tell you that immediately. This saves you and the tenant time on wasted viewings
Meet with potential tenants to show the property and discuss the rental agreement. We always suggest meeting the tenants yourself, this way you can get a feel for them. It also means that any questions about the property are answered immediately by you and prevents delays in offering
Once let remove or update your online listings as soon as possible after renting the property.
Offline Advertising A Property:
Whilst over 90% of house hunters start their search online, there is no harm in ensuring you have covered all angles to get your property let and avoid a void!
Place a “To Rent” sign with your phone number at the site of your rental property to attract drive-by applicants or order a To-Let Board from your online letting agent, that they erect and remove for you
Depending on your target tenant it might still be worthwhile placing a classified ad in your local newspaper with your phone number, briefly describing the property’s basic features, monthly rent, any security deposit and the availability of the unit. ?
Prepare and place announcements or flyers about the availability of your rental property on bulletin boards in local shops, businesses, churches and any local community centers near your property.
If you have more than one rental property, inform your current tenants about the vacancy and ask them to spread the word to friends and family. This is especially useful if you rent to students
Inform your friends and business associates about the availability of the rental property to take advantage of word-of-mouth advertising.