You need to spend a little time thinking about your adverts. Prior to a call or email, they are all your potential tenants have to go on in order to decide if they want to rent from you or not.
Firstly your pictures are vital. There’s no need to have them taken by a professional photographer, a modern camera phone will be fine, but it is important you take the right pictures.
Ideally take the pictures while the property is empty. If you want to keep voids to a minimum you’ll want to advertise a property before a current tenant has moved but you won’t be able to easily take photos while they’re living there. So make sure you take some photos before your first tenant moves in and then re-use them each time you need to replace a tenant.
For multi-lets you’ll also need a couple of good pictures of each bedroom and always I re-take photos of any rooms I decorate. I tend to decorate between tenants, particularly if the tenant has stayed for a year or more because magnolia walls can get a little grubby after that sort of time.
Every now and then I’ll make an improvement to a room worthy of a new photo. The sort of change worthy of a new photo would be something like painting a feature wall a new colour or the addition of new curtains, accessories like lamps or new furniture.
Photos of the interior are more important than the exterior, far more so than for houses for sale. For single occupancy properties the most important rooms are the kitchen and the lounge. For multi-lets the most important rooms are the bedrooms including any en-suite bathrooms, followed by the kitchen and lounge.
Your description needs to include the price of your property or room and what is included for that price. Remember in Tip#1 we discussed all the things you could include in the rent to make you stand out from the crowd such as bills or a cleaner etc. Remember too what I suggested about being too cheap and the type of tenant you’ll attract if you are.
Your description should also promote your property in relation to its location and whether or not it is close to transport links, schools and shops etc. and handy for any local towns or major business hubs and industrial estates. I have found that properties in town are far more desirable than those with great transport links but out of town but if you are out of town take a good look at the options your tenants will have in order to reach town. A little research into bus routes and train times will pay dividends later. Include the postcode.
Also don’t forget to mention whether the property or room is fully furnished or not but if it is go into a little more detail and explain what furniture you provide. Most people who want to rent a room in a shared house will want a desk so make sure you either provide one or make one available to add to a room if required and say so in your advert. If you are prepared to be flexible about removing or adding furniture make sure you mention that too.
The number of fridges and freezers will be of interest to those renting a room in a shared house as will the number of toilets and how many people they will be sharing them with.
If you’re renting out a room in a shared house talk about the existing tenants. Say that they are all professionals or all ‘hard-working’ students depending on the market you are targeting. Personally I avoid just standard students as they tend to pay the least and give you the most headaches but that’s up to you. I discuss students versus professionals in detail on my CD (see below). If you do decide to rent rooms to students, try to target the better end of the market and at least say in your adverts that your current tenants are hardworking, non-party animal types and you’re looking for that type of person. I always say that the house has a friendly atmosphere and it’s a great place to work in if you need to.
Give the dimensions of any particularly large rooms such as the lounge, kitchen or bathrooms (particularly en-suite bathrooms). If renting out a room include the dimensions even if the room is small. This is so that people know what to expect when they come to view the property and don’t waste your time looking at a room that turns out to be smaller than expected.
Potential tenants will also want to know how much deposit they’ll need to pay and what happens to it so tell them the scheme you use. I also mention how easy it is to leave the property and get their deposit back and how much notice they have to give. In adverts for rooms in shared houses I also tell them that they can reserve rooms for free but I don’t go into the details of exactly how they do so in the advert. I explain to them how they can do so when I meet them. I go into detail about this in a future tip.
There’s no harm in mentioning that you have many years of experience renting property and that you have lots of recommendations. I also mention in adverts for rooms that I do not live in the house. Some landlords do and that can put off some people.
Most importantly include your contact details. I always include my phone number and email. I also encourage people to text the word ‘room’ or ‘house’ to my number and that if they do I’ll get straight back to them. It just means the minimal effort for them.
OK that’s about it for this week. I hope you now feel you know what to include in your adverts so you can attract just the type of tenant you want.
Next week we are going to look at references and how to check your potential tenant is the sort you want in your property!
Until then have an amazing week!
P.S. If you’d like to order my CD ‘How To Find, Attract and Retain The Best Tenants‘ containing the entire system I’ve developed to make sure you only ever get the best tenants, they stay a long time and recommend you to other potential tenants, you can do so here: http://www.tenantscreeningtips.com/cd. For a limited time it’s only £27.97 with FREE delivery!
The CD includes all 14 top tips which together make the perfect system for finding, attracting and retaining only the best tenants for your properties, including:
Professional versus Student Tenants – Both have their advantages. I’ll help you decide which way to go
Online Advertising – Where to advertise to make sure you don’t get left with empty properties for long
Pricing – How to get your pricing right so you get the tenants you want. Also what you should include in the rent and what you should charge for
The Advert – What to say in your advertising so you get loads of enquiries from the types of tenant you want
References and Credit Checks – Not as simple as it seems! Rely solely on great references and you’re asking for trouble!
Telephone Interviewing – Save yourself hours of time with this simple tip
Face To Face Meetings – Why these are so important and what to look for when you first meet a potential tenant
Saying ‘NO’ After a Viewing – How to say ‘No’ to someone you don’t like after a viewing
Dealing With ‘No Shows’ – What you should do if someone fails to turn up to a viewing
Rent and Deposit Negotiations – How to confidently deal with potential tenants who want to negotiate the price
Securing ‘Gem’ Tenants – How to attract and keep tenants that suit your property perfectly
Recommendations – How to encourage tenants to recommend you
Recommend Other Landlords – Why this is a very good idea!
Waiting Lists – Why you should keep them
Think those tips could help? Can you afford not to make the most of my experience for the sake of £27.97? Order here: http://www.tenantscreeningtips.com/cd