The internet has made it so quick and easy for tenants to search for properties to rent that, as a landlord, you need to make an instant impression. With a few expert tips and tricks, you can make sure your property stands out from the crowd and encourage potential tenants to queue up to rent it.
Choose quality, durable furniture
“People are now renting as a lifestyle choice, so they want a home rather than a temporary rental space,” says Farnaz Fazaipour of Palace Gate estate agents. “Tenants expect quality and don’t want old, tatty furniture.
“Choose pieces that are comfortable, stylish and easy to maintain,” she advises. “Go for a sofa that can be cleaned after tenancies – something that’s more expensive and durable, with a material that can be sprayed with a fabric protector.”
Phoebe Winter of Hatch Interiors says, “Although landlords often like to buy leather sofas for their durability, tenants prefer fabric ones. Light grey or black are popular choices.”
Fazaipour adds, “Don’t go for too dark but equally not beige either. Grey or taupe are best.”
Don’t clutter the space
Landlords often make the mistake of offering too much furniture to their tenants. “Don’t overcrowd the room, even if you think people want more furniture. It should feel open and uncluttered,” Winter says.
“Glass is the most popular choice for coffee and dining tables,” she adds, “because it’s modern and stylish.”
Accessorise a neutral background
Tenants want to make their own mark on the property, so it’s best to give them a neutral backdrop with which to work. “Neutral is key,” says Miller. But she also recommends you think about the season, “In summer, we’ll choose brighter colours.”
Winter advises, “Choose accessories such as cushions, candles and blankets to dress the space and think about the particular market you’re aiming at. To attract younger renters, you could go for vibrant colours, while professionals might want something modern and stylish.
“A family will need lots of room, so an L-shaped sofa is a good idea, as it saves space,” she adds. “Try not to overdress it too much, as a family will definitely want more of a blank canvas.”
Spruce up the hallway
The hallway is the first area your potential tenants will see, so ensure it makes a positive impression. “It’s a good idea to keep the entrance fresh and uncluttered,” says Fazaipour. “Clear any junk mail, as it makes it appear that there’s not much activity going on.”
Winter recommends, “Put a small shelf up for tenants to display artwork on and add a console with flowers, or something scented.”
Make a good first impression
“With the internet, tenants have so much choice,” says Fazaipour. “As a landlord, you have minutes to impress people.”
So it’s important to really show your property off to its full potential. Hire a company to clean and dress it, and invest in quality furniture that will stand the test of time.
“It’s often difficult to show it off when there are tenants already living in the property,” says Miller, but there are some things you can do. The most important point is to maintain a good relationship with your current renters, so they’re happy to help you out with viewings.
“Try to find out whether your current tenants have a cleaner and, if so, arrange viewings for just after they’ve been round,” advises Fazaipour.
A smell can have a big impact on how tenants feel straight away, so ensure your property is fragranced nicely. “Choose reed diffusers rather than plug-ins, as they’re not as strong,” Winter advises.
Dress the bed
According to these experts, the most popular choice of rental property has two bedrooms, and they recommend all the beds be made up for viewings.“Beds must be comfortable and you should protect them with a mattress cover. Make them look as good as possible,” Fazaipour says.
“Start the relationship with tenants well,” says Fazaipour. “If you look after your tenants, they will look after your property. So it’s a nice gesture to leave clean sheets and towels neatly stacked in the cupboard.”
Winter agrees and says, “Young professionals often want to move in with everything there, especially if they’re relocating for work. If you provide the basics for them, they can literally move in with a suitcase.”
Opt for wooden flooring
When deciding which type of flooring to go for, Miller stresses, “Choose wood or laminate.”
“It’s easy to maintain,” agrees Fazaipour. “Ensure, though, that the lease allows it and that it’s soundproofed, so you don’t have ongoing problems with neighbours.”
Make the kitchen look lived-in
In the kitchen, you can use a few tricks to help potential tenants imagine themselves living in the property. “Put books in there to make it homely, and display dry food in cupboards and on worktops. Decant pasta into jars and even lay the table,” Winter says.
Add some greenery
Flowers are an instant way to add warmth to a property. “We put fresh flowers in if we know it’s going to be viewed soon,” says Winter. “If not, we’ll use fake flowers – perhaps on the dining table, in a small vase on the coffee table and on the bedside tables. Flowers are great for giving energy and life to a room.”
Keep lighting simple
Most properties have spotlights, according to Winter. “Make sure you have lamps for mood lighting, and put them on when tenants come to look,” she says. “We usually put in some bedside lights and a floor lamp in the living room.”