It is a common assumption that the location of a property is the most important factor considered by tenants when looking for somewhere to rent. However, landlords with successful portfolios are aware that it is possible to engineer your property towards a particular market.
The most obvious example of this is the different ways of decorating if you want to attract a family who might be looking for a long-term tenancy, or a group of students - who will often pay slightly more but are unlikely to stay in the property for longer than a couple of years.
So what are these groups of people looking for in a rental property? Talking to local letting agents will give you an idea of the market in the area and you should then set about tailoring your property to the most obvious group, using the tips below:
If your property is in a desirable location, perhaps close to a local school and has a garden, you are probably likely to attract families who are looking to rent. This has become increasingly common since the global financial crisis, which made it more difficult to obtain affordable mortgage finance.
They are more likely than the other groups to own furniture and so will probably be looking for an unfurnished property. However, this does not mean that the house should be left undecorated - families will want a home that is well-presented and clean, with all wallpaper or painting taken care of beforehand.
Despite rising tuition fees, thousands and thousands of students move out of home to go to university every year. Again, the location of your property will be important here, as it will obviously need to be close to a campus, but students also like to be near to other facilities, such as pubs, shops and takeaway restaurants.
If your property has three or more bedrooms it is likely to be favoured by students, as they are keen to split the rent.
They are unlikely to have any of their own furniture, so will be seeking a fully-furnished house. If you are going to kit out the property, it is advisable to choose sturdier items as they are likely to experience a great deal of wear and tear during student life.
In an effort to ensure you do not need to replace the items regularly, consider purchasing second hand items to keep costs down.
As it has become more and more difficult to get onto the property ladder, increasing numbers of young professionals are now renting for longer than ever.
When preparing a property for this market, you should consider their requirements closer to those of families than students. Young professionals may enjoy a garden for entertaining friends and family. Keep in mind that they probably haven’t acquired a lot of furniture, therefore furnishing your property with high quality and sophisticated pieces will help make their decision easier to choose your rental.
Whichever market you are aiming for, it is a good idea to choose plain decor that can be easily touched up and readministered between tenancies if required. However, magnolia is often a better choice of colour than white, as it goes some way to hiding dirt and making it less obvious.
By much the same token, laminate flooring is more resilient than carpet in main living areas, while tiles or vinyl will be better coverings for bathrooms. As well as lasting longer, these options will allow the tenants to add a touch of their own personality in the form of rugs.