Spending time and money creating a property that attracts the right tenants is one of the best investments a landlord can make. It is obvious that if your property is attractive to tenants it will make your life easier, the quality of tenants you attract will be better, it will alleviate stress, financial and time pressures and most importantly make your investment work harder for you. But how can you maximise your chances of attracting the right applicants for your property?maximise your chances of attracting the right applicants for your property?
Choosing the most Attractive Property
Some things can be added to any home – appliances, new paint or flooring – but there are many desirable factors that can’t be changed.
This is why it’s important when you are looking at buying an investment property you consider every aspect of potential properties from a tenant’s perspective.
The first and most obvious consideration is location. Being close to transport and retail centres, schools, parks, universities etc will increase your rental value, as will a nice view.
Another factor to consider is the neighbourhood itself. Is it safe, do people want to live here, are there any rowdy neighbours in the area.
It’s a good idea to talk to your agent and do your own Google searches, to understand what the neigbourhood is like before you buy.
A major concern for many tenants especially in the cities is parking – nowadays tenants expect double car accommodation. At the very minimum make sure you look for a place that has off street parking for at least one car.
It is important to have the right features as part of your property can potentially make or break a deal.
In many cases extra features enable you to charge a higher rent and have the added bonus of reducing the amount of time your property is left vacant.
Every week a property is sitting vacant – and this can occur even in periods of low vacancy rates - is almost two percent of your yearly income that you won’t get back, and for this reason reducing vacancies is crucial for every investor.
It is important to make sure your property is at the top of its game. In a market where there might be 50 or 60 other similar properties available, it is not just about getting top dollar but also leasing your property faster than others.
Popular features that will attract good tenants:
Good quality kitchen
Good quality fixtures and appliances
Quality blinds, shutters or curtains
Good cable connection for internet and Wi-Fi, a strong signal for smartphones, and multiple power points to facilitate simultaneous connections across a multitude of platforms
You should always try to present your property well, price it to meet the market and employ the services of a property manager who can oversee the whole operation.
What to Avoid
Just as there are some things tenants will be willing to pay more for, there are also features that will detract from the value of your property.
A ‘dark’ property will always put tenants off, as will one that’s dirty or in poor condition.
Remember you will not be the one living in the property so dark or brightly coloured rooms are a big turn-off. Try and stay as natural as possible to appeal to the biggest market.
What Can I Change?
Some quick changes such as a fresh coat of paint, some new fittings such as door handles, new kitchen bench top, and light switches can go a long way in having your property rented to good tenants.
But if you want to make bigger changes be careful not to overcapitalize on your property. At this point, it is important to talk to your property manager as they can advise you on where you could add value and the expected rental return after these improvements.