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Marketing is one of the crucial aspects of ensuring that your property achieves the right rent, i...

Marketing is one of the crucial aspects of ensuring that your property achieves the right rent, is let within a short time frame and attracts the right applicants.

Your first step should be to prepare the property by ensuring that it is safe and compliant with the law; obtain a gas safety certificate (which is valid for a year), an electrical certificate and ensure that you have an Energy Performance Certificate. Ensure that any furnishings in the property are compliant and smoke alarms are an absolute necessity.

Having decided if you will let it furnished or unfurnished, ensure that the property is in the state that you expect it back, cleaned thoroughly and in presentable decor throughout. I always advise a professional cleaning of the kitchen and the bathrooms in order to appeal to better quality applicants. Giving out a dirty property, bathrooms or kitchens will make the property much less attractive to potential tenants.

Decide on a move in date, and work out the rent having evaluated the market. Pitching the property at a higher rent can keep your property unoccupied on the market for a longer time thereby diminishing your returns. Sometimes, achieving the additional £50 per month can cost a full month of lost rent!

Determine the sort of service you require and ensure you evaluate the local agents that you wish to market your property with. From personal experience, I can confirm that the choice of agent is crucial as it determines the level of comfort you will have in the long run. In many areas, the choice of agents can be large and it can be difficult to decide on one. I would advise that you choose an agent that has a good reputation, knowledgeable staff and a fee structure that is simple and transparent. Ensure that the agent is a member of the Client Money Protection scheme and is also at least a member of the Property Ombudsman. Enquire whether the agent has adequate insurance cover for professional negligence and get to know the agent personally.

Although the fully managed service costs more in the short run, it should be kept in mind that regular inspections and professional inventories can ensure that the standard of your property is maintained for a longer period of time. This ensures higher rents, fewer void periods and a more valuable asset in the future.

Try and understand the sort of tenants that will apply for your property and then decide on which category you would like to target. Tailor your marketing to target the desired applicants. A good agent will always work hand in hand with their landlord to maximise return, minimise loss and market a more attractive property.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me on hitchin@belvoirlettings.com, or try and get onto our FREE LANDLORD WORKSHOPS.

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