We all make first impressions, whether consciously or not. First Impressions really do count when it comes to property, a prospective tenant will be collecting their thoughts throughout the lettings process so it’s really important to take some things in to account when putting your property on the rental market.
Marketing your property is a big part of making a first impression. Angie Allgood of Belvoir Tamworth says “The very first initial impression that a prospective tenant will get about your property is not from the bricks and mortar themselves but is actually from the quality of your marketing material. Your marketing material, whether it be online or in print, is a vital communication tool to ‘sell’ the benefits of your property and invite prospective tenants to make your house their home.”
It’s important to make people aware of the advantages of renting your property. Marketing materials showcase the key features of your property, this is to grab the interest of people who may be looking to move. It is, however, imperative that information displayed is factual and accurate, if you create high expectations you don’t want someone viewing the house feeling deflated and deceived.
A tenant will be building an opinion on a property before they even step through the door, if it doesn’t have curb appeal then their whole perception of the property could be tainted and the viewing cut short. Major Mahil, owner of Belvoir Birmingham Central confirms “The exterior of a property tells a story about the interior and there are a few things you can do to ensure that it doesn’t let you down.”
A useful idea is to stand outside your property, view it from a prospective tenants eyes and be self-critical in what needs improving. Take a walk down the street and see what your neighbours have done to improve the appeal of their property and give them a go on your own, it may even just be some simple DIY jobs to tidy it up.
Once the tenant has entered the property, they will often be able to tell if it’s suitable within the first 5 minutes. Decoration is a key element, is it fresh, looked after and bright? Dark properties may be harder to find a good tenant for, ensure the property is tidy and that space is being used correctly.
Don’t go overboard with the décor, a neutral colour scheme will appeal to a wider audience – open curtains and plump up cushions to make it look as much like home as you can, anything too cold and clinical may turn potential tenants away. Modernised properties typically are a lot more popular with new appliances and kitchens among the things looked for by a tenant.
A tenant will also make an impression of you, the landlord. They want to know if you will be helpful and deal with any problems that may arise and want to be assured that you’re a fair landlord. These kinds of judgements form in the first 30 seconds of meeting each other so ensuring a professional, friendly welcome is key.
Tenants have questions which is only natural when you’re spending money on a property. If you as the landlord are doing the viewing, expect questions including information on Council Tax and what the deposit requirements are, if you don’t know the answer it could create an unprofessional image.
Being able to answer a key question that a tenant may have will put them at ease and show your willingness to help them if they have any further queries. If you really can’t answer it, assure the tenant that you’ll get them the answer and make sure you deliver it in a timely manner.
If you want the best advice for making a good first impression, the best place to start is your local lettings agent. They advise landlords on how to best present their properties every day so will be able to give you some pointers to help you make the very best first impression.