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Marketing your buy to let property

Attract the right tenants with the right marketing

In one of my last posts I talked about finding the perfect tenant. To do that, you’ll need to market your property – here are a few hints and tips.

Planning

Marketing is about more than just placing a few adverts and waiting for the enquiries to roll in. Your would-be tenants need to know at the first glance that your property is where they would like to live.

The best thing you can do early on is deciding what sort of tenant you want to attract and buying the right property in the right area. The right area is somewhere that demand from your chosen group is high and growing, and where local services will make it more attractive to that group.

For instance, students like properties close to campus, cheap supermarkets and entertainment. Young families might be on the lookout for a spacious property close to good local schools. A home close to a business park or other large employer like a hospital is likely to attract professionals.

Set an appropriate rent. Research local rates and consider having your property valued professionally. You don’t want to price yourself out of the market, nor set your rent so low that tenants think something is wrong with the property.

Advertising

The internet has completely changed the way we can advertise properties, and allows you to include much more info and material. Our useful links section lists websites where you can advertise your property.

Take lots of photos. Consider investing in a top-of-the-range camera or hiring a professional, and try to do it on a nice day when the property will be well-lit. Include photos of the kitchen and bathroom.

Try to include all of the following important information in your ads:

  • The number of rooms
  • The amount and frequency of the rent, what’s included, and the deposit needed
  • Any ‘extras’ which might make the property a nicer home – is there a garden? A patio? A balcony? A pool? A helipad?
  • Details of heating and electricity
  • Whether parking is available
  • A rundown of the local area (nearby shops and entertainment, for example)
  • From when the property is available
  • The location of the property, often its full address
  • Your own name and contact details

Floor plans are also becoming more common, especially for shared accommodation. Even if not marketing your property to tenants who are likely to be fussy about space and layout, consider including a floor plan in your marketing.

If running printed adverts, you have a little less space to play with. Most papers charge either by the line or the word, so you need to think about how you will cram as much of the information above into the advert as you can. Don’t abbreviate or miss out things like ‘spacious’ or ‘good public transport links’ – you want these points to stand out.

One last point to consider is that flat-hunters who look at newspapers for rental listings are likely to consider all properties that fit the standards they’re after. Don’t feel that you have to shell out extra for larger or box adverts, or adverts with more space.

Advertising on noticeboards or with local small businesses is common in cities with big rental markets. Again, space is an issue, but you should be able to get more information onto half a sheet of A4.

Steer clear of phrases like ‘couples only’ or ‘females preferred’ in your adverts, as is seen by some legal experts as being in breach of discrimination laws.

A professional to-let board is likely to set you back between £25 and £35 before VAT, and has the benefit of advertising to the local market. Folks can see the outside of your property and its location before enquiring. It must be removed within 14 days of letting the property, but can be easily stored for the next let.

Residential letting agents and specialist find a tenant service providers have access to some resources DIY landlords don’t. A lot of landlords think that the cost is disproportionately large for the work required. A good agent, however, can get your ad seen by a lot of people.

Make sure that the agent has good local knowledge, and try to get a word of mouth recommendation from another landlord – just about the best endorsement out there!

Visit TurnKey Landlords for more Landlord Advice!

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Amelia Vargo is an online marketing executive for CT Capital. Amelia writes for Turnkey Mortgages, Turnkey Landlords, TurnKey Bridging, TurnKey Life and Commercial Trust.

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