Landlords: ‘Properties Need Presentation’

Your property is probably one the most expensive purchases you have ever made. Why would you not present it in tip top condition to ensure attracting the right tenant?

It sounds very simple but a good quality property will attract a good quality tenant and the same applies for a poor quality property. It is also true that the way you present your property determines the type of tenant that rents it. By not taking care of or by presenting your property poorly for rental you are setting off on a downward spiral; you’ll attract the wrong types of tenants time after time and in a few years’ you will reach the point where huge investment is required to bring your property up to scratch.

When you are out doing your weekly shop you’ll find that you are attracted to certain brands due to their packaging or placement in the store. Large multinational companies employ teams of people to ensure that these design features and placements within the store are perfect to achieve as high a profit as possible. Have you ever overlooked a smaller brand when shopping because it didn’t look as nice only to find out later that it was better than the others? By not presenting your property in the best light you are the bland overlooked brand. You may have the right product but the right people aren’t going to see it. They’ll be attracted to the bigger brand (or better presented house, in this case). There’s a reason Coca Cola pump so much money into brand awareness and marketing, you too should employ the ‘large company attitude’ to attract the right people to view your property.

So how does this apply to your property and what do you need to do?

Step 1: it needs to be clean. Silly I know, but you wouldn’t believe how many dirty properties are presented to tenants with a ‘if you don’t rent it someone else will’ attitude. You have to ask yourself, ‘if a tenant is willing to accept a dirty property, then what condition are they likely to return it in?’. Also, put yourself in a good tenant’s shoes, if you were presented a property that was dirty by a landlord how does that reflect on them? Would it fill you with confidence that they’d look after you if something went wrong during the tenancy? Or would it make you decide to take the similar but cleaner house with the seemingly organised landlord in the next estate over?

Step 2: Examine your target market and work to your property’s strengths; there’s no point trying rent a small 2 bedroom apartment as a family home or pumping money into an executive fit out in the wrong area of town. Every property has a market, find out what yours is and present your property to attract this market. For example, if you’ve a modern 2 bedroom apartment in a good area then it’s likely your tenants will be a professional twentysomething couple, fit your property out to catch this group’s eye. Remember It doesn’t have to be in your taste, you aren’t living there’. This group of tenants will love trendy and modern, a mix of clean lines with a splash of colour to draw the eye. It sounds simple but if this is your target market then have a look through the IKEA catalogue or the Houzz app for ideas. Once you have an idea what you are after you can purchase them locally if you wish.

Step 3: Don’t be afraid to ask for help! I regularly get calls from landlords asking my advice on what works in a rental property and what doesn’t; ‘ Do I need a bed in here?’, ‘Should I put down laminate or carpet?’ you name it, I’ve been asked it. I meet tenants all day every day and hear what they have to say. I have done the market research why not get me to come out and ask my opinion. If I have a problem with my car I ask a mechanic, yet sometimes people are weary of asking for a professionals help. At Bookaroom we’d love your business but we pride ourselves on giving the best advice possible and maybe that’s all you need right now. Don’t be afraid to ask.

Step 4: Don’t forget the finishing touches. Have you ever been to a show house and it feels like a …….. ‘show house’, you know what I mean; sterile, unloved. Pictures, mirrors, vases and a few ornaments are what are needed to frame a property and give it that extra something to reach out and grab someone. If you’ve invested in the rest then don’t stop before the finishing line. Go the whole hog, finish the place off so it feels like a home rather than rental property.

Cormac Finlay,

Auctioneer & Letting Agent at LibertyBlue.ie