Free Property Investment Advice: Marketing Your Property
When to market your property.
If you are new to buy to let you will find this free property investment advice helpful to help manage your property. When a property is vacant, it will not only fail to generate a rental income for the owner, but it will typically mean the investor is making a loss. This is due to all the holding costs that still need to be paid on vacant properties. This means, very investor should strive to need to minimise vacancy periods, which requires effective and timely marketing. It is essential to specify a decent notice period, usually at least one month, in the tenancy agreement. This means that the current tenant must tell you that they wish to vacate the property one month ahead of doing so. If they leave the property early, they will still be liable to pay rent for the remainder of the notice period. If they fail to do so, you will be able to retain the security deposit. Landlords should start marketing their property as soon as they receive notice that a tenant wishes to leave. This will maximise their chances of finding a new tenant as quickly as possible.
Some properties, such as student lets, can be marketed far in advance, due to fixed term contracts and guaranteed dates on which they will become vacant. This is because student typically only rent a property for one academic year. During the summer vacation period, they often travel home, then rent a new property the following September. While this can be an advantage as it allows the landlord to start marketing early on, it is often a problem filling the property during the summer months. Also, regular marketing is required, as the contracts usually only last 9 months on student lets. Landlords may be able to find tenants to take the property on a short-term let basis over the summer; this will usually be someone who has come to the area to work a temporary contract. Again, this will require additional marketing.
How to market your property.
There are many different channels that a landlord can use to market a property and ensure periods of vacancy are minimised. Each method has pros and cons, and they range in price from free to fairly expensive.
Word of mouth marketing.
One of the most traditional forms of marketing is relying on word of mouth. This is particularly effective in the modern era of social media. In the past, word of mouth marketing only gave access to a very limited market, as the only people who would hear about the property and be able to contact the landlord would be members of their physical social network. This meant that letting a property could be very slow, if word of mouth was the only method of marketing employed. However, today landlords can reach a much wider network, due to social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. A savvy landlord can post updates on properties they have available to let. A large network of friends and acquaintances can then share this information on their own pages, thereby reaching a far wider audience that has traditionally been possible through this method. An advantage of word of mouth marketing is that the tenants can usually be vouched for by someone you know and trust.
There are many websites aimed at marketing properties, which often allow landlords to post details and images of their property for free or at a very low-cost. These websites are accessed by millions of people and allow prospective tenants to search for properties that meet their specific requirements, in the area they wish to live. This means that any ‘bite’ you get through this means has a high chance of being turned into an actual tenancy. The tenants already know that the property meets their specifications and have seen photos. Usually, viewing the property is just to ascertain that there are no major flaws that were not shown in the marketing material. A lot of prospective tenants have already made up their minds that they want a property, before they even view it. Foe landlords, this is an advantage, because it mean they have to waste minimum time scheduling appointments and showing interested parties around. The downside of internet marketing is that it is difficult to ‘quality check’ prospective tenants, without access to resources such as credit checking software. Further to this, there is a lot of competition online. Many properties are marketed in this way, so unless yours really stands out in some way, it may be some time before anyone calls to arrange a viewing.
Placing an ad in the local newspaper tends to be a little more expensive than using an online resource, but on the up side, there is usually far less competition. The target market is limited to the readership and their social connections, but this can still be a significant amount of people. Tenants who find properties to rent in newspapers are often more mature or more professional, meaning there is less risk of them defaulting on rent payments, failing to take care of the property, or causing problems with neighbours. Of course, this is a massive generalisation and cannot be guaranteed.
The most expensive method of marketing a property is through an estate agent or letting agent. Fees can be as much as two months’ rent. The huge advantage of using an agent to market your property is that it takes all the hassle out of it. They will do the work for you. They will advertise online and at their offices, schedule appointments, show people around and take care of all the admin and paperwork. Agents also tend to have access to resources that are not available to the general public, such as credit checking systems. They are professionals that deal with tenants on a daily basis, so will be adept at showing the property in its best light and answering any queries that interested parties may have. Another plus is that tenants come to them; they have a large pool to choose from, consisting of previous tenants at other properties, tenants in flats on which the agreement is due to end, and new customers who walk through their door or visit their website. We hope you have enjoy reading our free property investment advice and it helps you when marketing your property.