As a landlord, your goal is to maximise your return on investment – and that means getting the most rent for your property that you can. Unfortunately, despite rental prices reaching an all time high, it’s getting harder for landlords to make a good ROI. Everything from changes to mortgage interest relief (MIR) to higher stamp duty and exorbitant letting agency fees mean that some buy-to-let landlords are now actually making a loss on their property. That’s why it’s become especially important to maximise your rent, without increasing your costs – so here are three smart and simple ways you can increase how much you’re taking in.
1. Make It Feel Like No One’s Lived There Before
When tenants view a property you want them to imagine themselves living in your property, not consider it to be someone else’s home. So when you’re taking pictures or preparing for a viewing, make sure that it feels like a blank canvas. Keep it clean and minimal, without clutter. You should think about reducing the amount of decoration the place has, even if you’re fond of it yourself – no matter how proud you are of what you’ve done with the property, you can’t only appeal to people who share your taste. Fortunately, these changes are inexpensive, and shouldn’t take too long to carry out, so it’s a simple way of improving the rental value of your property.
2. Make Clever Improvements
First-time landlords are often unclear on just how far they should pay for significant improvements to a property. Of course, it depends on the particular needs of the situation, but it should always be borne in mind that everything you invest should have a return – there’s no point putting in an expensive brand-new kitchen if that isn’t what your ideal tenant is looking for. The best thing to do is to make a handful of smaller improvements. Put a new coat of paint on the door – it’s always smart to make a good first impression – and change fittings that look unattractive or old-fashioned. Simply putting a new doorknob in or changing the fittings on the kitchen cabinets can have a surprisingly big impact, relative to the amount you’re spending. Focus on the bathroom and kitchen – taps and showerheads can get grotty, and replacing them makes for a relatively inexpensive improvement that will really help the look of the room.
3. Show Off the Demand
One action you can take that won’t cost anything at all is simply making clear to potential tenants that others are interested. It’s a classic salesman’s tactic, but it works – when you know other people want something, there’s a natural human instinct to want it too, even if you were only mildly interested at first. Some landlords will even schedule multiple different tenants to view the property at the same time, so they can see in person just how desirable it is – and letting them know subtly that they’ll have to move quickly before someone else snatches it up. It might sound too unorthodox to try yourself, but dropping a few hints that others have signalled interest can achieve the same thing, boosting the attractiveness of your property without your having to invest at all.
You don’t want to go too far in improving a property – it can actually backfire if you don’t get back in rent what you invested in the first place. It’s always advisable to make sure you’ve got the little things sorted before seeing whether big changes are worthwhile – and with these three tips, you’ll find yourself getting more in rent without paying out a fortune.
LetBritain is an online letting agency that connects tenants and landlords directly. By avoiding the high overheads of the traditional brick and mortar letting agents we’re able to pass our savings onto you. If you’re interested in saving money by using LetBritain, please get in touch for a free property valuation so you can start raising your profile on our platform.