5 ways to drive revenue for your student-let landlords
Student lets can offer great returns, when managed in the right way. Here are five top tips for how to make sure that your landlords' student lets are profitable.
All landlords want to see a return on their investment. This doesn't change with student lets. Paragon bank's research shows that mean gross yields are between 13.2% and 17.86% higher for student lets than for the private rented sector, so the potential's there. Barring the pandemic, which forced students to study from home, the demand is steady, and students can tend to pay in line with their loans in bulk to help with your landlord's cash flow. On top of this, agents can guide their landlords on extra steps to take, to make sure their student lets are extra profitable.
Choose the right property
The first step towards making a profit on a student let is making sure that you're advising your landlords on purchasing the right property in the first place. Location, as always, is key, and properties close to the university are always in demand. Outside of the well-known student villages, it could also be worth looking at if there are any unofficial student areas in the city too, especially near secondary campuses.
Traditionally, students are also unlikely to want the hassle of a garden to maintain, so properties with a no-fuss yard could be top of their list. Look into the latest student trends in your area and help your landlord find a property that ticks all those boxes.
Market it well ahead of time
Demand for student properties comes in waves, which is great for understanding when to market the property to make sure you've accepted the next student before the previous one leaves. You can get contracts signed off much further in advance than for the private rented sector - you can aim to renew your current students by December for the summer, for example.
If you can get universities to help promote your agency and your landlords' properties to their students, you'll also be a top choice for new tenants too when the previous batch move out. All of this will limit void periods for your landlords - or at least allow time to prepare and plan ahead if there is a gap between tenants.
Make the most of summer holidays
Summer holidays are the one time of year where a void period is most likely, while students don't occupy the property - even if they plan to return for the next semester. There are ways around this. Some students may be looking for a property they can stay in for a couple of years, and moving out in the summer would be a lot of hassle, so you can try offering a 52-week contract.
The alternative is offering a reduced rent over the summer - knowing that they'll return to their families for that time - with the caveat that you or the landlord can access the property to renovate or do any maintenance.
If the tenant wants to move out over the summer completely, consider marketing the property to students on summer courses - or, if you're in a tourist spot, try a short holiday let.
Renovate to offer quality
Students frequently look for purpose-built housing, as this caters to their specific requirements. Buy-to-let landlords should consider different ways to keep up, and renovating is one of them. You landlords shouldn't spend too much or it will affect their yield - but you want to make sure the property's marketable too.
Student lets are likely to be for three people or more, meaning it will be a high traffic property in general. Newer and more economical amenities (boiler, shower, etc.) will equate to less maintenance in the long run, and help keep the amount paid out in bills low. You'll also be able to charge higher rents the better the quality, in line with the market average.
Have an in-depth inventory
If damage to the property needs to come out of the security deposit, you'll need to make sure that the original inventory clearly outlines the state of everything from the start of the tenancy. Deposit disputes are best avoided for everyone involved, and a clear inventory will make for an easier discussion, to help your landlords' property stay profitable.
You could also suggest contents and liability insurance to your tenants. This would help assure them that their own belongings are protected and, with liability included too, they can have more peace of mind if they were to damage any of the landlords' fixtures and fittings.