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Demand in lettings is still high, but tenant priorities have shifted. More than half of the tenants surveyed in Goodlord's State of the Industry Report 2020, Vol II think they’ll still be renting in the next five years - and nearly a third considered moving home due to the pandemic. So how can you show potential and current landlords how you will capture this market by positioning their properties in the best possible light?
Tenants are upsizing their living arrangements since restrictions have been lifted on moving home, as ample living space became more of a priority. Between May and August, more than a third of tenants that moved home added at least one additional bedroom, up from 25% in the first three months of 2020. The need for more space has had a knock-on effect on where tenants are moving, especially as remote working seems to be here for the long term. London and other large cities are seeing lower demand as tenants move out of city centres past the commuter belts, where they can get more for their money.
Location and size of a property are not something easily remedied. However, there are ways you can help your landlords to promote their property, starting with making sure their marketing’s up to scratch. Taking photos on a bright day or making sure everywhere’s clean and tidy are obvious in property listings. The copy should paint a picture of the property and what it would be like living in the area. Don’t just list the features, show the benefits of each. Highlight the top selling points for the current tenant profile. There’s no point in having a feature that tenants will find most attractive if you don’t make sure they know about it. For example, kitchens are falling down the priority list, so boost the garden picture to the forefront - even a communal garden space should be highlighted. Does it have air con? The summer months confined at home have pushed this up the priorities list.
Requests for properties with gardens or near to large parks are on the rise. Nearly eighty percent of Savills agents also reported an increase in demand for properties with a separate space to work from home, and “strong WiFi or internet connection” is another top tenant requirement.
Show off what’s within walking distance for tenants. If the property doesn’t have a garden but there’s a park nearby, lead with that. It may be in a big city, but is it on a quiet street where remote working will be bliss? Social amenities, such as cinemas or gyms, aren’t considered as important for tenants as they once were - but are there plenty of cafes with good internet connection nearby?
Security seems to be a mainstay in the list of tenant priorities, so, if you can, why not encourage your landlords to invest in additional security features? These will make properties, in cities in particular, stand out. Green energy upgrades are an additional selling point to climate-conscious renters - and landlords can take advantage of the “Green homes grant”. A lick of paint shows the tenant that the landlord cares for the property - and for them as tenants. And if you do have one of the top features such as a garden? These can still be spruced up to make the decision a no-brainer.
There’s been a boom in pet sales during the pandemic - and this can mean a new corner of the market for your landlords to tap into. Your landlord should take both sides of the argument into account but this option could open the door to a number of tenants who may not have previously considered the property.
You could reach a huge pool of potential tenants if your landlord accepts pets. Surveys show that only 7% of landlords advertise their homes as suitable for pets, while 40% of UK households own pets. You’ll have a unique selling point over competing agents in the local market and you’ll find tenants for your landlord’s property more easily. If your landlord has the right to welcome pets into their property, as a freehold or leasehold ownership may restrict this, make sure they're not missing out on the opportunity to secure the best tenants for their property.
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