Find tenants fast: 10 top tips to let your property
Introduction: find tenants — fast
Do you need to find tenants fast? Perhaps you’ve just completed on a buy-to-let property you need to fill. Maybe your current tenants are leaving at short notice.
Whatever the reasons, an empty property means you lose rental income. In this blog, we look at 10 ways you can find tenants — and fast.
This blog covers:
- Getting on Rightmove and Zoopla
- Good-quality photos
- Property descriptions
- Rightmove and Zoopla premium listings
- Competitive rents
- Flexible marketing strageties
- Pets and smokers
- Different kinds of tenants
- Viewing times.
Find tenants by advertising on Rightmove and Zoopla
Over 90% of people start their property search online. Getting your rental on the largest property sites is a must.
If your priority is to find tenants fast, it might be best to use an online agent (like easyProperty). We can get your property on Rightmove within 10 minutes from approving your advert, making it visible to would-be tenants everywhere.
Perfect for getting your rental off to a good start.
Find tenants by having good-quality photos
Photos are vital if you need to find tenants. Too few suggests you have something to hide, which can be off-putting.
Taking your own photos? Here are some things to think about:
- Take photos during the day in natural light
- Turn on the lights in any dark places
- Use a good-quality camera
- Remove distracting items from the shot, such as rubbish or building materials, and don’t show your reflection in any mirrors.
The number of photos you need depends on the size of your property, but we’d recommend at least five to eight.
The most important are the kitchen, lounge, bathroom, bedrooms, and the outside.
For more information on how to take great photos, read our blog: ‘How to create a great property advert’.
If you’d rather leave it to an expert, our Complete package includes photos, a floorplan, and property descriptions. Our experts know exactly what to look for so they can show your property at its best.
A floorplan helps find tenants
Tenants have many needs, and they’ll want to know if your property can fulfil them.
For example, a small family might need to know if a bedroom is big enough for siblings to share. For a group of sharers, on the other hand, the size and utility of each room might affect how much rent each pays.
The layout of your property could be a game changer, which is why a floorplan is essential. If tenants view your property and realise the layout doesn’t suit their needs, it’s not only a waste of their time, it’s also a waste of yours.
What’s more — unless you make some major refurbishments — the layout of your property is unlikely to change.
This means you can use the same floorplan the next time you need to find tenants. Check out our Complete package, or purchase a floorplan alone for just £89.
Find tenants by having thorough property descriptions
As with floorplans, if tenants can find out if your property is suitable from the description, you can both save a lot of time on viewings.
Try and highlight things not shown in photos, such as if the council tax band is low.
Use bullet points so tenants can read your description quickly and easily. Tenants browse many property listings before they find their next home, and want to absorb a lot of information in a short time.
Try to break your description down into these four sections so it’s easy to read:
- What rooms are included, and their dimensions
- Any property features, such as appliances, and whether there’s a garden/balcony, shed or garage, and parking
- Amenities, such as local supermarkets, shops, and schools; the nearest train station and bus stops (and where they go); and any entertainment venues, like pubs, restaurants, cinemas, and parks
- Terms for renting the property, such as whether you allow pets and smokers, if you include any bills, and the minimum length tenancy.
If you’d rather leave it to an expert, our Complete package comes with expertly written property descriptions, along with photos and a floorplan.
A professional advert on Rightmove and Zoopla is a great way to find tenants fast.
Find tenants by having premium listings on Rightmove and Zoopla
A Rightmove or Zoopla premium listing shines a spotlight on your property. Instead of displaying just one cover photo as with standard adverts, Rightmove premium listings allow you to display four, while Zoopla allow seven.
This can be particularly useful in a saturated market, as it will make your property stand out among the deluge of others.
They also typically generate more views.
You might only need to find one tenant or one group of tenants, but it’s better to have a few to choose from, instead of settling. You’ll be in a better position to drum up competition between them, which might fetch you more rent.
Interested in having a Rightmove or Zoopla premium listing? Call a member of our Lettings Team on 033 3005 0555 to find out how to upgrade your advert.
Find tenants by setting a competitive rent
Your property is only worth as much as tenants are willing to pay for it. Even if it’s decorated well and has up-to-date appliances, tenants will opt for similar, nearby properties if they’re renting for less.
Visit Rightmove and Zoopla to see how much similar, nearby properties are renting for. You can then ensure your rent is competitive, which will help you find tenants, as well as prevent them from overlooking your property.
In terms of rent amount, think about where your advert falls in search results, too.
For example, a property renting for £995 per month will come up if tenants set their maximum rent to £1,000.
However, if your rent is £1,000 per month, not only will it come up if tenants set their maximum rent to £1,000, it will also come up for those who set it as their minimum.
This helps maximise your property’s exposure.
Find tenants by having a flexible marketing strategy
If you’re struggling to find tenants, think about how your advert appears to them.
Maybe your display photo isn’t the best, so you could try switching it for a different one. This can make your advert seem like a new listing, which could make tenants reconsider and revisit your property.
Also, think about the layout of your property description. Are all the best points at the top?
If this doesn’t help, it might be because your rent is too high. It’s worth considering a reduction — which doesn’t always mean you’ll lose money.
If a £50 reduction, for example, means you can find tenants quickly, it’s worth weighing this up with what a month’s void period will cost you.
Furthermore, you won’t loose a percentage of your rent each month if you use an online agent. You might be able to use these savings to think about a rent reduction — without being out of pocket.
Find tenants by being open to pets and smokers
By being open to pets and smokers, you widen the pool of tenants to choose from. This is useful if you’re struggling to find tenants.
Concerned pets and smokers will damage your property? You can always ask for a little more deposit, and have a clause in the tenancy agreement that requires tenants to have the property professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy.
A property inventory is always important, but it’s even more so if you let pets in the property. This is because it lets you recover funds from the deposit if you need to.
You can also negotiate a higher rent, to account for the extra wear and tear. An extra £50 per month nets £600 over a 12-month tenancy. This should be plenty to replace a carpet or repaint walls — if necessary.
Also, take into account the animal itself. A one-bedroom flat might be suitable for a Chihuahua, but not so suitable for a Great Dane.
For more information about allowing animals in your property, see our blog: ‘Landlords: should you accept pets in your lets?’
Find tenants by being open to different kinds of tenants
At first, a lot of landlords think the ideal tenants are just professional sharers, couples, and families. But if you’re too restrictive, you might find it hard to find tenants.
By being open all kinds of tenants, you widen the pool of people you can choose from. This lets you find tenants more easily. What’s more, different tenants have a variety of benefits.
For example, landlords who let to Housing Benefit claimants (often referred to as DSS tenants) can usually have any allowance paid to them directly from the council. This guarantees a rental payment each month.
Students, similarly, offer benefits to landlords who rent to them. Many students receive government finance every three months to help with their studies. Landlords could take quarterly rental payments that coincide with when students receive their loans.
Not only will landlords receive rent in advance, but students can be sure they’ve enough money to cover their rent.
Many students also have guarantors in place, which gives landlords even more security.
For more information on renting to students, read our blog: ‘Landlords: why you should let to students’.
Find tenants by being flexible with viewing times
To find tenants fast, it’s best to accommodate their viewing requests where possible. If you’re unavailable at the time they request, it’s worth asking a friend, family member — or even a trusted neighbour — to do it so you don’t miss out.
If tenants have any viewings booked before yours, they might take that property instead.
Not free to carry out a viewing? There’s always our hosted viewing service. Have one of our property experts carry out any viewings on your behalf.
Have some viewings lined up? Be prepared to answer these questions.
Finding tenants: a summary
It might not be necessary to do all these tips to find tenants, but it’s worth keeping them in mind:
- Get on Rightmove and Zoopla
- Have good photos
- Get a floorplan
- Have a thorough property description
- Consider premium listings
- Set a competitive rent
- Have a flexible marketing strategy
- Be open to pets and smokers
- Try different kinds of tenants
- Be flexible with viewing times.
If you’re struggling to find tenants, try a few out. Or visit our lettings page for a full list of ways we can help.