With median rental prices on the decline and vacancy rates at their highest in some time, landlords are being forced to work a little harder to attract attention to their rental property. Spoilt for choice, renters now have the luxury of “shopping around”, and for landlords, this can be a dangerous thing.
First thing’s first, it’s not just about attracting a tenant, but finding a quality one, and the easiest way to do that is by offering a quality property to match!
Here’s a guide to considerations you need to make before you purchase your property, after you buy and during your search for the perfect tenant!
Find the right rental property
If you already have one, great! You can skip this section and look at ways to attract tenants below. If you’re in the market to buy one; there are several things to consider when looking.
Firstly, identify the type of renter you’re hoping to attract and put yourself in their shoes. What would they want from a rental property? Bear in mind, they are not looking for a life-time property, so the home needs to suit their current lifestyle needs.
For example, if you’re looking to attract students, the area will be crucial. Look for suburbs close to a university/Tafe campus or with easy access to public transport. If it’s a family you are looking to attract to your property, proximity to schools will play an important role.
Consider whether the street is somewhere you would like to live in. Ask yourself, is it quiet? Clean? Do the neighbours seem tidy or is there rubbish and old furniture scattered on their lawn?
Once you’ve determined the location, focus on the property itself, keeping in mind what your tenant would want to see.
Often overlooked, parking space can be a major drawcard for a property. It’s simple really; car owners want peace of mind that their car is tucked away safely and protected against the weather. If your rental property features a garage, you are in luck, your property will instantly appear more attractive. If you have an open driveway, consider investing in a carport.
It might not be at the top of the list for everyone, but it’s no secret that many Aussies love the idea of a big backyard or somewhere where they can entertain their friends and family during the summer months. For some this might mean a big balcony, while to others a spacious backyard with plenty of lawn. Either way, an outdoor entertaining area is always a welcome feature. If you can’t offer physical space, consider making the area you do have, extra functional with bench seating and wall storage.
No matter whether a potential tenant is after an apartment, unit, townhouse or a free standing house, the amount of space a property offers is always important. This could mean anything from the number of bedrooms to the available storage in the kitchen. While the specific requirements of potential tenants will differ, the overriding concern is the amount of space. If your property is a little cramped, utilise some tips and tricks to make it appear a little larger. If you’re after some hints, find them here: https://peardrealestate.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/the-secrets-to-making-the-most-of-small-living-spaces/
Making the property appealing and functional
When it comes to rental décor it is important to keep things simple. It goes without saying that the interior should be clean. When preparing the property for lease, ensure the walls have a fresh lick of paint on them and stick to white and cream variations when selecting the colour scheme. While you might love a red feature wall in the living room, it’s not going to appeal to everyone and in a slow rental market; an unappealing wall could be the thing that turns tenants away. Ensure new light globes are in all fixtures as nothing makes a room more appealing than bright lighting.
In the kitchen area, ensure all drawers are functional with handles screwed on tightly. Remove any built up cooking stains, crumbs and mould. Lining the cupboards can cover up a few sins and for a relatively small outlay. If you can afford it, we always recommend investing in quality appliances.
In the bathroom, consider buying a new vanity (there are many cheap options at your local hardware store) and installing a new toilet seat can also go a long way!
Decide on your pet’s policy
While it can come with its downfalls, being a pet friendly rental can open doors to a whole pool of tenants who are unable to find the right pet friendly rental elsewhere and just might be the point of difference your property needs. Interestingly, statistics show that renters with pets tend to hold longer leases and are willing to pay a percentage more in rent costs in order to accommodate for their pets. You can always (and it is recommended) request for a pet bond which will give you peace of mind!
We recommend having your property managed professionally. If you decide to use a property manager, make sure you investigate their services thoroughly. Consider how they market properties, how they deal with issues such as arrears, repairs and maintenance, and how frequently they will inspect the property. Find out more here http://www.peard.com.au/Renting/Appraisal
Insurance can take some of the stress out of renting by covering damage or loss to your property as well as protecting you against the event of unpaid rent, theft or malicious damage.