5 Ways to better present your property for viewings
Are you struggling to secure new tenants for your property?
Quite often this can be down to the presentation of your property, either in the marketing photographs, or how the property is presented for viewings.
We’ve put together a list of tips on how to better present your property for viewing;
Clean & Fresh
It is essential that your property is cleaned to an excellent standard before tenants’ view. First impressions really do count. Ensure your property is clean and smelling fresh for each viewing appointment. Take time to remove stains from carpets, rugs and mattresses wherever possible and wipe down marks from walls and woodwork as well as buffing up mirrors and glass door panels.
A viewer wants to look at a property and see how they could make it their home, by adding in their own personal items. If your property is over furnished with something on every surface and in every storage area, a tenant is less likely to consider staying long term. By reducing down the amount of smaller items in your property and presenting what is included in the tenancy in a neat and tidy way, maximising the look of clear surfaces and storage areas for a tenant, they are more likely to be able to visualise themselves living there. More and more tenants, who are seeking long term accommodation, are looking for properties with minimal furniture to allow them the opportunity to add in their own personal choice of small furniture items and soft furnishings. This also reduces the need for the landlord to continually repair and renew small items, which were once expected to be included in a rental property. Additionally, a property with minimal furniture will appear much bigger in photos than one which is fully of furniture with very little floor space to show.
Attention to detail
Whilst we recommend minimising contents of a rental property, we do believe viewers want to see how good a property could look when they introduce their own ideas. By dressing beds fully with neutral colour bedding and a few scatter cushions, the room will look 10 times better than if simply viewed with a mattress and mattress protector in place. Why not add in a vase of flowers in each room and a few more scatter cushions on the sofa to add a splash of colour to each room. Just remember to mention to your viewers that these soft furnishings are for presentation only and not included in the tenancy. Property unfurnished? Don’t worry, you can still add a few vases of flowers onto window sills and work surfaces to give a splash of colour and a welcoming feeling to viewers. If your property is furnished, spend some time assessing the best positioning in each room. Quite often we simply stick to how it was before, but by taking a step back and looking at other options, or by taking a few practice photos, it’s possible to see better ways to place the furniture to either make the room look more spacious, or more welcoming. It may even be an option to switch rooms – could the lounge offer a better bedroom space for instance?
This is crucial in our world of online advertising. Every prospective tenant will be scrolling through lists and lists of property ads whilst searching for the right home for them. Make sure your property images jump out at them and make them stop scrolling. A good camera, or smart phone, is essential to obtain good quality photos. Once you have your property presentation sorted, practice taking difference shots from different angles in each room to find the one that shows off that room to its absolute best. Try and take photos on days that are not overly sunny or very dull. If you can take the photos with the lights off this will help reduce shadows and try not to edit your photos too much as you want the property to look as accurate as possible to avoid any wasted viewing appointments. It’s also a great idea to include outdoor shots of both the property and location to give a better idea of where the property is situated. Once you have the room shots and outdoor shots sorted, how about adding in a couple to show off the best features of the property – a stunning view from the lounge window, or a delightful living flame stove fire will entice interest in your property and make it stand out against others.
Replace or repair
A property which appears well looked after will be more likely to be cared for to a higher level by the tenants than one that appears tired and could do with some TLC. Prior to carrying out any viewings in your property, it is essential to attend to all maintenance issues, including the minor cosmetic repairs that will instantly make your property look well maintained and give prospective tenants a sense of reassurance that the landlord will look after the property as will they. There are many ways of making improvements to your property without costing the earth. Has the kitchen worktop been well used and showing signs of damage, but it’s not practical to replace the whole worktop just yet? There are some excellent products out there for wrapping worktops to give them a new lease of life, which can also be used on unit door fronts for an instant and cost effective way of upgrading your kitchen. Additionally, check for loose door handles, cracked fridge or freezer drawers/inserts, mouldy bath seals, or shower door seals. Attending to these before viewings also makes it more likely that your viewer will want to move in straight away, rather than have to ask for issues like this to be dealt with before they move in, delaying the entry date and increasing the void period of your let.
Viewing your property whilst still tenanted?
We do always recommend, where possible, that the marketing of your property is held off until your tenants have left the property, but we also appreciate that minimising void periods is essential for landlords in most instances. For this reason, our tips on good photos is particularly important for that opportunity when the property is first vacant as these photos can be used again and again, assuming there are no major changes to the property from one tenancy to the next. A simple disclaimer on your advert to suggest that “property presentation may differ slightly on viewing” should be sufficient to allow you to include historic photos on your listing.
If you do require to market with tenants in place, always ensure that you keep in close contact with your existing tenants regarding access arrangements for viewings. Depending on your lease agreement with them, it is likely you will require to give them prior notice of your attendance with viewers. We always recommend that you visit in advance of listing your property to ensure that the tenants are keeping the property in a clean and tidy condition for viewings. It’s also a great opportunity to assess those areas for repairs and maintenance to be carried out and even arrange for them to be attended to before viewings take place. When carrying out the viewings with new prospective tenants, always ask them to be respectful of your existing tenants belongings and to refer to the marketing photos for reference as to how the property will be provided to them. Pointing out the actual items that are included in the tenancy can also be helpful to viewers, so that there is no confusion over furnishings when they do apply for the property. We would always accompany our viewers into each room when a tenant is still living in the property just to offer that reassurance to the current occupants that their personal items are safe during these visits. Open viewings, with multiple viewers arriving at the same time, is not recommended for tenanted properties.
How can we help you……
If you’re thinking about advertising your property, but not sure which of the above tips would work best for you, or you need help with carrying forward the improvements, contact our Agency to arrange a free, no obligation, rental appraisal at your property. We are always happy to visit properties to provide our advice and recommendations on what small changes can be made to improve the presentation of your property before marketing. We also have access to many trades to help with any of the works you are considering and can usually secure dates quickly for these works to be completed.
Click on the link below to contact us via email, or give us a call during normal office hours to have a chat about your property.