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How to…Manage your own property [Part 1]

September 30, 2009

Nowadays keeping costs down and profits up are critical to cash flow and ensuring your property business stays in the black. Increasing numbers of landlords are now looking to take more control of their properties and finances by being their own agent. Managing properties can be stressful – but it can also be enjoyable so here are some key tips to make it more enjoyable!

  1. Prepare your property: Make sure you have all your paperwork in place before you let your property – that means obtaining permission from your lender, freeholder [if applicable], getting an EPC, Gas safety certificate, landlords insurance [you can buy these on VirtualLetz.com for a competitive price at the click of a button]. If you furnish the property make sure you have the requisite fire safety labels.
  2. Identify your market: Agents have a good idea who your property will appeal to so it’s a good idea to place yourself in the shoes of a tenant.  Be honest and be critical. It may be your property – but you must try and be objective as to who it will appeal to. If the third bedroom is only a box room, it is unlikely to appeal to an established family. If the property is not in a good area be open to DSS. The key to this step is that this way you will then know how best to present your property both for viewings and also in your ad.
  3. Set your rent: Understanding your property and the local market is key to getting the rent right on your property. Research is king – you need to know what properties are currently renting for and what demand is like.  Calling round local agents will give you a good idea and you could get them to do a valuation of your property. It’s important to remember that just because properties are advertised at a certain price – it is not guaranteed to be what the property will rent for. Tenants are keen for well priced properties . The trick is in pricing your property competitively – but also with a bit of flexibility so that tenants feel they got a bargain when they haggle and you knock some off!
  4. Write your ad: The key to writing property ads is to make sure they are relevant to their target and enticing. You want to have ‘ad appeal’ – that means making your property sound so appealing that people can’t wait to call you and make a viewing! Photos which show the kitchen and bathroom are always hugely popular as people like to imagine themselves in these rooms. Keep descriptions to the point – but make sure they are sexy.  Give people a good idea about the sort of lifestyle they may have if they live in your property – think about proximity to train stations, bars, schools etc. These are all lifestyle pointers which people value in a property.
  5. Advertise your place: The majority of tenants look online for their rental properties so that means you need to go where you tenants are looking. If you’re letting the property yourself you won’t be able to advertise direct with Rightmove, Propertyfinder et al as they only list with agents. However, you can still get access with VirtualLetz.com as we offer an agency package which means we will advertise the property for you on all the top property portals, handle all the enquiries and liaise with you for tenant viewings. That way you still get access to agency service without the high street price tag.
  6. Be ready to roll: Once you have started advertising your property on VirtualLetz.com we can schedule appointments with tenants – but you need to be ready and prepared to do viewings. Remember it only takes one viewer to fall in love with your property and you get your place let – so every viewing counts. You need to make sure you are available at suitable and convenient times so that you get the best chance to show tenants your property and get your place let.

Part 2 will deal with property viewings, paperwork and taking the money!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2010 1:41 pm

    This is an interesting and thought provoking post.

    There are a number of points I should include in my own process.

    Thanks

    Darren

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