Recently, I met with the owner of a two-bedroom apartment in
Neutral Bay who was struggling to attract tenants. He pointed to the flood of
new properties in the area and believed his older apartment wouldn’t be able to
compete in an oversupplied rental market.
While an oversupply means renters have more choice and
bargaining power, as the landlord, the onus is on you to ensure your property
stands out and is worth bargaining for.
Here are seven ways to make your property stand out in an oversupplied rental market to secure a great tenant and fetch the highest rent possible:
1. Create great first impressions, inside and out
First impressions matter when a prospective tenant inspects
your property. Inspecting tenants are more attracted and willing to pay the
asking price for a well-presented property.
While inside should be tidy and uncluttered, the outside is
typically the first thing people see. So, it’s important to take into account the
exterior of the property, including the lawn, paths, railings, gutters, and
If you own a strata unit, you should consider the condition of the common property, such as the foyer, stair wells, elevators, driveways and gardens. Speak with the owner’s corporation to ensure repairs and maintenance are upheld. The state of the building will influence the way prospective tenants perceive your unit.
2. Make it sparkle
Set a high standard of cleanliness. Make sure the property
is clean, fresh, and hygienic in your listing photographs and on inspection
day. The new tenant will know the condition the property must be in when they
hand back the keys.
Consider having the carpets and window coverings
professionally cleaned and removing grime and dust from windows and fly screens
to allow in more light.
Rid the property of any odours, such as cigarette or pet smells, which can be easily detected by inspecting tenants.
2. Enhance the best features
Use professional photos to capture the features of your
property in the best light and from the best angle. Professionally photographed
properties stand out online; they grab the attention of prospective tenants,
drive more enquiries and can result in getting your property leased faster.
To gain an even greater edge in a competitive market, you
may want to consider property styling to enhance the ambience and functionality
of your property – virtual stylists are an easy and affordable option.
Stylists and experienced real estate photographers understand what appeals to tenants and know how to enhance the attractiveness of your property to maximise your listing.
3. Focus on the strengths
Marketing the property with an accurate description is
essential but it’s also important to include stand out qualities of the
While you must include the essentials such as the number of
rooms, specific features and rent cost, your description should also include
attractive features that will appeal to a broad segment of tenants. This may
include views, family-friendly street, proximity to transport, easy access to
shops, schools, hospitals and other amenities.
If you’ve recently renovated, upgraded the appliances, or installed a pet door, make it known. This additional information could set your property apart from the one around the corner.
4. Fix what is broken
Make sure your property – from the front path to the back
fence – is in good working condition. Which would you choose if you had the
choice to rent a property in need of repair or one in perfect working order?
Fixing what is broken and doing small repairs and maintenance prior to inspection could prevent a bigger, more costly problem down the line. And could also cause less interruption and frustration for the tenant.
5. Tend to the small things
While tenants tend to prefer a new property, well-renovated
and well-kept homes are often equally as appealing. Tending to the small, but
important aspects of your property can add value.
If your property is tired and dated, interior cosmetic
renovations are a cost-effective way to refresh the look and feel of your
rental. This could include giving drab walls a fresh coat of paint, replacing
well-worn carpet and updating lighting and other fixtures. These small things
can add to the appeal of your property and potentially increase rent.
Before beginning any cosmetic renovation it’s a good idea to seek advice from your property manager about which improvements will deliver the best return.
6. Know the rules
Even in a competitive rental market it’s crucial that all aspects of your property meet current regulations, safety guidelines and efficiency standards. This includes pool fences, railings, balconies, blinds, windows, smoke detectors, and electrical and water. It’s important that you make certain all are in adequate working order prior to having new tenants. Ensure that all electrical wiring and power points are safe, including electrical appliances to be included in the tenancy. And be sure to take out comprehensive insurance cover on the property prior to the inspection, including public liability. Your property manager will be able to advise you of the laws relevant to your property.
I’m Brigitte Stills of Stills Properties. Contact me on 0419 426 038 if you’re looking for, or have, a property for let. Or, if you’re an Agent/Property Manager searching for more tips on how to succeed in a difficult rental market with pro-active marketing of the properties on your rent-roll.