How To Make Your Rental More Appealing To Increase Tenant Interest

Dangle CarrotSomewhere, although I can’t remember quite where, I’ve already dribbled about how the BTL market is insanely tough for landlords right now, so I won’t delve into the specifics too much. But basically, demand isn’t as great as supply blah blah blah, consequently tenants are being spoilt for choice with the abundance of vacant properties frustratingly waiting to be rented. The golden days when the arm-pit of bricks and mortar were getting tenants are long gone. Unfortunately for us landlords, tenants now demand better properties for a lower asking price. So tall are their orders that they actually expect everything in the property to be properly functional *mutters to self*

So while competition is stiff and it’s every landlord for himself, what are we to do? A great way to convince the punters to pick your property over someone else’s pile of rubble is to entice them with regular sex. Failing that, you could consider offering your prospective tenants with…

Broadband Internet

I know a lot of landlords are starting to provide free broadband to their tenants. I personally think it’s a great incentive, but then again, I’m an absolute internet geek, so I would say that. Free internet to me is like a free pair of clip-on Spock ears to a Star Trek fan.

Anyhow, the internet is used by pretty much everyone these days, so it’s bound to be appreciated.

Digital TV

Much like the broadband incentive, providing a decent digital TV package is bound to make a few ears prick up. A package which includes the movie and sports channels are going to impress.

Bundle package: phone line, digital and broadband

Companies like Virgin offer great package deals, where they provide a phone line, digital and broadband at very reasonable package price. The package deals often work out cheaper than getting individual services, and they definitely won’t go unnoticed if you mention it to your prospective tenants. It’s a big winner.

Provide white goods

White goods like a fridge-freezer and washing machine are pretty standard, even in unfurnished properties. But I actually NEVER used to provide any white goods (besides from a built-in oven) until last year.

The rental market started getting a little tougher last year, consequently tenants started getting more demanding, and rightly so. One of the most frequent requests was for white goods, and by failing to provide any white goods I was losing out on a lot of interest. I ended up investing £250 on a fridge/freezer and a washing machine, and shortly after I got tenants.

Providing white goods are especially good because they’re reusable commodities. With good warranties they can last for years and roll over onto several tenants.

Include utility bills

If you can calculate how much the monthly utility bills (e.g. water, electricity, council tax and phone line) would approximately cost, you could add it onto the monthly rent and disclose that bills are included in your marketing campaign. I’ve found that it’s a great incentive for tenants because they’re able to budget their entire month, and the idea of being hassle free of bills is undeniably attractive. The key here is to get the best product rates on the market, so you can keep costs to a minimum. Low rent, with bills included, it’s a no-brainer.

Contents Insurance

Everyone loves security, and everyone feels happier knowing that their personal possessions are protected. Why not offer contents insurance as part of the deal? While you’re casually showing prospective tenants around, simply say, “oh, this entire property comes with contents insurance, so your items will be safe”

It might impress your tenants, it might not, but it wouldn’t harm you trying to sell it. Moreover, your tenants may get the impression that you’re a genuinely caring landlord (even though you’re probably not)- everyone loves a caring landlord.

Remember, don’t actually purchase the contents insurance until your tenants sign the AST and pay their deposit :)

Think before saying “NO”

Landlords are notorious for being tight fisted, so I’m pretty sure a few of you are swallowing your own vomit at the thought of paying out on these little extra luxuries. But think of it this way, if you provide one or more of these incentives, it may mean having a vacant property for a lot less period of time. These incentives are actually investments, and good ways to secure tenants, which could ultimately be cheaper than being…cheap.

Does anyone provide any other incentive, or can anyone think of any others?

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13 Comments- Join The Conversation...

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Dan Harrison 19th August, 2009 @ 07:26

The trouble with covering the costs of bills of any kind is the tenant can so easily take the piss and rack up huge bills.

If I was going to provide an incentive, it would be through one off costs (such as white goods).

Dan

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 19th August, 2009 @ 07:37

Hey Dan,
Yeah, that is a huge problem if you have piss-taking tenants. I guess there are a few ways to help combat that kind of abuse.

1) try to get decent tenants (obviously not always easy)
2) calculate the utility bills on a "worst case" scenerio. But ofcourse, you may appear expensive.
3) give your tenants an acceptable allowance, and if they exceed, they can cover the shortfall

Providing white goods and broadband is def my favourite incentives!

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Jas 19th August, 2009 @ 10:43

Broadband can be a dodgy option though, again if you have piss-taking tenants. They can download illegal content, share music etc and you would technically be liable as the connection would be under your name. Or do you setup under the tenant name and just pay the bill on their behalf?

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 19th August, 2009 @ 10:54

Hey Jas,
Yeah, that's a good point.

The landlord should be able to easily set the account up under the tenants name, while the bill payer can be disclosed as the landlord!

4
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Fee 19th August, 2009 @ 21:24

My tenant's 6 month contract is up in Jan so im really thinking of giving her either digital tv or broadband at the start of December. I dont think she'll be expecting it at all and hopefully I will sway her from ending the agreement at just 6 months. I'd rather pay for something monthly than find a new tenant! And maybe pay huge agent fees, if i cant find anyone of Gumtree.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 19th August, 2009 @ 21:27

I definitely condone that, Fee.

It's so much easier and cheaper to keep your tenants sweet by offering incentives, if it means they'll stay longer!

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Moore3 20th August, 2009 @ 09:23

If there is a tv aerial on the propety, making sure that the property can receive digital TV will almost certainly become a legal requirement of the landlord anyway after the switchover, unless it is specifically excluded from the property marketing and tenancy.
Landlords would be well advised to spend the money now making sure that the signal strength is good enough for digital before your current tenant leaves and a new one demands it anyway.
On the other points, I would agree that white goods rather than paying for services is the way to go, but just be aware of PATS testing requirements on electrical items.

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josh 22nd August, 2009 @ 09:21

have you actualy checked how much these extras would cost you as the landlord if you provided all, your property would be unrentable in this market your best of keeping your property as nice as possible inside and out and hope for the best.i have been renting for 19 years and tenants requirments change with the wind,listen to what they require and try to provide the best you can within your means ,i guarantee at the end of the tenancy you will still be bad or your property will,it all sounds a little desperate to me.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 22nd August, 2009 @ 12:59

Who said anything about providing all those services? That would be crazy and way too expensive.

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josh 22nd August, 2009 @ 14:10

have you worked out what tenants are wanting then because my experiance has been that they require all of these services,last year i provided a property to a tenant,in order to rent i supplied very nice new bedding also gave a chioce of utencils because i had them anyway and new white goods eg ,kettle,microwave,seperate freezer,toaster,for what only for them to leave when they felt like it terminating early and oweing me 2months rent plus repairs,i am probably not a very good person to talk to realy regarding this subject because i cant see the light at the other end of the tunnel

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 22nd August, 2009 @ 16:01

It sounds like you're assuming that ALL tenants are the same.

I have had experience, as I stated in the article. I purchased white goods for my tenants, and they've been in the property for 3 years :)

These incentives aren't just there to keep onto existing tenants, but also attract new tenants. I'm sure those white goods you've purchased will (or already has) attract new tenants.

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josh 22nd August, 2009 @ 16:37

I have been providing white goods since 1990, in fact if you had nothing and you walked into my propertys you would have needed nothing but a TV and a radio,and not all tenants can be painted with the same brush,but my experiance says otherwise,this is just my point of veiw,and i dont see it getting any better.

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Phil 15th November, 2013 @ 15:02

I'm thinking of incentivising my tenants to do viewings of the house. It's a multilet and getting the prospective tenant to take a look ASAP is important to me. The question is how much to pay?

Phil

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