Somewhere, 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…
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.
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.
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?