A few simple changes are often all that’s needed to make a successful rental listing. It’s crucial to remember that even a fantastic property can slip under the radar if the listing isn’t formatted properly for potential tenants.
We want you to get as much of the right attention as possible for your listing. To get it right, you’ll have to appeal to the psychology of the would-be tenants. Let’s begin:
Post plenty of unambiguous photographs
It should come as no surprise to discover photographs play the most important part in the structure of a successful rental listing. We would recommend professional, bright photographs. But if that’s not an option — almost every man and his dog have a decent camera phone, so there’s no excuse not to provide plenty of photographic evidence.
A lack of photos always implies dishonesty, remember this.
It’s important to take the pictures after any decoration plans, and to capture all angles of a room – failure to do so, and you’ll leave the would-be tenants head-scratching.
Include a floor plan
This step goes in-step with the last point. Images do one thing, but even unambiguous photographs can be misleading. It’s far better to include a floor plan from the get-go. If would-be tenants arrive only to discover a misleading shoebox of a room, all that’s going to do is waste theirs and your time.
With a floor plan, you can accurately depict the property’s room sizes and configuration.
Be flexible with would-be tenants
It’s becoming more and more common for renters to want pets. This may have something to do with societal leanings towards rent more than ownership nowadays.
All those pet owners have got to live somewhere. Deny pet ownership, and you may be missing out on big business.
The same goes for other niches of tenants. Try to be more open-minded toward students, room-sharers/couples, and give some thought to the prices you are offering them.
Write an attractive description
When it comes to describing your letting, be warm, personal, engaging and – above all – friendly. It really does make a difference and increases the chances of receiving phone calls and emails from would-be tenants.
A good description should have a good amount of information about you personally, the property, and (if any) the roommates currently in the property. It should then go on to detail what appliances are in the property – with a bit of detail about the surrounding area (what it’s like, where the nearest bus stop is, supermarket, a pub, etc.). If the property is tailored to a specific group of tenants such as students, be sure to say how close it is to the nearest college or university, and how easy it is to get there, plus anything interesting along the way. It is important to set the record straight and set the right expectations.
Give your profile an honest look
This is just as important as the description. Would-be tenants will want to know if your letting is legitimate.
In a social media-dominated world, it is important to make sure your profile on any listing site makes you look like a real person, and not a Russian bot – or something. The first step is to make sure you have an actual picture of yourself. A human, friendly face, will do wonders to increase the levels of trust a would-be tenant will instill in you.
Also, be sure to use your real name. There’s also a chance – depending on the letting website – that the tenants will be able to see your response rate. In that case, it’s very important to respond quickly and all the time if you can. In our opinion, a response rate above 90 per cent gets the best results. Try to respond with the same day, or at least within a 24 hour period. Again, sluggishness or a lack of committal indicates either ineptitude or dishonesty.
Abide by one rule: more is more
If you are to take one thing away from this article; if you are to remember one thing, let it be this: whenever you are putting together a listing more is always better. Try to make your listing as transparent, and as information-rich, as possible. The more details = the more trust. And the more trust, the more likelihood of success.
After all, if you truly do have a great property to list (I’m sure you do) then more is no problem anyway.
In hindsight, this all seems perfectly logical. Whenever we explain these rules to people, ‘Why didn’t I think of that before’ is the common response.
And yet even now, all over the world, listings will go up that will be huge missed opportunities. Hopefully now that you’ve read this article, yours won’t be one of them in the future.
—This article was written by Heaven on Earth, a family run letting business based all over Europe