Setting up your own website to showcase your rental properties or using one of the major online platforms such as Rightmove or Zoopla are great ways to get your property noticed by many potential tenants. But with thousands of properties online, how do you make your portfolio stand out from the crowd?
Content is king, so you need to make sure that the description is eye-catching and accurate. You could describe the house, garden, garage, furnishings and fixtures before moving on to talk about the neighbourhood and perhaps include links to the local tourist information website. Include items such as air-conditioning, a pool, Aga in the kitchen or anything which makes the property stand out, such as being pet-friendly. You could also indicate how far it is from the railway station, main roads, schools and shops. If you have fast internet, that is worth mentioning too.
Photos will need to be of decent quality and not blurred. You can also add a short video showing the exterior of the house, the rooms and the immediate vicinity or a 360º tour of a couple of the rooms. This allows tenants to get a real feel for your property. If you take the time and effort to create a good impression on your website, it also shows that you are a professional with high standards. If you have quality images then you will be able to cut back on the written description because a picture paints a thousand words, and can save you a great deal of time.
You can also promote your property on social media, such as Facebook which will have groups or pages for people interested in your area, as well as linking a video tour of the property on YouTube.
Another way of attracting attention is to add a floor plan to your property descriptions. About 18 per cent of properties to rent are advertised with floor plans according to Metropix, which analysed Rightmove listings. Four years ago, just 5.7 per cent had plans so this is a growing trend.
Research conducted by Rightmove itself also suggested that one in five tenants were prepared to ignore any listings which were not accompanied by a floor plan.
The advantage of floor plans over photos is that they help tenants piece the property together. They can see where the rooms are in relation to each other and how the property ‘flows’. They can also see how many windows and doors there are and how much storage space there is.
This is clearly a good way for landlords and letting agents to make their properties stand out and it is clearly something that tenants will be increasingly looking for so it could be one of your unique selling points. Software exists to help you create floor plans incorporating photos taken from your laptop or phone. These can then be uploaded to your website, included with your listings on other portals or added to software which looks after your administrative activities.