When renting a property, a floor plan is increasingly an important component of marketing. Floor plans are important for a number of reasons, but key among these is the fact they save landlords time and money making the property search easier for tenants.
Properties marketed with a floor plan are likely to let more quickly and with fewer unsuccessful viewings, as OpenRent explained back in 2017. Even more so in the current climate, a floor plan helps tenants narrow down the properties on the market to a shortlist of the most suitable homes, meaning that less face to face contact at viewings is necessary.
What will a floor plan tell a potential tenant?
The floor plan will show the tenant the dimensions and shapes of the rooms, and which way the property and the rooms within it are oriented. The floor plan will also show the tenant which rooms interconnect. A plan is far more useful than bare dimensions on traditional particulars, which do not help a tenant visualise where alcoves, windows and doors are placed.
Why do floor plans help properties when renting properties?
If the potential tenant has access to a floor plan they can see at a glance whether the property is likely to be suitable for them. Traditional property particulars give the maximum size of rooms but do not show the tenant what shape the rooms are. This is particularly important for unfurnished properties because the tenant will be looking to see how their furniture will fit and whether, for example, there is room for a table to eat at and work from as well as a sofa in the living area.
For groups of friends looking to share a property, the layout of the rooms and their relative sizes can be key. More young people are sharing properties as young professionals, and staying in the rental market for longer than previously. They are more likely to require reasonably equal-sized bedrooms, and enough living, bathroom and kitchen space to cater for several potentially independent lifestyles.
The slow but steady trend towards more remote and flexible working has been accelerated by Covid-19. Many more renters will now be looking in detail at floor plans of potential properties to check where they can create an area for home working.
Floor plans are easy to digest – the tenant can take in the information in the simplest form possible. This makes them a popular element of property particulars. A floor plan helps a potential tenant visualise the property. They can see at a glance exactly where doors, windows and storage spaces fit into a room which helps them understand how they would use the property and whether it is suitable for them.
Floor plans save management time
Even in a competitive rental market with a strong supply of tenants, arranging and supervising viewings of properties takes up significant amounts of management time. If a tenant has been able to view floor plans in advance they are likely to view only those properties which already match what they are looking for on paper, whether that is a kitchen with a space to fit a table, a south-facing living room or space for their existing sofa. This results in far fewer wasted viewings, saving tenants time and landlords both time and money.
Unless you plan to extend or alter the property in some way the floor plan remains static and so can be reused each time you let the property on a new tenancy.
Floor plans are useful to pin down locations on an inventory report
Every landlord will know how important it is to have a professionally prepared inventory signed by the tenant as part of the check-in process, with regular interim property inspections and a check out property inspection at the end of the tenancy. It has long been the practice to take photographs of the condition of the property and its fixtures, fittings and contents to include in the inventory. Cross-referencing the location of the items recorded in the photograph on a copy of the floor plan makes it easier for all involved to understand the inventory report. This in turn reduces the potential for costly and time-consuming disputes.