Optimising Property for the Rental Market

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Changes in the real estate market over recent months have resulted in a growth trend in the lettings market. Property investors are increasingly attracted to yield returns obtainable from the buy-to-let potential of properties currently undergoing slow capital growth rates.

The attraction for placing properties onto the rental market while waiting for the re-sale market to improve is clear, yet as the number of properties available for rental increases, the need to optimise a property to obtain the best returns possible has also increased.

The attraction of the lettings market has grown due to the high demand for rental properties. As many potential buyers are unable to obtain mortgages or have insecure career prospects, property owners are in an ideal position for earning an additional income from their homes on the letting market.

Due to the high demand in sought after areas, strong yields are available in both local and overseas markets. In order to obtain the optimum yield potential it is necessary to ensure properties are presented in their best possible conditions.

While a full refurbishment of a property can be a costly process, the long term benefits and additional value can place the initial outlay costs into perspective. Simplistic changes can often create an entirely new atmosphere to a home, adding a clean and fresh appearance.

Whether starting from scratch, or working with what is already available, there are several considerations to take into account. Full details can present an endless list, with the most important factors providing a comfortable living environment for tenants. Using co-ordinated colourings on furnishing and upholstery will present a pleasing, streamlined effect, attracting interest from the initial photos and offering a light filled image upon entering the home.

Removing all un-necessary objects from the property will remove clutter, presenting the illusion of ample bench and storage space. Having the home cleaned thoroughly, using professional services if necessary is also important, especially for removing unpleasant odours such as tobacco and animals.

Most of the appeal of a property on the letting market is based on first impressions, along with the additional extras offered to create a bargain appeal, as well as the location and surrounding convenience of amenities. Re-painting walls, using a washable paint in a light colour will blend pleasingly and provide easy long term maintenance.

Furniture quality is often evident upon initial viewing, so the asking price of the rental property should reflect the interior as well as the exterior, the location and the type of property.

Any necessary repairs in the home will need to be carried out to ensure the property is maintained to an optimum state. DIY work can be considered for reducing costs, yet should only be considered when familiar with the techniques involved, or repairs should be carried out by a professional.

Gaining a competitive edge on the rental market is essential to ensure the property does not remain empty for long periods of time. Considering an appropriate asking price suitable for the local market is important, along with deciding upon a minimum price if potential tenants attempt to negotiate.

Additional extras can also help a property appeal to the rental market. Extras such as garage parking and storage rooms for apartments should be included in the advertising, or used as negotiating tools to create further appeal to the property. Many tenants consider satellite TV and internet connections to be a part of their minimum requirements when searching for a property. The inclusion of these additional extras should be considered, especially if the property is priced within the high-end bracket of the local market.

Advertising techniques for maximising potential are often overlooked, if using a rental agent it may also be possible for owners to advertise privately for additional exposure. When advertising privately, use multiple sites dedicated to your local area. Using several high quality images displaying the property to its best advantages will ensure additional interest, assisting in making the property stand out.

Whether purchasing an investment property for the buy-to-let market, or attempting to generate additional revenue from a home awaiting re-sale once the local market improves, optimising techniques can make the difference between a property remaining empty for a long period of time and one that is filled with income generating tenants.

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