What renters want: how to make your buy-to-let standout

Did you know the number of UK landlords has increased by 27% over the past five years?

Surprising, but true, as London-based estate agent, Ludlow Thomson, analysed data from HM Revenue & Customers to determine a record number of buy-to-lets – an estimated 2.5 million – now make up the UK’s property market.

Not only this, Savills told the Times newspaper that this demographic earned £45 billion in the first half of 2017 – twice the total amount of interest homeowners paid on their mortgage.

Somewhat startling results for a market which has become increasingly disgruntled due to recent changes to mortgage rules, harsher stress tests and tax crackdown, it seems the tricky buy-to-let landscape is booming after all. 

Evidently the desire among many to invest in property remains strong and this with it brings competition. Now more than ever, properties need to work harder to entice potential tenants. However, a lick of paint and downstairs toilet isn’t enough anymore - people want a home which suits their lifestyle. 

What can you do to ensure you give renters what they want?

Below, we’ve listed four considerations to help get you started. 

Remember it is business, not personal

It might be difficult to do so at first, but make sure you treat the buy-to-let property as a business – not your own home – to boost rental prospects. You can do this by thinking like a tenant by asking yourself the following: what would entice you to rent the property? What do you think and what don’t you like? Does it feel like a property which can easily be made into a home? 

Shelve your own tastes and dislikes, and keep décor simple and minimal. This will help potential tenants imagine themselves in the property. Remember, it’s not your home, so don’t treat it like it is - it’s an investment designed to generate a monthly income. 

Read our article Five consideration if you are looking at buy-to-let for further information.  

Appeal to the right market

Know the demographic you are appealing to and understand what they want and don’t want. For example, a three-bedroom home will need a different approach to a one-bedroom flat. If your property is based in a quiet estate close to schools and other local amenities such as a supermarket, focus on attracting families. This is because this demographic are more likely to seek a house which makes everyday life easier. 

The principle is the same if your property is a city centre flat. Rarely suitable for families, you should consider marketing to young professionals, commuters looking for a weekday base and first-time buyers looking for a slice of city life.  

Keep transport links in mind

In Knight Frank’s 2017 UK tenant survey, 35% of the 10,000 tenants surveyed revealed the proximity to transport links or the ease of the commute to work is a key factor when choosing a home in urban areas of the country – falling second to affordability. 

If your property is close to public transport links or key road networks for easy commuting, make sure this is clearly highlighted to potential tenants. 

Boost your eco-friendly appeal

Don’t invest too much in fancy gadgets and expensive décor. A clean, minimal living space with the basic mod-cons is still pleasing to potential tenants, especially if your property boasts of excellent transport links and proximity to local amenities. 

Good insulation, eco-lightbulbs, low-flush toilets, water-saving shower heads, smart thermostat and an updated EPC assessment will please those who wish to cut their carbon footprint, live environmentally friendly and save money in the long run.

For further information, read our buy-to-let guide or visit the buy-to-let mortgage page for a full listing of our products. 

If you'd like to talk to us about a buy-to-let mortgage, pop into your local branch or contact us to arrange an appointment with one of our qualified mortgage advisers.


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