Wednesday, 26 November 2008

20 marketing tips from Belvoir Lettings

Our friends from Belvoir Lettings have kindly privded us with 20 marketing tips to ensure your rental property stands out in a crwoded rental market.

Susie Geddes, office manager of Belvoir Corby explains that they try and create a virtual viewing, with lots of photographs, floor plans and walk-through movies to make each property stand out.

With reference to reaching your audience Craig Walker, proprietor of Belvoir Camberley says, “I would generally say that in this competitive market the best way to advertise a property is to be in as many places as possible, including all the portals. Also use many photos rather than just one - we use ten photos per property. A long descriptive write up of the property, rather than just a quick basic write up is also essential.

Be as detailed as you can about the property and focus on its unique selling points or those things that could make it stand out from other rental properties available. Neil Jones, proprietor of Belvoir Cambridge says, “most applicants ask about showers and broadband so, if the property has them, make sure you include that information in the description.”

As well as appealing to a wide audience, think about targeting specific areas of the community too. Ask yourself the question who’s temporarily living in the local area and why?

“Market the property to a specific target that is prevalent in the area,” continues Neil. “Military personnel, students and hospital staff often need short and long-term lets - use the biggest base, such as the employer, university or hospital as an easy access point.”

20 top tips for marketing your property (my additions in itallics)

1. Be seen in as many places as possible.

2. Use as many photographs as you can - not just one. (and make sure these are good quality photos)

3. Describe the property – don’t just list its features.

4. Think about your property’s unique selling points and communicate them effectively.

5. Floor plans and walk-through movies can make your property stand out from the rest.

6. Taking photos of the property when it’s empty will mean your current tenant’s furnishings and clutter won’t put off potential new tenants. (see point 2)

7. Incentivise your current tenant to find a new tenant for you. (I like this tip and is a great way of enaging both your old customer and the new customer, perhaps one can offer a discount if they are renting with you elsewhere or for students and the like there is a whole host of affordable incentives you can give away. Strike a deal with the local businesses for incentives)

8. Tell as many people as possible – word-of-mouth is a valuable marketing tool.

9. Newspapers often carry adverts for local properties to let – make sure yours is featured too. (as you know I am not a big fan of the print world and I would say if it isn’t free don’t bother)

10. If your property has broadband - or any other attractive features - do include them in the property write up.

11. Lead your advert with an attention-grabbing headline.

12. Location is important – let prospective tenants know about local amenities and try and ‘sell’ them a lifestyle.

13. If you have multiple properties, think about taking out an advert in a regional property rental magazine. (I will now contradict myself as I have heard these actually work, but I am still sceptical and would be reluctant to pay. I would prefer to invest any print media spend in PPC. Target an area for long tail keywords)

14. A ‘To Let’ board outside your property will let any passers-by know your property is available.

15. Target specific areas of the community, such as the military, students and hospital staff.

16. Place your property on property portals. (all of the free ones goes without saying)

17. Think about having an ‘open house’ viewings day. (excellent idea and one that is very popular in Australia)

18. Consider posting information on public bulletin boards, such as at the local supermarket and in the local newsagent.

19. Measure the success of your advertising/marketing strategy and make adjustments accordingly as the campaign progresses. (can’t stress the importance of this enough).

3 comments:

NovaLoca said...

Yes, the property needs to be well described as well as having its main features listed but as the saying goes a picture paints a thousand words which is why occupiers expect to see (at the very least) photographs of the main features/rooms of a property. However including aerial imagery of the property and displaying it on a map make selecting a property to view much simpler for occupiers. See interactive maps by http://www.earthware.co.uk for an example of a great way occupiers can experience a property befiore they go and view it.

The marketing features offered by http://www.novaloca.com which include virtual tours as well as those already mentioned means that an occupier can see all they need to about a property from their PC which is a fantastic bonus when it comes to attract buyers to your property that are not currently located in the area. They can see all they need to about your proeprty really easily without having to make long journeys back and forth.

As the majority of initial property searches are now conducted online it is essential that sellers and agents are using the best of what the web has to offer.

LettingaProperty said...

Becoming a private landlord is relatively simple and throughout our website you can find easy to use informative guides to renting your property privately.

Our top 10 tips for new landlords starts with your Mortgage Lender (if you have one that is!)

1. Consent to Let - you must (at all times) inform your Lender of your intention to let your property. This is commonly refereed to in the Industry as a Consent to Let. Some Lenders are fine with this and some ask you to change the product that you are on to a Buy to Let mortgage.

2. Landlord Insurance - you must have specialist landlords insurance on your property when you are renting it out. If you do not inform your current buildings insurer you may risk invalidating your policy.

3. Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS). This is now a legal requirement and landlords face big financial penalties if caught out. For all tenancy agreements that started on or after April 6, 2007, landlords are required to protect their tenant’s deposit using one of the Governments authorized schemes. For more information, please visit www.direct.gov.uk/en/tenancydeposit.

4. Gas Safety Regulations – It is a legal requirement for you to provide a copy to each of your tenants of a valid Landlords Gas Safety Certificate which has been carried out by a Corgi Registered Plumber and is usually valid for a period of 12 months.

5. Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) – These will be effective come the 1st October 2008 and are a legal requirement. Landlord will be required to provide a copy of the certificate during the lettings process. Even though Landlords are not legally required to carry out any suggested recommendations in the EPC it is always worth considering that tenants may use this as a deciding factor when choosing a property to rent. The EPC is required by law when a building is constructed, sold or put up for rent and can only be produced by an accredited Energy Assessor -


6. Tax Liability - It is wise to consider that as a Landlord, you are effectively running a business and will need to declare and income and expenses to the Tax Office – Any good accountant should be able to advise you on rental income tax.

7. Keys – Make sure you have enough sets of keys cut for each of your tenants.

8. Money – Do not release the keys to the tenants until you have your deposit and first months rent which is cleared in your bank account.

9. Mail Redirection – ensure that you have all of your post re-directed. Click here for the post office online service.

10. Become a Member of a Recognised Landlords Association as you may need assistance in the future. If you have any problems regarding your tenant, they are always on hand to be able to help. You should also visit our forums and post a question, I am sure one of our friendly and experienced landlords will be happy to help!

Good Luck
LettingaProperty

Richard said...

Some useful advice. Like with anything the more effort you put in the more successful you are likely to be and so taking the time include photos and good descriptions can make a big difference.