Where is your rental strategy going wrong?

 
Where is your rental strategy going wrong?

The rental market is very strong at present; that much is pretty obvious, what with the swelling in tenant numbers and the rising rental prices that landlords are enjoying month after month in the present market. However, even though the market is strong, it doesn't mean that being a landlord is easy. There are still some areas where it's easy to go wrong, and these can put your ability to earn the best possible returns at risk, so it's important to avoid the pitfalls and make sure you're getting it right with your investment strategy. 

We take a look at just a few of the most common pitfalls in the rental market. 

Pricing

Getting it wrong when it comes to pricing is a common pitfall for new landlords in particular, and it's one aspect of the sector that it is worth getting right. After all, your income matters, but it's also important to make sure that you're able to attract enough demand to ensure you always have a sitting tenant and money coming in. 

It's easy to overestimate the price you should be charging and look a little too high, especially at a time like now when the market is strong. Remember, however, that there are plenty of rental homes about at the moment, and if you go too high with your asking price, you are risking pricing yourself out of the market and leaving your home empty, with no income coming in at all.

The best way to estimate what you should be charging is to do a bit of scouting. Look around your area and see what other people are asking for their rental homes, and this will give you a good indicator of where to start when pricing your own.

Marketing

Marketing is tricky when it comes to rental properties, especially now when there are so many different websites on which to showcase your home to potential tenants. Remember, however, that less is more when it comes to text, but not when it comes to photographs. 

Using as many pictures as is possible when listing your property online is vital in attracting a new tenant. After all, if they haven't been able to see what they are going to rent, chances are they might click off and look at another listing before they even give your property a chance. If you're not showcasing your home with images, it suggests to the tenant that you might even have something to hide, and that's never good. 

When it comes to the text in your marketing message, the opposite is true. Rambling on about your home with too much text will only turn people away. It's important here to simply get the key points across and tell the tenant what they're getting, where it is, what it offers and any other key information. Too much fluff and chat will only cause people to turn off when they're reading. 

Inventory

One of the biggest problems that plagues landlords, and has done for some time, is that of the inventory. If one is not properly taken and logged, it can lead to problems at move out, where the tenant opens a dispute about something you've billed them for. This can lead to a lengthy process of trying to mediate, and one that you might ultimately lose without an effective inventory. 

To put together a good inventory, all it takes is to walk around the property in the weeks before someone moves in, logging every single thing that is there, as well as the condition it is in. It can also be a good idea to have someone else doing the same so you can cross reference your inventories, while it's advisable to take some photographs on top of this to back you up in the case of any dispute down the line.