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  • Technology

    How to make your rental stand out on-line



    How to Make Your Rental Stand Out Online

    As landlords, we’ve been ushered into a new age of technology. It’s no longer about how good a landlord you are, or how competitive your rent is; it’s about advertising your property on the largest online portals. The art is getting it right first time round for the best response and quickest let.

    We’ve considered the most important aspects of creating a standout ad online. Get this right and generate the highest number of tenant enquiries when competing with 100’s of other properties.

    1. Photos

    We conducted a survey 2 years ago where 91% of tenants we polled said that photos of a property were number one on their checklist of finding their next property. Blurry and dark photos taken on your smartphone are no longer going to cut it.

    Invest in professional photos and not only will you have a better chance of finding tenants quickly, you’ll also have the professional pictures ready to go for the next time you need to advertise, meaning you can be up and running in a matter of minutes.

    Upad Case Study

    Upad carried out a case study earlier this year to see how much of an effect professional photos could have on the enquiry level of an advert.

    The 2 bed property was located in Waterloo, recently refurbished with underfloor heating and original Georgian fireplaces. A truly beautiful property but the ad received only 6 enquiries in 32 days with no offers made.

    The landlady purchased professional photography through Upad and this resulted in 6 more enquiries in a week and the landlady let the property for the asking price.

    What’s more, next time the landlady needs to advertise her property, she’s just a couple of clicks away with everything ready to go on her Upad dashboard.

    These are some of the photos taken by the landlady on her smartphone;

    And these are the professional images arranged by Upad;

    2. Research Your Market

    Look through the eyes of a tenant, not a landlord or letting agent. Make sure your price is competitive with comparable properties (is that kitchen bigger than mine? Do they have a garden?) not just general market rates.

    And make the most out of the ‘pricing brackets’ on the online portals, such as Rightmove and Zoopla, by adjusting your rent to sit on or under a bracket. This can maximize visibility in prospective tenants’ search results.

    3. Property Description

    Writing about your property is essential to attract the right tenants. You want to sound professional without writing jargon or obscure abbreviations.

    Be accurate about the location and list local amenities- particularly if it attracts your target market (parks for families/ restaurants for professional couples).

    Be clear as to exactly what you’re offering (what’s in that ‘fully fitted kitchen?) and chuck a few creative words in there like ‘bright’, ‘airy’ or ‘modern’.

    Here’s an excellent example from a Upad landlord who followed our advice on creating a great description;

    4. Edit Your Ad

    If something isn’t working with your online ad- change it! In fact, regularly editing your ad can maintain interest when it’s been advertised for a few weeks. Something as simple as changing the leading image could catch someone’s eye when it didn’t before. Even a small reduction in the rent could make all the difference, particularly if it pushes the ad into the next set of search results- plus tenants signed up to Property Alerts in the area will be emailed your property details again.

    5. To Furnish, or Not to Furnish?

    It’s one of the most common dilemmas for landlords, do you furnish the property or not? Does it make a difference? Upad teamed up with one of the UK’s largest furniture companies, David Phillips, to find out.

    Upad posted a 2 bed property in Mitcham, 4 times: furnished and unfurnished with professional photos, and furnished and unfurnished taken with an iPhone camera. The unfurnished property with iPhone photos received 4 enquiries, and in the same amount of time the furnished property with professional images received 25- that’s more than 6 times more enquiries!

    James Davis (Upad, CEO) commented:

    ‘I’ve long believed that how a property is presented online has an enormous bearing on how quickly it is let – which is imperative today as void periods are landlords’ second largest cost of business (after taxation). 56% of UK tenants are now searching via mobile for their next rental (3 fold increase over the past 12 months) via the Rightmove and Zoopla app – where the images make up c. 95% of what is displayed. Having professional photos and where the property has been furnished prevents ‘the swipe effect’ from happening – and our research shows this generates over 6 times more tenant enquires – minimizing void periods for UK landlords’

    At Upad, landlords have their own personal Account Manager, plus a Performance Manager, to help them get the best out of their property ad. We work hard to deliver adverts of a high standard to the portals: our Approvals Team manually checks every ad before it goes live, and they monitor edits whilst advertising too. And we make sure we work with the best suppliers of photos and floor plans by only working with photographers who have validated their work. Our easy online dashboard allows you to add all the details and we’ll produce a professional looking property ad that gets seen where tenants are looking.

    DOWNLOAD your FREE LANDLORD GUIDE

    Lucie - Upad Community Ambassador

    TAKE ACTION -   Visit the Upad website

    UP NEXT -           Interview with James Davis, landlord and CEO of Upad 

    DON'T MISS -      Property marketing: Importance of photography

    FROM THE VIDEO ARCHIVE: 

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    Good presentation and good photography sells a product. Don't forget that you need to fulfil client expectations, so if the product fails to meet expecations when viewed in the flesh you have wasted your time.

    This is Slight Edge thinking put into practice. Make more effort, make more money.

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    Hi Julian,


    We completely agree. Sometimes it is tempting to not include a photograph of a particular room, perhaps because it's quite small or the decor is dated, but ultimately this will just waste time if it's not what a tenant is after when they view the property.


    Kind regards,

    Upad

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    Lucie - helpful article.

    However... Almost all the photos you show here are (in professional photography terms) "overexposed". This was also our recent experience of a professional photographer commissioned by UPAD.  We had to ask for the photos to be adjusted to be less bright.

    My feedback as a landlord (to UPAD) would be: work with the pro photographer to do truly pro photos, and not just "bright photos taken on a pro camera".

    My advice to other landlords would be to make sure the photos are bright, but NOT overexposed. 

    Here is a good link to show the differences (I have no affiliation - it was just highly ranked in google when I searched for professional photography and overexposure): http://wearesophoto.com/interior-photogr...d-windows/

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    Hi Rassie,

    Thank you for this feedback- we will definitely be speaking to our photographers to ensure that photos are not overexposed in future. It can be a difficult balance between ensuring photos are bright but not overexposed- especially with the darker days in winter where natural light isn't as plentiful.

    Kind regards,

    Upad

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    I have recorded this video with Upad CEO, James Davis, on how landlords can raise their marketing game to compete in a competitive market place:



    See also - Are you leveraging "anticipation happiness" in your property marketing?

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    Vanessa Warwick Landlord and Co-Founder of PropertyTribes.com **5 reasons to get your FREE portfolio review NOW**

    As broadband speed is increasingly important to everyone, why not add a shot of the broadband speed checker result to your property listing:



    Just found the above one, courtesy of Jon Pipllman, on Rightmove for a house for sale. 

    See - Slower broadband speed could hinder house prices & rentability ...

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    Vanessa Warwick Landlord and Co-Founder of PropertyTribes.com **5 reasons to get your FREE portfolio review NOW**