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Four things landlords should do before a prospective tenant arrives on their doorstep

The saying; first impressions counts might be a cliche, but there is often more than a grain of truth in such sayings and this is definitely the case in property.

Many landlords focus on preparing a property for viewing, but few rarely think of a step before that.

We believe that the tenant’s experience of your property starts when they set off for the viewing.

Here are four things landlords can do to create a great customer experience:

1. Mobile phone signal and broadband speed

These are regularly featured in surveys where tenants are asked for the most important things that factor in their choice of a rental property.

Therefore, it makes sense to indicate in your advert what mobile phone networks are available at the property and what broadband speeds can be achieved. There are a number of free services online that allow you to check this.

Many a tenant has turned up for a viewing, seen there is no mobile phone signal on their phone, and then just turned around and left! Many agents think this is one of the biggest reasons for “no-shows” at viewings!

2. Give clear directions to the property so that the tenant can find it easily.

There is nothing more stressful than being unable to find an address, particularly if the satnav/postcode does not lead straight to the property and/or the tenant is not familiar with the area.

Landlords should create a fact sheet of how to arrive at the property by car, rail, bus, and on foot to ensure that the tenant does not become stressed before they even arrive for the viewing.

If they are coming in a car, give some details about the best parking spots and if there are any parking restrictions.

Assisting the tenant to find the property easily will give them a good feeling going forwards into the viewing.

3. Facelift the front of the property

Give the front door a wash and clean and shine all the hardware. Clean any glass inserts.

Tidy the front garden (if there is one) and make sure all boundaries such as walls, fences, or railings are all in a good state of repair.

Put refuse bins out of sight. Nothing looks worse that bins left out and it gives the impression that there is not much storage.

Make sure the property number is clearly marked and that the outside light is working. Leave it on if the viewing is taking place at night as it is far more welcoming than a dark front door.

Again, we have heard of tenants who abandoned a viewing because the property did not have a street number on it and they gave up looking. Prospective customers must not be given the slightest reason to think badly of your property, so these things, although small, can make a big difference.

Make sure the front of the house is well maintained, that the gutters and fascias are clean, and that paving stones are secure.

Making sure the property looks neat and well maintained is a very positive start for a viewing.

4. Optimise the hallway

Many landlords under-rate the importance of the hallway.

Unless the front door opens directly onto your living area or another room you can and should make something of the entrance to your rental property. A well-presented hallway gives a prospective tenant their first impression, welcomes them, and can get the viewing off to a positive start.

It is the first interior the tenant will see and people typically start judging a property within 15 seconds of walking through the front door, so it makes sense to make a bit of an effort with this area of the house or flat.

An untidy hallway with loads of pairs of shoes and trainers lying around is not a great first impression, not to mention possible smells, and sub-consciously suggesting that the property does not have enough storage.

If possible, try to think of the hallway as a room in its own right. As such, treat it with the same care and attention to detail as you would any other room. If there's space, put a chair or a small console table there.

Hallways also see a lot of traffic, so they need to be re-decorated regularly to ensure that walls and skirting boards stay fresh.

Halls also tend to be rich in wall space. Take advantage of this to hang some pictures or a large mirror to give the illusion of space.

Make sure the hall is brightly lit (if viewing after dark), clean, tidy, and welcoming. Use the old developer trick of plugging in an air freshener or use some diffuser reeds to create a subtle but pleasant smell.

Make sure all internal doors are open. This immediately gives the tenant an idea of the layout, rather than entering a hallway with all the doors closed off giving a feeling of being hemmed in.

Attention to detail always pays off in any business endeavour, so make sure you do everything you can to ensure that the tenant chooses your property!

To stay compliant and find good tenants faster, choose MakeUrMove's online rental property platform by listing your rental property today.

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