PPP have found that when you’re a property investor, it’s often easy to overlook your importance as a landlord and service provider for tenants! When this realisation hits, many actually find that this is their favourite part – being able to work with people on a daily basis! This was definitely the case for PPP Franchise Partner, Gertie Owen, who went from being a ‘stay at home mum’ to ‘landlord of the year’ in just a few years. PPP talks to Gertie about how to best prepare for a tenant viewing!
Gertie, what are your top tips?
Well… firstly, I don’t have tenants, I have housemates, and I care passionately about them and the experience they have when living in one of my Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). This is why I conduct viewings in such a particular way, making sure I go the extra mile. Here are my top tips:
1. Prepare yourself
I take my property business very seriously and have worked hard to create a quality brand. Because of this, I try to live and breathe it whenever I am meeting tenants – whether that’s at a viewing, maintenance visit or check-out. First impressions are especially important and so I am always presentable and smartly dressed.
2. Be accommodating
My primary investment location is Lewisham and so most of my tenants are looking for rooms because they are new to the area. Most of them don’t have transport either – due to its easy access to London. Therefore I always offer to pick them up from the station to take them to the property. It’s surprising how making such a small effort is really appreciated.
3. Sell the area
My housemates aren’t just looking for a property to call home, but an area to call home. I ensure that I show them the social life they might have if they live in one of my houses, where the local gyms and train stations are and where they can get their food shopping – you could say I act like a tour guide!
4. Sell the housemates
I always try to conduct viewings when the existing housemates are at home. It’s just as important that the housemates like each other as well as the room, property and area. It provides the prospective housemate with a great opportunity to meet other people they might be living with, which I feel helps them in their decision making.
5. Prepare the property
It’s extremely rare for me to have a room vacant so I often have to conduct viewings before the previous housemate has moved out. As I have built great relationships with my housemates, they have no issue keeping their rooms tidy when they know I’ll be showing people around. I also seek their permission to dress the bed in display bedding. On the odd occasion when the rooms are empty, I ensure it’s had a deep clean and that the room is dressed to look its best. Sometimes I even redecorate and buy new soft furnishings to freshen up the room – it’s amazing how many people say to me how rare it is to actually see a room that looks like it is in the advert picture.
How have these small changes affected your business?
Well… I’ve just finished my seventh house and two of the first tenants that moved in were people who had viewed some of my other properties previously but hadn’t been able to move in quick enough – so I find that getting it right in the beginning pays dividends in the end. Not only do the tenants get to see what kind of landlord they will have, but I often get continued and additional business.
By making small changes to your viewing process you can make big changes to your overall success as a landlord.