Finding new tenants for your rental property during the winter months can prove to be a lot harder as compared to all other times of the year. Generally, people tend to avoid moving house in winter, as it poses its own set of problems. However, there are still people moving home during the cold months, for one reason or another, and if you channel your efforts in the right direction, you will be able to find new tenants for your rental. Here are a few tips on how to go about letting your property in winter.
- Diversify your marketing
There are different routes tenants take for finding a rental property. About 80% of people search predominantly online. However, if you want to reach as many potential house movers as possible, you should use all other marketing channels you have available too. Don’t neglect the remaining 20% of people – one of them might be your next tenant.
Apart from placing ads online, use the local to let boards to reach people searching for a rental in your particular locality.
Using local classifieds are another marketing strategy you should make the most of. These are preferred by people who want to avoid using letting agents and paying their often high fees.
Letting Your Property in Winter – 4 Useful Tips
Diversifying your marketing strategy will let you capture a wider audience and, especially in winter, the more people know you are letting your property, the better your chances for closing the deal.
- Offer incentives to potential tenants
It’s a great idea, especially in the slow winter months, to offer your potential tenants some kind of an incentive for applying for your rental property. Here’s what you can offer them:
No application fees
Letting agents can sometimes charge as much as £300 for applying for a rental. Many house movers try to avoid that fee by searching for properties to let from private landlords. Advertising that you are not charging any application fees can bring a surprising amount of applicants your way.
Half a rent, or no rent at all, for the first month
This is a really lucrative offer, especially around the holiday season, when tenants usually have limited funds. Sacrificing half or one month’s rent can help you find a tenant a lot faster, and offering this incentive will certainly pay off.
Flexible terms on furniture
If your tenant needs a certain furniture piece, like a wardrobe or bed, it pays off to arrange that piece of furniture for them rather than losing a tenant and a month’s rent. Similarly, if you are letting a furnished property and the tenant wants to bring in their own piece of furniture, like a bed for instance, you should remove the bed from your rental home to make room for it. Being flexible on furniture can help you find a tenant a lot faster, and it is a thought worth considering in the winter, when there are far fewer people who are willing to go through house removals.
- Come up with fresh advertising
Usually, a property newly put up on the market is let within the first two weeks. However, winter months can be slower and if your rental has been on the letting market for more than two weeks, you should consider freshening up your advertising. Re-write the property’s description, take fresh photos, point out the good sides of your rental, etc. Re-launch your ad and the audience will view it as a new rental property on the market.
- Adjust the price
Last but not least, if you are finding it hard to find tenants for your property in winter, you should reconsider the rental price. Check out what your competitors are offering, re-evaluate your property, decide on a realistic letting price and bring that down by 5%. This discount will draw in more potential tenants, as they will know they are saving in the long-term. It can turn out a lot costlier to lose one month’s rent rather than offer a 5% discount monthly – it adds up to just 60% of a month’s rent over 12 months.
If your property is vacant at the end of autumn or your current tenants are about to move out before winter starts, you should plan well in advance and start advertising your rental at least a month before it becomes vacant. As people are more reluctant to go through house relocation in the winter months, you should do your best to make your property more appealing to potential movers. These four tips would be a great way to start.