Despite the expected increase in rental activity post-lockdown, the rental market will take time to recover to pre-pandemic levels. Job losses, international travel restrictions and work-from-home practices will likely continue to impact the market in the short term.
Meanwhile, colleges and universities could opt for online classes or a hybrid model that might reduce the need for students to stay close by.
So while the road to recovery has begun, landlords continue to face challenges in trying to rent out their unit. Here are five ways they could rent out their properties more expediently.
1. Price strategically
The pandemic would have negatively affected rental rates, so landlords should proactively monitor listings similar to theirs and adjust rates accordingly.
Renting out your property at slightly lower rates for shorter durations would be wiser than waiting months to secure a tenant at unrealistic prices.
Alternatively, think about the added value you add to your unit to justify a higher asking price.
2. Consider furnishings
Furnishings help justify a higher rental rate, or at very least help get the unit rented out more quickly.
Furnished units can command higher rental rates that could generate positive cash flow. On the other hand, a partially furnished unit with permanent fixtures such as kitchen cabinets, air-conditioning, fans and lights can attract more demand than a fully furnished one as it offers a lower price point.
Landlords should first find out how much more they can charge for a fully furnished unit and how much competition there is. Speaking to agents who specialise in demand trends can also be helpful.
A common mistake landlords make is to use unwanted, worn out or mismatched furniture, which is counterintuitive and could dispel potential tenants.
On the other hand, do not splurge aimlessly on furnishings without taking into account how long it would take to break even with the rental income.
3. Add interior decor
The impact of adding decor to interior spaces is often overlooked. There are simple hacks to elevate the appearance of a unit on a shoestring budget, such as adding LED strips to the spaces between kitchen cabinets and bookshelves.
Wall art, succulents and synthetic indoor plants make the space more aesthetically pleasing and draw views to the listing on property websites.
4. Act upon enquiries with urgency
Urgency is vital in the rental market, especially when there are many similar properties to choose from. If enquiries are few and far between, landlords should arrange viewings quickly before potential tenants lose interest.
Be flexible in accommodating reasonable requests tenants might have, and be prepared to face viewing cancellations as prospective tenants have plenty of options in the market.
If you find yourself too busy to handle viewings yourself, consider enlisting property agents.
5. Enlist property agents
Property agents or real estate negotiators have more options for advertising the unit on property portals.
Managing too many agents can be overwhelming and may lead to price wars on property websites. Focus on quality instead of quantity, and if you entrust a copy of the keys with one agent, make sure they are willing to work with others via co-agency.
Passing only one copy of the key to one agent allows landlords to track who is responsible for the unit, and avoid complications that can arise when multiple parties are involved.
Some landlords with furnished units might understandably be hesitant to share keys with an agent, but it really does increase the odds of success in a competitive market.