In today’s property market, it’s often said that “anyone can market their property for sale or rental” and, to some extent that is true. You can take your own photos and you can upload these to some online sites. You can also learn how to adhere to the legislation which covers property descriptions and protects consumers from false advertising. However, when it comes to getting the best price, appealing to the best applicants, and starting the process with the right impression, it is essential to market a property as well as possible, and, as for the legislation, there are a lot of pit-falls, which is why most people will choose an estate or letting agent to handle the sale or the rental of the property for them.
So even if you choose to use an agency, some just don’t get it right either, let’s take a look:-
The Property Photographs
At Maxine Lester, it is essential for us to use professional photography and that is why our valuers undertake photography classes as part of their training. In our opinion it’s essential to have a great camera, with the correct lens, and know how to frame a property correctly. Ensuring the contrast and brightness is perfect and that internal shots are uncluttered and nicely staged will give the best impression.
When you are looking for a property you need to be attracted by the main photo:
A very high percentage of property enquiries come from property portals, such as Rightmove or Zoopla. Often, more than one agency markets the same property so it is hugely important for the main picture to catch the eye immediately. It is paramount the images give a really good feel, not only of the house but of the road and positioning of the property. Photo A is quite dark, and not all of the house and garden can be seen. It looks very close to the house on the left-hand side, when, in fact, there’s a wide gap between the 2 properties. Also in Photo B, you can clearly see that the property is an end terrace house, so not as deceptive as Photo A, which could leave some confusion as to it’s neighbouring houses.
So what about internal shots?
Once you get into the property, you should always focus on the rooms which bring the most interest. Traditionally a kitchen is top of that list. So take a look at these 2 property photos of the same kitchen:
The first agent has taken a picture portrait, which will not fit onto any of the property portals. It also makes the room look like a galley kitchen, which, in fact, is not the case! Estate Agents should always have a wide-angle lens for small rooms, so that you can clearly see the entire space. Photos should also be taken from an angle which allows the applicant to see as much of the room as possible.
The Property Description
Firstly, it’s important to point out that lettings and sales agents are covered by many pieces of legislation which determine the way a property can be described. These include the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) and the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008 (BPRs). Agents must be extra careful about how they advertise properties, making sure their particulars on properties are accurate. Describing properties as ‘stunning’, ‘desirable’ or in a ‘quiet area’ must have evidence to back up the statements. Furthermore, the legislation also ensures that misleading omissions are not made. So, agents have to ask far more questions about a property and do their homework, before putting it on the market!
Here are 2 descriptions for the same property, one is a Maxine Lester description and one is not:
Suffice to say, description B was the Maxine Lester description. This property was marketed for 284 days with another agency, and then was let within 7 days (same price, just new photos and description) by us! However, there is still more to it… We register around 60-80 new applicants a week and make sure that we keep in contact to find out how their home search is going. There is a two-way benefit here for the landlord. The future tenant is being treated with respect and we are providing them with a great service. The landlord is then getting a quick turnaround with minimal void and maximum income.
Thanks to Coronavirus, we began to offer live viewings on our Facebook page. This went so well that we have continued to run these in parallel to standard face-to-face viewings. When scheduling live viewings, we often speak with those interested beforehand to ensure they meet the minimum criteria to rent the property. However, now live viewings have become more popular, we are getting enquires from people just seeing the live pop up on their newsfeed. The best bit is that we can show an unlimited number of people a property on a live viewing, filter through the applicants and then show those that are hoping to proceed around the property in person. Thus, maximising the applicant reach, whilst minimising unsuccessful face-to-face viewings for the team, which transfers to landlords by reducing the potential void periods. Why not take a look at some of our live videos here.
So if you are having difficulty in finding a great tenant have a look to see how your property is being marketed:
- Do the pictures attract you?
- Does the description talk about benefits rather than features?
- Is there a floor plan?
- Does your agent actively look for tenants rather than just wait for the phone to ring? A great test here would be to ring them incognito and give them details which would match with your property to see if an appointment to view is offered.
- What other methods does your agent use to gain tenants?
Need any more help just give us a call on 01480 494939.