Too much competition!

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    Too much competition!

    I've been letting three rooms for over a decade and soon as one lodger leaves one ad in the local rag brings hordes of potential replacements.

    Not so this time. I've been advertising for a month now, and I'm getting really nervous because I'm not getting many calls, and those I get are no good.

    This is very worrying for me as this is my entire income.

    Because the local rag brought nothing, I am advertising on several online accomm agencies and once registered I have contacted every person who is looking for a room in my area, and only one (out of 35) replied, but he turned out to be a timewaster (he wanted an AST tenancy s/c flat!)

    For research I also registered myself as looking for a room and was inundated with dozens of landlords in my town offering me a room.

    My town now has more vacant rooms to let than potential lodgers.

    Am I to assume that the recession has driven people to blow the dust off their spare rooms and take in lodgers? Has anyone else seen evidence of this?

    I've just made a website so that I can give a URL to anyone enquiring and they can instantly see loads of photos and find out every detail about my houseshare.

    I am wondering how else I can "up my game" and give myself an advantage over the others.

    Sussex.

    #2
    Your experience is precisely what I and many others went through a few years ago, during the period Summer 08-Autumn 09, which I regard as the worst time to be renting property in over a generation.

    Not only was there a large number of properties that came onto the market because people couldn't sell their homes, some tenants got wind of this very quickly and started to demand all kinds of things be included as well as them starting to demand luxuries that would rarely be expected to be in a rental home, never mind demanded.

    Other behaviour also affected the market, namely:
    People moved to cheaper areas.
    People shared rooms, floors, etc.
    People went back to their parents.

    It could be that your area has seen a bunch of people moving away or people have got together to lower their costs by sharing accommodation.
    Its difficult to know what's happening without doing lots of real research which few people have the ability to do.

    You do, of course, have to move with the market or suffer the consequences.
    This may mean:

    1. Dropping your rent and dropping it regularly as a lack of demand requires.
    2. List & compare what other landlords are offering.
    3. Does your property and the bedrooms require any sprucing up, redecoration, newer furniture?
    4. If you don't already do this, consider including all energy & water bills in your rent, plus satellite or cable TV & wireless internet.
    5. If you provide house cleaning for the property/rooms, is the cost included in your rent?

    I suffered during the above period along with other landlords and only by standing out was I able to stop the losses.
    Natural selection is a wonderful thing
    You shall know them by their fruit
    Saying "Never say never", says it

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks very much for taking the trouble to reply. I do already offer all those things, and the rooms are beautifully decorated and furnished.

      The problem isn't that people come and don't like the place, it's that people just don't respond to my ads at all. My prices are already among the lowest in any list of local rooms to let.

      I am looking at the competition carefully, and we all appear to be offering the same things as standard (such as wifi, cleaning, all bills included, use of garden, etc).

      I just hope my website give me some advantage. All I need now is someone to show some interest so I can show them the URL.

      Comment


        #4
        I have found spareroom to be about the best for advertising rooms in the UK, so you might like to consider that aswell (you can reference your website in your advert too.)
        Natural selection is a wonderful thing
        You shall know them by their fruit
        Saying "Never say never", says it

        Comment


          #5
          Which town are you resident in?

          Comment


            #6
            Yes I joined that one and messaged all 22 people who said they were looking for a houseshare or room to let in my town. Only one of them replied to me. Nobody has responded to my ad, even though I wrote a long description and added five photos.

            I am in Hastings.

            Comment


              #7
              A good tip for spareroom (and for other advertising I am sure) that I am happy to pass on.
              I found very little success when I made the initial approach to potential tenants.
              People who stick up an ad and want LLs to chase them seem to be very picky/selective & indecisive.
              I also think LLs making the initial approach can be viewed by some people as needy and desperate.

              Don't waste your time. Let the tenants come to you - if they need accommodation, they will make the effort.
              Let them make the short list of places rather than having to "sell" them your place.

              While a loss of money is tough on you, it is considerably tougher when someone doesn't have a home or a home they like, so their need is more serious than yours.

              Stand firm and keep reviewing your rent.
              Natural selection is a wonderful thing
              You shall know them by their fruit
              Saying "Never say never", says it

              Comment


                #8
                I agree with you Scrungy, from my limited experience contacting potential lodgers was a complete waste of time. I just felt that I ought to show willing by being "proactive" for my business, rather than just sticking up an ad and expecting that to be enough.

                But as you say, if people really ARE looking, they will see my ad and respond.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I have found spareroom to be about the best for advertising rooms in the UK, so you might like to consider that aswell (you can reference your website in your advert too.)

                  I just tried to add my URL to spareroom and it refused my ad:

                  "There was an error with your submission. Phone numbers, web addresses and email addresses are not permitted within the body of your advert..."

                  Comment


                    #10
                    My apologies. I must have mistaken them for another site.
                    Natural selection is a wonderful thing
                    You shall know them by their fruit
                    Saying "Never say never", says it

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Sussexlandlady View Post
                      [
                      I just tried to add my URL to spareroom and it refused my ad:

                      "There was an error with your submission. Phone numbers, web addresses and email addresses are not permitted within the body of your advert..."
                      Spare room is a commercial site so they want you to go through them, that's how they make their money.

                      In any case publishing your own URL or email addie is a sure way to draw scammers.
                      I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I am in Hastings too and have had the worst void period in 5 years. One flat was empty for nearly 4 months and I had to reduce rent from £415 to £375 ultimately. This was through 2 agencies plus numerous friday-ad adverts. The rental market is awful here at the moment. Currently got a complete refurb on the market for £375 with no takers after 4 weeks.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hi Parchester -- a bit comforting to know it's not just me :-)

                          So what do you think has happened to all the renters and lodgers, then?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I really don't know, apart from the standard too much supply/not enough demand argument. My current agency (Andrews) tell me they have a lack of quality tenants coming through the doors. This time last year I found tenants for 2 flats before the current ones had moved out so things have definitely changed. Just had one tenant I've had for 3 years give notice, and I'm evicting another for non-payment and getting worried that I'll have another two props empty for some time :-(

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hastings seems to have a disproprtionate amount of bedsits and 1 bed flats.
                              Has the amount of bed sit conversions increased in recent years?
                              What is the demand like for family houses?

                              Comment

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