Why is my property not letting?

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    Why is my property not letting?

    Hi, I'm not new here but this is my first thread.

    I'm letting a property on behalf of a friend. The advert on zoopla is here:

    http://www.zoopla.co.uk/to-rent/deta...d3760eb09769fd

    It's also on various other websites as well (primelocation, gumtree and so on) and the advertising is being handled by Visum.

    My concern is that I have had one inquiry in over three weeks. (The person viewed it but decided it's not for them.) And that's it. I have tried making inquiries on my own through the website (using my wife's eMail address) and the process works as it should, so there doesn't seem to be a 'technical hitch' anywhere.

    So I turn to the wisdom of LandlordZone. If anyone could have a look at the advert and give me some constructive criticism as to why it isn't appealing to people (or suggest some other reasons why I am not getting inquiries) then I'd be most grateful - thanks. The property is in London, where I thought there were a constant queue of people wanting somewhere to live, and I have let my own flat (just down the road) without any problems at all previously.


    Oli.
    Last edited by zcacogp; 19-02-2013, 13:43 PM. Reason: Adding more detail.

    #2
    Not an expert but I dont see anything wrong with it. So I would guess the price might be an issue (have no idea about prices in the area). Did the person who viewed it offer any feedback?

    To me if nobody expresses an interest to even view it, means that either it looks horrible (doesnt seem to be the case) or is too expensive. just my 2p
    All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by zcacogp View Post
      If anyone could have a look at the advert and give me some constructive criticism as to why it isn't appealing to people (or suggest some other reasons why I am not getting inquiries) then I'd be most grateful
      Looks a pleasant enough property, which to me leaves the obvious possibilities being (a) rent is too high or (b) it's a bad area for some reason; neither of which I can comment on as I'm from oop north.

      Comment


        #4
        MSaxp,

        Thanks. Those are precisely my thoughts. To my eyes, the advert looks OK (certainly no worse than the others for similar flats in the block).

        Price-wise, I think we are about right. It's up at £318 a week, and other two-bedroom ones are between £320 and £340. (I can't tell whether they are directly comparable but the adverts for them suggest that they are.) Also, the flat was let this time last year for £315 a week without a problem (the reason it is up for let again is because the tenant lost his job and had to move out.)

        Thanks all the same. Your comments reassure me that there is nothing glaringly wrong with the advert.


        Oli.

        Comment


          #5
          Yep, looks fine.
          Looks "gated" too ?
          I would live there if as good as photos and area good.

          I of course could not afford it, as at that price I can have two 2 bed
          "Houses" here for that price ,garage and drive way ( 3 / 4 cars ).

          But it IS London.

          Comment


            #6
            I did a search on Zoopla.

            Location E3
            Minimum 2 bed
            Between £1,250 - £1,500 pcm

            You get 130 results. That's a lot of competition

            There's nothing 'wrong' with it, exactly, but your flat doesn't really stand out from the competition in any way.

            It doesn't look 'bright and airy' in the photos. The window in the sitting room is really small, and the curtains are old-fashioned; the table and chairs seem to dominate the room. Is there only one sofa and no armchair? It'd probably look better stripped bare.

            The furnishings scream rental property; they don't say 'home'. If you are going for a contemporary look then it has to be either an aspirational look (and yours isn't - e.g. the bunch of garage flowers and the Argos-style dining suite) or present a blank canvas (and the bright red sofa, the dining suite, and the curtains put paid to that).

            The 'desk' in the bedroom is tiny, and might be better pitched as a dressing table if you put a wall mirror above. And if you are going to 'dress' the beds, you need to do better than a beige sheet.

            The picture through the gates looks bleak.

            Plus points, the bathroom, and the kitchen area.

            This isn't to say that other places on Zoopla are presented any better, but in my experience, the way to trump the competition is to put some effort (and money) into standing out as the best flat at that price. Looking 'okay' isn't enough.

            Comment


              #7
              I'm not sure why it shown as part furnished when it is clearly fully furnished.

              People who are looking for furnished might not find it and those looking for unfurnished (who may select part furnished just in case) will immediately see too much LL furniture and pass onto the next.

              tim

              Comment


                #8
                I know it's in London, but for that kind of rent I would expect higher quality looking furnishings.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by tim123456789 View Post
                  I'm not sure why it shown as part furnished when it is clearly fully furnished.

                  People who are looking for furnished might not find it and those looking for unfurnished (who may select part furnished just in case) will immediately see too much LL furniture and pass onto the next.

                  tim
                  Very good point.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Flat looks fine although there may be a lot of competition. Can't comment on price, without a jaw drop. I'm fortunate enough to be a long way from London and round here you can easily get a three bedroom semi for less than half the price.
                    I may be a housing professional but my views, thoughts, opinions, advice, criticisms or otherwise on this board are mine and are not representative of my company, colleagues, managers. I am here as an independent human being who simply wants to learn new stuff, share ideas and interact with like minded people.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Chaps,

                      This is excellent feedback - very many thanks for all of it.

                      I'll make some changes to the advert over the coming couple of days - mainly around the photos, by the sounds of it. The points about the furniture are all well made, but I suspect the sofas and table and chairs are going to have to stay. (I'd add that I think the furniture is probably about of a level with the positioning of the property in the market, but I understand that I'm here to get advice and really appreciate the comment.)

                      Does the write-up look OK? What could be done to improve that aspect of the ad?


                      Oli.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I've looked at the add and it seems ok, but I can't really get a feel for size of the bedrooms maybe a floor plan would help.

                        From the zoopla advert you've only had 108 views so far and from that a conversion to one viewing which failed. Like westminster said you have too much competition. Just for reference I've had a property on the market for roughly the same amount of time and it's had 777 site views and about 10 viewings and I was getting worried.

                        I would say your probably a bit expensive, you want to be coming up on the first page of a search and if not you need to be standing out from the crowd.

                        Doing a quick search on 2 bed flats in E3 you would need to be around 1250 to be on the first page when ordered by lowest first.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Does the write-up look OK? What could be done to improve that aspect of the ad?
                          The information is totally jumbled up. In the third para down from 'Property Description', you go from storage room to the fact that bedrooms are carpeted and then the lovely views in the one paragraph. Then you randomly stick in wheelchair access, before going onto bedroom furnishing in the next! I suspect people may stop reading after the third or fourth para.

                          I think headers would really help, ideally in bold, but if not, caps. Also room sizes, brands, details: e.g. BEDROOM 1: 12' x 10'; King size bed with orthopaedic mattress, fitted wardrobe, fitted 100% wool carpet, etc; BATHROOM: thermostatic shower, etc; UTILITY/STORAGE ROOM: Bosch washer/dryer, blah blah; EXTERIOR BIKE STORE: blah blah; COMMUNAL AREAS: on-site caretaker, lift; WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: step-free access from street level etc; LOCATION: easy access to the City etc (and say which tube stations are near); LOCAL AMENITIES: Waitrose 10 minutes walk, etc etc.

                          Highlight the 'storage room' and bike shed (or whatever it is). These are features you don't find in every flat. If the bike storage is actually a shed and could be used for other non-bike storage, (e.g. empty suitcases or whatever) say so, as storage is invariably lacking in London flats. Big up the 'storage room' into a utility/storage room. Ditto, call the so-called 'kitchen-diner' what it is, an open-plan living room/kitchen. It's not just a kitchen with a 'sitting area' (and you can't tell from the photos).

                          I would also give the total floor area, e.g. 800 sq ft or whatever, in the opening/general info paragraph and highlight the on-site caretaker as a caretaker is also a plus feature alongside it being a gated development (the two together imply good security). Every flat has a bathroom, so this isn't something to highlight in the opening para. This is the para where you mention the views, and the size and quietness, the ample storage, the easy access to the City (later detailed in the 'LOCATION' para, specifying tube stations).

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Westminster,

                            Thank you - again.


                            Oli.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by zcacogp View Post
                              I suspect the sofas and table and chairs are going to have to stay. (I'd add that I think the furniture is probably about of a level with the positioning of the property in the market...
                              Which is rather missing my point about being the best property at that rental level. It's actually pretty easy as most of the competition has similarly 'average' furnishings and decor. You need to stand out. Not be the same as everyone else.

                              Right now the void is costing you £318 a week for no benefit whatsoever. If it's empty for another three weeks you'll have 'spent' nearly £2,000 in lost rent. If you'd invested that £2K at the start, the property would probably be let by now and you'd have the furnishings in place for the next tenancy.

                              I have a rental flat in WC2 and at the beginning (2001) it looked similar to your flat. Cheap-as-possible furnishings which looked tired really quickly, and bog standard 'pine' laminate. (As Anne Maurice, the 'House Doctor' says: buy cheap and you buy twice).

                              I eventually figured out that it was worth investing more in better quality furnishings, fixtures and decor. The flat has since rarely been empty for more than a week. And you get a better quality of tenant, i.e. more reliable and/or longer term. This business model will not, of course, be applicable to all areas of the UK market, but in central London, with a lot of competition, I've found it works for me.

                              Below is a thumbnail link to a couple of photos of it. They are just ones I took to record the condition, not for advertising purposes. But I think you'll be able to see that it looks considerably more appealing than your flat does, (even without a beige sheet covering the mattress...)

                              I also bought a Smeg 'retro' style fridge second hand (still going strong after 7 years so the investment is minimal over that period). I'm fairly convinced that this fridge is partly why the flat lets so quickly. The fridge has character; it's memorable and it's 'aspirational'. It's a stand-out feature compared to the competition at this particular level of rent. The most recent T mentioned it at move in, how glad they were that the flat had a decent fridge compared to other 1-bed flats.

                              Comment

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