No-one grows up wanting to be a letting agent. On the list of most valued members of society, they’re somewhere below door-to-door insurance salesman, but possibly just ahead of PPI claims telemarketers.
Renters hate them due to the outrageous fees they charge. Landlords dislike them because, honestly, a half trained cat could do a better job of marketing a property.
In days-gone-by, landlords wanting to let a house without involving these superfluous members of society would have to resort to a half inch advert in the local rag. But this is the 21st century, and there are more options available to today’s landlords than ever before.
Right now, there are more than 60,000 properties for rent on the popular free classified adverts site, Gumtree. And a property could be let in less time than it would take to even instruct a traditional agent.
It’s not always straightforward, but if you follow our mini-guide, you’ll have new tenants in no time.
Post high quality pictures
One area where letting agents do have an advantage is with their camera equipment. Special lenses which perfectly catch the light, and make a grimy galley kitchen appear as a hygienic expanse marble. They’ve had decades of practice and they know what sells, whereas you’re using whatever low cost sensor is built into your phone. and are guessing wildly.
Turn on all the lights. Get high angles. Study what the professionals are putting up, and think about how you can get the same shot.
Upsell the amenities
When looking for a new home, people don’t just count how many rooms it has, and inspect the standard of the decor. They want to be able to catch the bus into work. They need to know whether there’s a parking permit scheme or not. It’s essential you make them aware of how many pubs, chippies and takeouts are within staggering distance.
List them. It makes a difference.
If you’re letting a family house, put down which schools are close by. How far it is to the nearest park.
Amenity sells. So make it work for you.
Don’t ever include your contact details in the advert
Finding a contact number on Gumtree can sometimes be difficult, especially for someone new to the platform. And when they do find it, the number is partially obscured, and they have to click on it.
To save potential tenants some time, you may be tempted to put your phone number into the main description.
This is a bad idea.
Gumtree hides your phone number not to prevent your property from being let, but to prevent web scrapers from collecting your number and selling it to third parties.
Do you want six calls every day asking if you’ve made a PPI claim? Or enquiring after your recent accident? Or whether you’ve considered changing your energy provider?
Then make sure you put your number where it’s supposed to go.
Consider paying for extra visibility
Gumtree isn’t like Google. When people are house hunting, they’re willing to go beyond the first page of results. Couples are quite eager to spend hours cuddling on the sofa with a bottle of wine looking at listing after listing after listing. Ind the end it all starts to blur a little.
Yes, people are going to see your advert regardless of how far down the pile it is, but wouldn’t it be better if it was at the top of every page for the area they’re searching?
Yes. It would.
Gumtree offers a couple of packages which increase the visibility of your property for 3, 7, or 14 days, to ensure that it’s at the forefront of viewers minds. And believe it or not, it actually works.