At HomeRenter we’ve crafted our Property Listing process not only to dovetail with our partners at RightMove and Zoopla, but also to make it easy to create an annual presence for your property on our community.
As a serial landlord or someone renting out a home for the first time, the single most important thing is to try and put yourselves in the shoes of your likely tenant audience; is your property better suited for young professionals, students or, maybe, a family looking to rent within a school catchment area? Knowing your customer means you can highlight the features and benefits they’ve shortlisted for their search criteria.
A Picture Paints a Thousand Words
From bitter experience (!) we recommend all our landlords to invest in professionally shot photography to showcase your rental properties! Taking the time to create a pristine, well-lit set of photos can dramatically pay off, both in the numbers of clicks your listing will generate online and the volume of tenant applications.
However, it’s well worth working with the photographer to prep and style the property in advance - there’s no point putting your hand in your pocket if either your current tenants haven’t tidied up or have turned your flat into a shrine of chintzy animal ornaments!
Other top tips include: leading on a photo of a room where your target audience can visualise living; ensuring your photos convey a neutral, show-home-style impression on which the tenant can project their own belongings; having sufficient photos to round out the complete picture and not leave a lingering impression that a room’s missing because it lets the side down.
Including a floor plan is also a proven tactic to uplift your tenant enquiries, sometimes as much as 35% on a comparable listing without a plan included.
Unique Title: Your Elevator Pitch
HomeRenter search view displaying titles
On HomeRenter we give you a maximum of 255 characters to pitch your property in this space. It’s this section that pulls through into snippet visible on the ‘list’ view of a property shared on Zoopla, PrimeLocation or Rightmove.
Rightmove list view
Given that tenant searchers will likely have already factored in price and location to their inputs, we’d always recommend majoring on what makes your property truly unique and desirable to its primary target audience.
With this in mind an appealing title for a family rental in West Norwood might read, “Stunning Four Bed Family Home With Three Reception Rooms and Extensive Garden In Upcoming Knight's Hill’; whereas simply writing, ‘Four bed house in West Norwood’, won’t do your property justice or encourage many clicks.
Description - Your Chance to Wax Lyrical
This is the heart of your property listing and you can really go to town on your property’s strengths. In this section therefore we recommend leading on a concise summary of the top two or three benefits of your property. We find it pays to hold in mind the type of tenants you’re after and playback the information most likely to be of relevance; for example, mention proximity of tube links for working professionals; include the catchment areas for schools for families; and the size of bedrooms for flat shares.
Other tried and trusted tips for the Description section include: don’t be shy to highlight that the landlord will handle enquiries as the vast majority of tenants prefer to meet the owner; avoid estate agent cliches such as ‘easily-maintained garden’ (= concrete as far as the eye can see) and “viewing recommended” (= we apologise for state of the exterior); recognise that many searchers will scan descriptions on mobile phones so don’t be afraid of using bullet-points to make clearer; take the opportunity to explicitly exclude here any applications that won’t be considered, for example, renters with pets or smokers; lastly, it’s a universal truth that all UK renters value garden space so always include any outdoor space, even balconies.
Over time we’ll be looking to add new categories like HMOs and spare rooms here but if in doubt for now please just use the ‘Other’ box.
Property Features & Additional Features
In addition to the more obvious features such as Wi-Fi availability, this is a good opportunity to list out additional features such as private parking or transport links.
The Art of the Deal: Pricing
As mentioned above the big portals such as Rightmove and PrimeLocation tend to list properties by price within broader search returns on location and number of bedrooms. As such getting the price right can be critical...
If you’re unsure of how to price the property you can always use our free tool or simply review the portals to check how similar listings are priced and how fast they’ve either let or whether they’ve stuck. What’s more, remember that portal users often filter their searches within price bands. The likes of Rightmove tend to display their results by default with the most expensive at the top - because of this pricing on the band can ensure your listing appears at the top.
The last point to make with pricing is to consider the extent to which you can absorb a rental void. Whilst you might consider your flat to be worth £200 more than the going rate in your postcode - don’t forget to factor in that finding the tenant at the higher price point might entail a bigger gap between tenancies.
Availability & Rental Terms
The availability field really comes into its own on HomeRenter where your property will enjoy an evergreen, year round presence as part of its annual listing. But if that sounds like you’ll be plagued with tenant enquiries for 365 days of the year, don’t panic - we’ll automatically re-surface your property in search one month before the known end of tenancy date. Likewise, we give you the option to promote your property on the portals at a time of your own choosing.
Rental term preference varies by landlord and will automatically pull through to the lease template. If in doubt the vast majority of AST leases begin with a 12 month term.
The HomeRenter team