What should you be including in property listings?

by Gary Whittaker

Before potential tenants have even seen a property, they'll be looking at listings online to find their best options. The information included in the listings can encourage them to arrange a viewing or put them off doing so, which is why letting agents need to ensure they are including as much valid information as possible.

Many listings miss out information or don't provide a fully detailed description of the property and what tenants are accepted. Not only can this put off the tenants you really want, it can mean you end up having to deal with a lot of enquiries that don't go anywhere.

To help avoid tenants who don't fit the landlord's criteria from applying and ensure a property is filled as quickly as possible, there are a few things you should ensure are included in the property listing.

Plenty of photos

Putting up one or two photos isn't enough to tell a prospective tenant whether it is worth their time viewing a property. Images should show the exterior off the property - both front and back if possible - and be taken from a couple of angles in each room. 

This will give a good indication of property size and how the rooms look. These images will allow potential tenants to decide whether they want to view the property and save you having to deal with a lot of enquiries that don't go anywhere.

Property layout

As well as photos, giving an idea of property layout and the size of rooms will help tenants decide if it suits their needs before viewing it. This can be done in written form, but a diagram often works best as it is a more accurate representation of the house. If you do include a diagram, giving a quick written description as well can be beneficial.

What's included

Even if a property is listed as unfurnished, many potential tenants now expect this to include white goods and an oven, which isn't always the case. This is why listing what the property comes with upon moving in can be a good idea so people know exactly what they will need to provide and whether this fits with their budget. 

List whether it comes with items like a fridge, cooker, washing machine and even curtains in order to be as informative as possible. It is also a good idea to tell tenants whether it comes with an active phone line, internet and satellite dish too as these are extras people tend to look for.

Not allowed

Giving information regarding what the landlord is looking for in a tenant is important when it comes to having the right people enquire and cutting down the number of phone calls and emails from unsuitable tenants.

The listing should include whether DSS, students, professional sharers, smokers and pet owners etc are considered or not wanted. Missing even one of these off the list can increase the number of unsuitable enquiries you receive.

Council tax band 

Many people may be incredibly interested in a property but have to pull out last minute due to the costs of council tax. This is why giving information on what band the property is and what the average cost is can help potential tenants tell if it fits within their budget.

Similarly, giving an idea of average running costs will ensure people are sure they can afford it before taking their application any further.

The next steps

As well as your contact information, make sure the listing includes what the next steps to securing a property will be, such as attending a viewing, putting in an application, paying any fees or giving a deposit. 

Many people are unsure about what they need to do to secure a property and letting agents often operate differently. Laying everything out ensures people are clear of the next step and can see how helpful you are, which can only be a good thing when it comes to encouraging them to see and rent a property.

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24-March-17Property Management