Various studies have shown that over 95% of property searches now start online. As a landlord it is crucial for you to understand where and how tenants search for their next home.
Every high street letting agents now rely mostly on property portals like Zoopla or Rightmove to generate enquiries. This is also a fantastic opportunity for you to reduce the cost of finding tenants by listing yourself directly online.
OpenRent is the NLA's new preferred tenant find service supplier and they've let 100,000 properties online last year. We strongly recommend using them to find you next tenants. They've shared a few tips and an exclusive discount (available at the bottom of this article) to help NLA members make the most of their tenant find service.
1. Your property should be advertised on both Rightmove and Zoopla
We're pretty sure you already know the UK's two biggest portals. They get visited each day by at least 2.6m people. What you might not know though is that if you don't advertise on both you might be missing out on a lot of tenant searches.
A Nielsen data study indicated in 2015 that only 1 in 5 house hunters used both websites during their searches. You should always check that any agent you instruct to find your new tenants uses both websites.
2. You should take extra care when picking you lead picture
Most visits to property portals are made on a mobile device. Actually, even most enquiries are made on mobile devices.
Because phone screens are very small and prompt users to scroll a lot, it is crucial to optimise your lead picture. It will be what tenants will judge your property on within milliseconds while flicking through lists of properties.
3. Be ready to deal with a lot of enquiries in the first 48 hours
Because most tenants create alerts and the portals list the newest properties first at the top of their property search pages, the first 48 hours tend to be the busiest in terms of enquiries. It's very important for you to prepare and be ready for this first surge of enquiries if you don't want to miss out on these very eager tenants tat might be ready to move in your property the fastest.