The world is in the middle of the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic that has infected more than 61 million people, and taken the lives of over 1.4 million. Unemployment is on the rise, as people are forced out of jobs, either due to businesses being unable to sustain the number of workers or simply closing down.
At the same time, many people are working from home, cooking at home, shopping for items online, and generally opting to stay indoors as much as possible. This means accommodation is vital for everyone. So how do you rent out your property fast during a pandemic, especially when there is plenty of competition in the rental market? We asked Jimmy*, a landlord with several rental properties, about how he is facing this challenging situation, and these are his tried-and-tested tips:
The saying goes, ‘never judge a book by its cover’, but when it comes to renting out your property though, that first impression could make or break a potential tenant’s decision to rent your unit. “New wallpaper will not only make your unit look like new, it it also a unique selling point that will attract tenants,” says Jimmy. Besides that, wallpaper helps cover up minor imperfections on walls, as well as provide a ‘safety barrier’ against stains or other small damages, making it an affordable and ideal investment for landlords. If you are wary of using wallpaper, a fresh coat of paint on the walls will also do the trick.
Ambiance and aesthetic within a house or room can be made or broken by the correct use of lighting. General lighting is important to a home because it improves the mood, creating a warm and bright ambiance as opposed to gloomy and unattractive spaces. Living rooms often serve many purposes, so you’ll want lighting that can easily adapt for casual entertaining, cozy movie nights, and other activities. Jimmy suggests using soft white bulbs for the living room and bedroom, cool white bulbs for kitchens and bathrooms, and daylight bulbs for study/work areas where maximum focus and clarity are required. Updating dim old bulbs to bright, energy-saving LED bulbs will also greatly improve your chances of renting out your unit quickly.
In the US and many other countries, house prices are not getting lower. This means that it could push more people into the rental market, especially as rents lag housing prices. However, in a market where supply of rental properties is higher than the demand, renters are spoiled for choice when it comes to picking a place to rent. Although location and condition of the property are important factors, most people will consider the cost of rental as the deciding factor. It is important to know the current rental price of other similar units in the surrounding area, says Jimmy. That way, you can lower your rental 10% below market price, and potential tenants who are already looking to rent in the area will be more convinced to take up your offer. “After all, it’s better to have a paying tenant below market rate during this difficult time, than leaving a unit vacant with no cash flow at all,” he says.
Can’t argue with that.
*Name changed for privacy.