In what is currently very much a tenant's market, we're urging our landlords to make first impressions count, starting with what we know in the trade as 'kerb appeal'.
Definition: the attractiveness of a property when viewed from the street.
It's very easy to become pre-occupied by the interior of a property and forget what it looks like from the outside. We're guilty of it just as much as anyone, but when you hear Rightmove say it takes prospective buyers/tenants just 20 seconds to decide if they like a house or not, it's certainly something to bear in mind.
Think about the property you live in. You probably come and go several times a day, but how many times do you stop and consider what's good about its approach and what could be improved? It's natural for it to skip your mind because you're so familiar with it, but to somebody visiting the property for the first time and weighing it up against several others, it can make a lasting impression.
Maximise appeal by giving wooden doors a fresh coat of paint in a classic front door colour such as navy, red or green; giving your frontage an instant facelift. Plastic or composite doors can be cleaned using specialist products to restore whiteness.
Additionally, consider replacing letterboxes, house numbers and door-knockers if they're past their best.
All hedges, planting and lawn areas should be neat and tidy, and you could even consider adding some greenery if you're currently green-less. Placing colourful potted flowers outside the front door or adding a hanging basket are inexpensive but helpful additions – and they can even be artificial if you're worried about the maintenance.
If you haven't noticed it already, the Cardiff lettings market has changed in recent years. For the first time ever, it feels like tenants have a real choice.
More than 6,000 new rooms have been built from the ground up in Cardiff during the last five years. When you consider these numbers are in addition to record levels of owner-occupied properties being bought by buy-to-let investors, it's no surprise the tide has turned in tenants' favour.
Supply has at last overtaken demand, leaving tenants pondering; "Do I choose one of the many centrally-located new-builds with ensuite bathroom and gym... a refurbished house/flat with new, matching furniture... or something else?"
The outcome: Cardiff properties that haven't seen significant improvement in the last five years are suffering from a lack of interest. If they do manage to attract tenants, it's inevitably for a lower rental income than before as landlords are forced into offering cut-price deals in a bid to secure occupants.
The answer: Demand remains strong for medium-to-high-end properties. We're not saying every property needs to be luxurious, but with the amount of choice they have nowadays, prospective tenants want to see that consideration has been given to things like modern, matching furniture and its arrangement with a room, dryers, bike racks/sheds in gardens and wall-mounted TVs that come with the property, among other things.
A lot of landlords have realised they need to move with the times in order to guarantee tenants for years to come. Improving the frontage of your property shouldn't be considered a pointless exercise. Instead, it should be regarded as an investment for the future.
If you'd like to discuss your property with us, please make contact with us today on 02920 668585 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to meet you there and go into greater detail than we're able to over the phone/via e-mail.