With everything 2020 has thrown at us all, we weren’t quite sure what to expect from this year's 'student lettings season'.
University life has changed beyond recognition and group house viewings are frowned upon, so it had the potential to be a washout until things are clearer, but we’re delighted to say that we’ve now let more properties and housed more students pre-Christmas than we did in the same period last year!
Over 95% of the lets we’ve agreed have been done solely via professional videos, photos and floorplans, rather than in-person viewings. The videos especially have been worth their weight in gold.
Whilst some students have committed to houses remotely (over the phone, a Zoom meeting or via e-mail), most have been secured following COVID-compliant discussions with groups in our office. Meeting face-to-face has allowed us to find out exactly what our students require in terms of price, location and quality, so that we can recommend the ideal house. Offering deposit-free tenancies has also been significant, even if they are paying extra rent over the summer.
Meet Scott, a professional photographer who we recently recruited to head up our newly-founded Media Team. Under Scott's stewardship, his team have produced the marketing material that has ensured our properties stand out from the crowd. We’ve invested in technology and Scott has trained his team to collect the footage required, which he then edits alongside a graduate videographer.
View all our videos on our YouTube channel. They've gone down a treat with students!
Scott heads up our Media Team
By enlarge, students have all gone home for Christmas now, meaning incoming enquiries have noticeably reduced. We’re expecting a slow trickle of further lets between now and New Year given our ability to do everything remotely, but the next surge in demand will come when students return post-Christmas.
Cardiff University exams start later than normal this year (25th January), with the Spring semester starting on 1st February, so we expect students to return between mid-January and early February.
As with every year, we expect to let more houses after Christmas than before it, so 2021 is looking promising – though that may change if any January/February lockdown measures are introduced that affect students’ need or desire to return to Cardiff.
Landlords often use the Christmas period to nip into their properties and complete required work. If your house hasn't yet let for next year, our advice is to act now and ensure it’s in the best condition possible for videos and photos ahead of February’s uptake. We can’t imagine much will change between now and then in terms of an appetite for physical viewings, so it remains vitally important for your property to look good on screen.
To discuss improvements to your property, please get in touch today. We know the market like the back of our hands and we know what students want, so we’re experts in advising how best to make cost-effective improvements.
P.S. they don't have to be improvements that turn the place upside down or cost an arm and a leg. A little TLC for a relatively small cost can go a long way to improving appeal and securing tenants for years to come.