The HMO market is buoyant, not over-saturated, and it can survive suspicions from tenants worried about Coronavirus.
That’s the view of Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of property management businesses HMO Heaven and Rent 2 Rent Success.
“In my experience, the people claiming the HMO market is saturated have sub-standard properties in the wrong areas or don’t have any HMOs at all – just unsubstantiated opinion. To me, it is clear that the HMO market is buoyant not saturated” Taylor asserts.
Her comments follow a claim by the Yomdel PropTech firm this week, which says its analysis of the market shows tenants becoming more focused on single or family occupancy and not on shared households.
Taylor says there are four tips for HMO landlords that can make a big difference in marketing and letting their units.
A workable workspace - “Now that people are more likely to be working from home, having a desk, an attractive work area and fast broadband is important. If necessary, add extra lights to ensure the workspace is well lit, and ask an electrician to add a few extra sockets if needed so laptops, phones and other work paraphernalia can be plugged in and kept charged.”
As much kitchen storage as possible - “Ensure there are enough kitchen units to provide suitable storage and include a fridge and freezer. It’s surprising how many landlords don’t supply enough kitchen cupboards. If your kitchen is small, look at clever ways to maximise the storage space – there are loads of ideas from places like IKEA. Thinking about the little things that make life easier can make a huge difference to your tenants.”
Additional wardrobe space - “While you can’t change the size of a house without major works, you can increase the storage and make it feel more spacious. Simple fixes like having two wardrobes, or adding shelving (for example, above doorways can be a great way to add extra storage space) can make a big difference. No one wants all their ‘stuff’ on display, so make it easier to tidy it away.”
First class service - “This is the one that will make your properties stand out. From the first viewing to moving in, be proactive and attentive. Once they have moved in, don’t think that’s your job done! Look after them, make the experience of living in your property one they will remember and cherish. This helps housemates stay longer and also leads to more referrals.”
And Taylor concludes that if you get these four points right, "you’ll have fewer voids, your business will be more profitable, and you’ll have happy group of house-sharers."
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