Why do your own viewings? Four unarguable reasons
Why do your own viewings? Four unarguable reasons why landlords should do it themselves.
We know that the majority of landlords in the UK self-manage their residential lets, but a significant portion of these leave tenant finding in the hands of a letting agent.
We believe the main reason is because access to the major marketing portals like Rightmove and Zoopla is a ‘closed shop’. You have to be an agent to list property on them. In addition, some landlords don’t live near their rental and many more would rather minimise face-to-face contact with tenants, let alone prospective ones.
In some cases, landlords have such a good relationship with their sitting tenants, they have the option of asking them to kindly show prospective tenants around thus saving time.
However, at RentiD we believe that if possible, you should do your own viewings.
Here are our four unarguable reasons why every landlord should do it themselves. Plus our tips on how to reduce the burden of physical property viewings.
One: Save money
In previous posts we’ve discussed the numerous advantages of self-management and the importance of maintaining a good rental yield.
A High Street letting agent will seek to charge you a month’s rent for advertising your property and doing some tenant viewings. That’s an 8.33% chunk out of your annual income right there and it will most likely exclude the costs of referencing and a professionally compiled inventory and check-in too.
And the costs don’t stop there. If the tenant turns out to be a great, long term one, the agent will also ensure you get charged a tenancy renewal fee every year. Especially now it’s illegal for agents to charge these sorts of costs on to tenants.
Two: You are the best person to decide who to let live in your investment
Finding a good tenant is one of the most important tasks a landlord needs to accomplish in order to avoid the time, money, hassle and risk associated with having a ‘bad’ one.
To this end, if you meet a prospective tenant in the flesh, you are able to use that real life impression to inform your gut instincts about whether the prospect is right for your property and for you.
If you are a self-managing landlord, you’re going to have to deal with your tenant over the course of the tenancy so ‘chemistry’ actually becomes an important factor.
A letting agent is hardly likely to care anywhere near as much as you do. They will just want your property let and as long as the prospective tenant passes referencing, most will just want to get the job done and move on to the next.
On that note, if you are doing your own viewings, no one is going to pressurise you into lowering your standards for what you feel is a good tenant.
Three: Start a good relationship with your tenant from the beginning
By self-managing your property, you are cutting out middle-men and the potential negatives of mislaid, delayed and misconstrued communication.
We believe direct relationships are more conducive to stronger, longer term tenancies which are great for improving rental yield and reducing the time, money, hassle and risk attached to being a landlord.
In the same way that you should appreciate tenants who pay their rent on time and look after your property, tenants really do appreciate a good landlord who is fair, responsive to their genuine requests and who allows them to have peaceful enjoyment of their home.
By being the person who conducts the initial viewing you can start the relationship on a firm footing. And you can be clear about what is and isn’t permissible when it comes to living in your property.
Four: It’s all on you anyway
If you are a landlord for long enough, sooner or later you’re probably going to make a mistake. Even though you’ve followed your gut instinct and diligently referenced your tenants, you may still end up with a ‘bad’ tenant.
On the forums we’ve seen some landlords cynically say every tenant is your best friend upon moving in, but over time this changes.
However, whether you use an agent to find your tenants or you find your own, it is you the landlord who ultimately suffers when things go wrong – be that rent arrears, having to deal with anti-social behaviour and fixing-up damage.
No amount of complaining to the agent will change this fact, so the responsibility might as well rest with you.
Because as we’ve explained above, if you conduct your own viewings you can feed your gut instinct to full effect, maintain your standards for your ideal tenant without undue pressure and be clear about your expectations to the prospective tenant from the start.
Okay…I understand that doing my own viewings is a good idea but how can I save time doing them?
We appreciate it takes time to do physical viewings but you can cut down on the number you need to do by weeding out ‘time wasters’ and only agreeing to do physical viewings with screened candidates.
A well assembled listing featuring a thorough description, photos, floorplan and a 3D virtual tour should cut down on unsuitable prospects as searchers all get a stronger impression of your property and whether or not it looks right for them.
Secondly, by using RentiD, we ask ‘screening’ questions for applicants responding to your listing on Rightmove and Zoopla including whether they’ve read our affordability guidance. You can review their answers to the list of questions posed before agreeing to proceed to a video call viewing and/or a physical viewing.
Polite rejections are handled by the system at the touch of a button before you are connected with the prospective tenant to continue the rest of the process.
As we are still living under Coronavirus restrictions, read our guide for how to conduct viewings safely here.
Why do your own viewings? Four unarguable reasons why landlords should do it themselves – In conclusion
Because finding a good tenant is so important, we strongly believe this is a case of ‘if it’s a job worth doing you should do it yourself’.
The advantages of doing your own property viewings with prospective tenants is clear:
- Save money
- You are the best person to decide who to let live in your investment
- Start a good relationship with your tenant from the beginning
- It’s all on you anyway
With RentiD, you can save time on managing your own property viewings but we believe it is time well spent to help you achieve a happy, long term tenancy saving you time, money, hassle and risk.
If you’re a self-managing residential landlord in the UK why not join our Facebook group Self-Managing UK Landlord Support here.