To the delight of landlords and property managers, England’s lockdown restrictions were eased for the housing market and private rental sector in early May. The industry is slowly opening up again, with property viewings now authorised under social distancing measures.
The lettings sector in particular is set to boom, with thousands of tenants across the country having had to pause their relocation plans as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. For landlords and property managers, this is a crucial opportunity to stimulate interest in their rental properties again and fill empty houses.
Property viewings may have the green light, but it’s still important to take the appropriate precautions to keep yourself and your viewers safe. Below, we share some of the most important factors to consider when preparing for rental property viewings in lockdown.
Update your property listing
Before you start welcoming property viewings, it’s time to update your property listing. The UK has spent the last couple of months inside, with many people working from home, and tenant interests have changed as a result. Major portals such as Rightmove have seen a huge increase in searches for properties with gardens, and we can expect to see more importance placed upon proximity to parks and supermarkets.
Using this information, you might want to update your property listing with an increased emphasis on the property’s most desirable features. For instance, consider including additional photos of the garden or showing how a second bedroom could be used as a home working space.
Thinking about your target audience and how their requirements might have changed is a great way to make your property listing stand out.
Offer tenants a virtual viewing
Property viewings are open again, but this doesn’t mean all interested tenants are going to be comfortable booking one. With this in mind, make sure to offer a virtual viewing as an alternative to face-to-face tours. All interested parties should watch this before deciding whether they need to attend a viewing.
At Bunk, we can help you upload your video viewing to all major portals to increase your chances of finding great tenants. We’ve even written a guide to recording a great virtual tour, which you can find here.
Clean the property thoroughly
To keep potential new tenants safe, make sure you clean the property thoroughly before conducting viewings. This is especially important if tenants have recently moved out.
When cleaning the property, don’t forget to:
- Use brand new cleaning products, including sponges and mops
- Wipe down all surfaces with soap and hot water or disinfectant
- Clean all door and window handles with soap and hot water or disinfectant
- Pay particular attention to the bathroom and toilet area
- Steam clean carpets and soft furnishings.
As an extra precaution, ask viewers not to touch anything – if possible – during the viewing. You should also give viewers the option to wash their hands with soap.
Make sure you’re clear on social distancing rules
The Government has been very clear that property viewings should only go ahead if social distancing rules are adhered to. This means limiting how many people attend the viewing and staying two metres apart wherever possible.
If the rental property is currently occupied, discuss what your current tenants are comfortable with. Ideally, they should be out of the house during the viewing to minimise all physical contact. If this isn’t possible, put a plan in place to ensure everyone can stay two metres apart.
Find great tenants and prepare for property viewings with help from Bunk, the digital lettings platform with a difference. With dedicated account managers, we can also help you stay compliant during this uncertain time. For more information about how we could help you, get in touch with one of our lettings experts today.