Growing Your Portfolio
A property portfolio can provide you with a good combination of capital growth and regular income. However, no investment is without risk. Property investment could have more potential pitfalls than traditional financial investment. This can be countered by a sensible approach and proper planning.
According to NLA research, three in ten landlords have had a void (a period without a tenant) in the last 12 months and two thirds of them said that it was unexpected. For first time landlords a void can mean that they will have to pay the mortgage on their property from other sources of income which they may need to support themselves and their family. Avoiding voids or keeping them to a minimum is vital to manage your portfolio and growth. So here are a few tips to help:
- Keep your customers happy, so they don’t leave due to unsatisfactory service.
- If a tenancy is to end, manage the tenant’s exit. A few months before the end of the contract, ask them what their plans are.
- If they plan to leave, aim to start advertising the property at least six weeks before they move out. Invest in some good photographs showing the property’s best features.
- If you use an agent, ensure they have a set of keys and the tenant’s contact details to negotiate access and make viewings as amenable as possible.
- If you are not getting enough viewings, be prepared to lower the price or be flexible on whether the property is furnished or unfurnished.
- Carrying out works in between tenancies can prolong voids, so try to do this mid contract if your tenants agree. Offering existing tenants some choices, for example over kitchen worktops or bathroom fittings, may incentivise them to stay for longer.