Why do landlords buy furniture packs?

by Mark Alexander

12:09 PM, 26th April 2013
About 6 years ago

Why do landlords buy furniture packs?

Make Text Bigger
Why do landlords buy furniture packs?

Landlords Furniture PacksI’m often asked whether I think it’s a good idea to let properties on a furnished or unfurnished basis. A friend of mine recently said that he was surprised I had not written an article about this and, in particular, about furniture packs.

Unless you buy properties to let as holiday homes, short term lets, student lets or own modern city centre apartments targeting overseas business visitors or short term contractors the thought of letting a property furnished, let alone buying furniture packs, may well be an alien concept to you.

Nevertheless, the sale of furniture packs is a very popular amongst landlords who purchase their buy to let properties with the intention of letting on a furnished basis in order to target a specific tenant group. Of course, they could hire a van, make a few trips to Ikea, spend a couple of days building flat pack furniture etc. and for some that’s fun and considered to be a good use of their time.

Not me though!

I know for a fact that my void periods on some of my Norwich based properties would be much longer if I left them unfurnished. They they are in walking distance of the Aviva Head Office (previously Norwich Union). Many of the people there are from overseas or contractors who work on short term consultancy contracts. My latest tenants in one of these properties are three helicopter pilots who fly people to oil rigs on a contract basis and then return home to Ireland, Denmark and Norway to be with their wives whilst they are not working. They are on 5 year contracts, they have great jobs and are perfect tenants but there’s no way they would have considered my property if it was unfurnished.

The first time I furnished one of my properties I did it the hard way. After doing everything myself, and really not enjoying the experience, I looked into furniture packs. One of my best friends, the one who suggested this article, swears by them for his City Centre apartments. Before you ask, no he’s not in the furniture pack business and never has been.

Furnishing properties on your own can often become a huge waste of time and, in my experience results in exhaustion and a thumping headache. There’s so much to consider. The furniture must be “in tune” with your target audience and rental evaluation, ticking numerous boxes: inoffensive style that’s both fresh and contemporary, as well as practical, durable and cost effective. If you are not a flat pack building expert you can be sure that it will soon fall apart. Let’s not even go into the frustration of having a bit missing!

You also have to ask yourself whether “off the shelf” and flat pack furniture is a good idea anyway. You have to consider quality but when you do, chances are that you will have to wait for each order to be delivered and that’s more time and hassle you probably just don’t need.

Savvy, price aware, time conscious landlords mostly use a specialist furniture package provider. Established, reputable companies can provide an immediate, cost effective, furnishing solution for one or multiple properties. Specialist furniture package companies often offer a specific property management furnishing solution, catering for all budgets and target audiences.

For example, a basic furniture package for a two bed apartment can be purchased, delivered and installed for as little as £1,050 plus VAT. Obviously the price goes up based on luxury and when you start to add things like lighting, kitchen packs, bathroom packs, window dressings etc. the sky is the limit in terms of how much you could spend. To kit out a typical new build two bed apartment it is easily doable to a decent standard though on a budget of less than £2,500.

So when landlords opt for furniture packages, they’re opting to:

Save time:

With the click of a mouse, a fax, or one phone call it is possible to have your property furnished the very next day, to a high standard, with stylish, durable furniture that is specifically designed to quickly entice high calibre tenants.  This immediately reduces the turn-around time of getting a property ready to be marketed for rent and can reduce and often eliminate costly void periods.

Save money:

Furniture package specialists hold large amounts of stock; their clients can take advantage of their buying power, making huge savings in comparison to buying from retail stores.  Not only will a furniture package cost much less than if you were to buy the individual items from retail store, the headache of collection, delivery, assembly and installation all disappear!  A landlords dream!

Be more efficient:

Using a furniture package specialist can help to streamline the process of buying and marketing a property for rent, creating invaluable time to concentrate on finding your next investment.

Why not take a look at some of the furniture packages that myself and my friend recommend?

Simply complete the form below for further details.



Comments

Ian Ringrose

16:40 PM, 26th April 2013
About 6 years ago

=> I know for a fact that my void periods on some of my Norwich based properties would be much longer if I left them unfurnished.

But would the tenants stay longer if they were unfurnished?

Mark Alexander

23:49 PM, 26th April 2013
About 6 years ago

Hi Ian - absolutely not. It's horses for courses. Most of my properties are unfurnished and I prefer it that way when I can get away with it. The point is, some properties MUST be furnished to maximise potential revenue. As an extreme example, can you imagine letting an unfurnished holiday home?

Kevin Thomson

0:52 AM, 27th April 2013
About 6 years ago

I take the hard option here.

A bit of work, but it's good for the soul to get your hands dirty occasionally. I can usually kit out a 5 bedroom student flat to very acceptable standard for c£2,500-£3,000 from Ikea.

Mark Alexander

11:43 AM, 27th April 2013
About 6 years ago

@Kevint - like I said in my article, if you enjoy that sort of thing and you are good at it that's great. I crushed two vertebrae in my back so heavy lifting isn't for me. I've never been good at building flat pack either and I doubt my tenants would be too impressed when their furniture started to fall apart due to by handyman skills, or should I say lack of them LOL

Therefore, as opposed to working hard I work smart, though some say that spending most of my life in front of a computer screen is just bonkers. It's what I enjoy though, we are all different 🙂

Londoner 43

19:45 PM, 27th April 2013
About 6 years ago

When my friend wanted to furnish her brand new BTL apartment in Islington in London four years ago, she first asked me to go with her to look for some furniture and other items for the flat. She was over from New York for just a few days for that purpose. After 2 tiring days, she had not found what she wanted at the price she was prepared to pay. I suggested that we look up some furniture packs from the supplier I had bought some furniture from (although not a pack). As the ready-made packs were not quite to her liking, we phoned the company and they sent their designer the following morning to see the flat and discuss her requirements. The next day everything was delivered, assembled and all the wrapping materials taken away. The delivery men even swept the floor! The entire flat was furnished and equipped for considerably less that it would have cost to purchase the items individually. (IKEA would not have done). When I was looking for new tenants last month, for the first time in 7 years, some viewers actually wanted to rent the flat unfurnished. Too much hassle (and quite expensive in London) to put the contents into storage, so I declined. I would definitely recommend furniture packs, but not the cheapest ones as they can look quite dire. It is always worth asking if the supplier would consider putting together a made-to-measure furniture pack as they did for my friend. I recently went to check the apartment for my friend, as she had a change of tenants, and the furniture still looks fine.

James Leist

12:27 PM, 21st August 2013
About 6 years ago

I have a few properties in the East Midlands, I recently started letting them furnished and it was nice to be able to get some extra income, there are a few websites I found that offered pre made furniture packages, the cheapest I found was yappee.co.uk


Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

What on earth are you waiting for?

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More