12:09 PM, 26th April 2013, About 11 years ago 6
I’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:
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.
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?
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