To-Let Advertising – Dissing the Opposition!

To-Let Advertising – Dissing the Opposition!

11:09 AM, 7th March 2014, About 8 years ago 26

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Sales and marketing isn’t my thing and I’m wondering how aggressive I should be in my property To-Let advertising.

The two bed apartment that I’m soon to complete on is approx 1,000 square foot in size. The problem is that almost every advertised property claims to be ‘spacious’!

I’m planning on letting at about 10-15% more than the average rent (the apartment also has lots of lovely period features etc). To-Let Advertising - Dissing the Opposition

In my drafted advert I say that it is “genuinely spacious” and I mention the square footage (and all the other good stuff about it…). However, I’m a little bit cheesed off that letting agents are describing 600 sq ft properties as spacious (they don’t mention the floor area, but as there’s a lot of new developments in the area it’s been easy to find out).

I know that prospective tenants will see the size difference for themselves when viewing, but you’ve got to get responses to the advert first.

I’m therefore tempted to be more aggressive in my advertising and make comparison, perhaps saying that “… (this is 50% more than the typical apartment in developments X, Y and Z)”. Or do you think that this would just be negative advertising and isn’t the done thing?

A trivial question I know, but any comments will be welcomed…

Many thanks



Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

15:20 PM, 10th March 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Simon Coppen" at "10/03/2014 - 15:08":

Hi Simon

Adding maintenance doesn't go down well in my experience. However, advertising the parking space does as this makes people with two cars realise there may be a way to rent another space from another landlord.

Also, if you tenant doesn't have a car they get a better deal and you very quickly get to become the best friend of another landlord and his tenant 🙂

Simon Coppen

15:36 PM, 10th March 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "10/03/2014 - 15:20":

Thanks Mark for the warning about adding on a maintenance charge.

Unfortunately it's not allocated parking at the property. I'm sure there's some sort of order, but it's essentially a free for all and there's plenty of space for several cars each! It'd be difficult to justify a charge for parking : (

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

15:45 PM, 10th March 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Simon Coppen" at "10/03/2014 - 15:36":

Hi Simon

That's very unusual these days, make sure it's in your advert. Many modern developments only come with one parking space, if at all.

Eleanor White

16:06 PM, 10th March 2014, About 8 years ago

Hi Simon

In my experience, asking the tenant to pay a contribution towards a service charge is fine as long as you're upfront about it. Often the service charge will include water and sewerage, so effectively the tenant is only paying for the utilities within the charge anyway.

The majority of tenants don't try to negotiate on price (though in London it is more common), so try not to set the price at a point that you will negotiate from. All that will happen is that you don't get the enquiries in the first place. Better to pitch the rent at a price you are happy with and fix it at that.

If a tenant does negotiate, look at their offer on the basis of how quickly they can move and how long they want to stay for (and of course the result of their referencing).

I look at it from a numbers point of view. If I drop the rent on a £1000pcm let by £50 per month, but they can move immediately, it would take 20 months to make up the shortfall of getting full asking price from a tenant who can't move for a month (does that make sense!).

If you go on the market at a high price, after a week ask your agent for their thoughts. They should look at the number of enquiries and the click through rate and be able to advise whether the price is right.

Good luck!


Simon Coppen

17:01 PM, 10th March 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Eleanor White" at "10/03/2014 - 16:06":

I fully understand your numbers thanks Eleanor, nice and clear and very true! You could of course look at things the other way around though - £50 over 12 months is £600 for a 12 month AST, so, as long as your higher price doesn't delay finding tenants by more than 2.5 weeks, you're better off at the higher price (so long as your property is worth it, and tenants don't want to leave sharp at the end of the AST to find somewhere that is better value!).

I thought I read some online LAs claiming to get around 15 enquiries per advert (area and timing dependent of course), so I was thinking that if for a higher end property that number falls to say 5 in the first week, I've only got to get 1 out of 5 prospective tenants to agree that the property is great and well worth the money. I don't think I'm being blinkered about the price, I imagine it's a common mistake for newbie landlords to over-rate their properties.

I will, as you suggest, speak to the online LA about price and maybe they'll be able to advise on demand for higher end places in my area.

Thanks again for your thoughts and advice.

17:14 PM, 10th March 2014, About 8 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Simon Coppen" at "10/03/2014 - 17:01":

Hi Simon

This year we have been letting decent properties within 3 days of the adverts going live. The vast majority of your clicks will come within the first 24 hours of your advert going live in our experience. If your property isn't let within the first week there's something wrong, either the advert or the price. Be prepared to react quickly and to change online agents too if they are not performing. A new listing with a new agent will appeal to a different market, if only because it's a different day. Remember, people subscribe to get notifications from Rightmove and Zoopla as soon as a a new property is advertised. It is these notification emails that catches the early birds.

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