What are the biggest challenges for landlords in 2021?

The past year has prompted many businesses to think about how they work and what could be different moving towards the future. Lockdown and general distancing between people have seen a rethink in the management of assets, especially within the property sector.

It has been a time of reappraisal. Landlords that run businesses from a spreadsheet may well be thinking now is the time to do something different. Technology adoption has accelerated in every sector and property will not and should not be left out.

If you want to grow a portfolio nationally what are the issues?  

There are estate agents that have a branch network but don’t cover the whole of the UK. Some management companies are massive and put the management out to tender or to other branches. A few tech options undertake tenant find or management but not both or were London centric. In addition to solving those specific issues, by using different hubs it often means that working practices differ. Which often leads to a period of adjustment and even confusion.

Tenants’ expectations are higher than ever

If a landlord is developing a nationwide portfolio it can be a challenge to find a nationwide provider that knows the properties and the local area inside out. Tenants are very savvy, and they expect detailed and thoughtful inventories and meter readings alongside information. For example, are appliances integrated? Is their installation recent? Is there a video? Can tenants get a real feel for the property both inside and outside and even local information? All of these attentions to smaller details really offers tenants and landlords the kind of service they expect and deserve. 

Other challenges might also include excellent check in and check out facilities to avoid late fee charges on fuel bills. When things are measured, they are managed and can make a massive difference to all parties involved in a rental.

Landlords are keen to maintain their asset value. 

This can be quite complex but a pertinent consideration especially around the topic of sustainability. In the long term there is a shift towards green finance where low interest rates will be available to energy efficient assets. It’s likely that in future, assets will be less valuable if they do not align to government regulations.

Properties are not inanimate objects but living, breathing assets

Also, one of the best ways to maintain asset value is to consider them as living assets. Your properties should be redesigned and enhanced over time. They are not inanimate objects that do not change. People’s expectations and lifestyle are always shifting, and your property can increase in value when it keeps up with some trends. This is where it is important to use intelligent property and asset management. By thinking carefully about what tenants want then inevitably your property will speak their language and be easier to let and also more marketable.

Consider an individual property’s potential not just the area it sits in

Therefore, we suggest that a landlord should look at the property potential rather than just looking at the value of its location. If a property is attractive people will often forgive other locational factors if this is the property they’ve always wanted. You can add value by knocking living spaces into one or replacing a dated bathroom with a top-quality shower as two examples. It is important to think carefully about the market and about trends and even regulations. If you are on top of your game, then you are rarely in a position when change is forced upon you.

Don’t ignore your properties because things appear to be going well

When a let is going well, and managers are doing an excellent job then the temptation is to stop visiting the property at change of lease because no news is good news. This is probably a mistake. Only you can walk the property and get a feel for the atmosphere, the décor and the current facilities. In addition, it is worth keeping in communication with agents and property managers and the other teams that help manage your properties. When you pick up damage or design issues quickly then they are usually much quicker, cheaper and easier to fix. Think carefully about your relationship with tenants. Some people suggest treating tenants as business partners. If you develop positive relationships with tenants on every level you will probably find the property is looked after more carefully, especially if they know repairs will be attended to quickly and efficiently.

Look for a seamless approach to property management

With technology making life easier for almost everyone Howsy has continued to develop its own software with more exciting innovations to follow Our aim has been to remove unnecessary hassle from the landlord experience. Why have multiple agencies managing properties nationally when you can have one? We pride ourselves on offering a seamless approach which takes away management difficulties.