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The installations: your first business card

You probably wondered already how you can stand out from the competition in the rental market. After all, today, there are more and more offers and people who enter this sector compared to a few years ago.

This mode of operation which is on the rise presents a real windfall if you put all your chances on your side.

We will show you how to go upmarket to be able to rent more expensive. But also, we will study how to ensure that the value perceived by your future tenants is the best to stand out, increase your profitability and avoid rental vacations.

Why it is important to stand out?

The rental industry is a market in which competition is increasingly intense. The more offers, the more options the customer will have to compare before making a decision. It will therefore be necessary to learn to stand out for two main reasons.

The first is to seduce the customer. To do this, differentiate yourself, innovate, go against the grain. The second reason is economic. Indeed, when you are going to offer a property that stands out, you will be able to increase the amount of your rent.

Real estate advertisements

In the digital age where real estate advertising platforms are flourishing, competition has never been so fierce.

Whether you are in large cities, or your property is located in an exceptional environment, what interest if future tenants cannot find it?

Make sure you optimize your marketing material as much as possible (example: Facebook page, website, etc.) by making it as attractive, informative and relevant as possible.

What type of customers is your accommodation intended for? Students, traveling professionals or even families? Thus, the content of the ad is not the same depending on the target audience.

How much information to provide? Too many photos could drown or tire the customer, not enough is risky to make you miss reservations. Choose the right balance to attract your future travelers effectively.

Also, make sure that the information is interesting, the texts pleasant to read, the content honest, clear and relevant which are assets appreciated by future tenants and which will allow you to stand out from the competition.

Finally, keep in mind that some of your competitors have been offering rentals for several years. As a result, those properties that are used to being rented out may have a better position in the search algorithms of booking platforms thanks to good reviews and landlords’ better experience managing listings.

How can you stand out?

Given the multitude of offers, the best experiences of landlords who have been in the rental market for a long time or who have perfect command of the codes, what are the factors that will set them apart from the competition?

  • Upmarket in the services offered to stand out from the competition : note that in furnished rentals, the tenant must be able to arrive with only their personal effects in order to be able to settle there and live there decently.

The law provides for a strict minimum in terms of the equipment you must provide. However, even if the law does not require them, there are certain equipment that have become essential.

For rental to a student or a traveling professional, add for example a coffee machine, a kettle, a toaster or even a TV cabinet and a television.

If you offer your accommodation to a family a dishwasher and a washing machine will be required.

Finally, if you engage in seasonal rental, vacationers will not want to bother with rudimentary furniture and consumables such as household linen (bedding, tea towels and bath towels, etc.), toilet paper, oil… quite painful to transport, especially for short-term rentals.

The winning trio of seasonal rentals : beyond the additional services that make the difference, tenants favor:

  • Comfort : when you list your property on the platforms, keep in mind that tenants are demanding cleanliness. The platforms work with algorithms that take a number of parameters into account to rate you. The more positive reviews your accommodation has, the more it will go up.
  • Brightness: take care of the lighting. As in any interior design, lighting is of great importance. Well thought-out lighting creates a feeling of well-being. Remember to position the switches correctly, place lights for evening reading, bedside lamps on each side of the bed, above the worktop …

  • The amount of equipment: remember that the person settling in should only come with their personal belongings. He needs to put his suitcase down and be able to store his things in it. So think about adding storage space in the bathroom, for example.

Each new piece of equipment you put on will differentiate you. Play on many different boards; every additional element and attention will set you apart from the competition. It’s up to you to find the tone to attract tenants.

Some tips for moving upmarket

  • Furnish with priority the rooms where the most time is spent:  the priority depends on the type of target audience.

If you are renting to students, emphasize the equipment of the room: think of good lighting, a comfortable desk and chair, plenty of storage for books….

If you are renting to a professional on the road, superior bedding and a TV are assets for relaxing after a busy day.

Finally, if you rent on a seasonal basis, equip first and foremost the rooms where your clients spend the most time, such as the dining room and kitchen, rather than the bedroom and the bathroom. You can play on large household appliances such as hi-fi tv equipment, a DVD player, an iPad, iPod docking station or even a games console.

You can also add a travel cot and high chair, so families do not have to bring extra equipment. Believe me, this is a real asset that takes a thorn out of your clients’ feet.

  • Buy as you go: While adding extra equipment can be expensive at first, you can do it gradually.

Start with the equipment that is essential to differentiate yourself and upgrade as you go.

So as soon as you have received your first rents and your first cash flows, you can reinvest in equipment of better standing over the water.

  • If you have not yet bought your home: there are two additional criteria that are not part of the furniture but which will provide you with real added value, which are:

-A private parking space: in an era where parking spaces are scarce and weigh heavily in the customer’s wallet, not to mention the research time that can put your nerves to the test, offering this type of asset is a real added value.

– A small exterior: such as a balcony and a terrace where people can have an aperitif or relax. If you have a little more space you can put on a barbecue or even a plancha.

  • Keep in mind the two customer profiles who perform their research: know that in the real estate industry you are faced with two types of customers:
    • Those who will do a search on a minimum of criteria: you will therefore stand out in the search results. Indeed, who can do the most can do the least. However, you are going to be up against all of your competition.
    • Those who favor multiple criteria: in this case, there will be fewer competitors because the required equipment is more precise and sophisticated.

Tips for successful planning and decoration:

  • High standards of welcome and cleanliness : for a successful and trusting first contact with your future tenants, these criteria are essential.
  • Decoration : a less well placed accommodation can stand out from its competitors by its decoration. Prefer a warm, neutral but trendy decoration.

When it comes to style, there is no real rule, but stick to consistency. It is important to anchor the decor in your area. An interior in the city will not be decorated in the same way as an interior in the country, in the mountains or even at the sea.

  • Create a comfortable atmosphere : your tenants will appreciate being in a welcoming and comfortable space. Do not hesitate to invest in textiles: cushions, rugs, pretty sheet sets, or even mood lamps.
  • Combine design and second-hand goods :  if you are not targeting a high-end clientele, you can find your furniture at affordable prices in large distribution stores. You can stand out without spending too much by mixing design with second-hand furniture.
  • Put some personal items : the goal is to demonstrate your attention by indicating to your customer that he is welcome at your place.

For example, for seasonal rentals, offer a few magazines, books or even documents on the region. You can also add some plants for a warmer atmosphere.

  • Take care of the lighting: well-thought-out lighting creates a feeling of well-being.
  • Think about storage: Remember that tidy items make your tenants feel more spacious and less stuffy.
  • Equip your property functionally
  • Don’t clutter up too much: don’t overload the slot with unnecessary things. The interior should breathe so your tenant can relax.

Finally, in a furnished rental, the equipment is undoubtedly your first business card. From the search on the search engines, to the first visits you will constantly face competition.

Thus, a good visibility, the level of equipment, comfort or even light will therefore be your main assets to stand out and avoid rental vacations.

Finally, keep in mind that in the digital age, it will be necessary to highlight your property via photos with the right angle, light, pleasantly readable texts and honest content.

All these elements should be adapted to the intended clientele who will adapt your proposed services according to their profile.

French Tax Online is a tax consultancy firm specialized in foreigners investing and living in France.

A member of the Budiz Company Group, which is a French chartered accountant registered with the Order of French Chartered Accountants (OEC).

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