So, you’ve invested in a student property but you’renot sure how to get students living in it, right? Maybe you’re a first-timelandlord or maybe this is just your first time dealing with students. Eitherway, I’ve got you covered. I’m going to teach you exactly how to attractstudents to your HMO. So, if you’re after a constant stream of long-termtenants then you’re in the right place.
Snapshot: How to Market Your HMO to Students
- Offer an All-Inclusive Package
- Offer Your Deal at the Right Time
○ The Two Best Times of Year to Advertise to Students
- Focus on Photography
○ 9 Pointers for Taking Property Photos that SellThemselves
- Make Sure You Market Your HMO on the Right Platforms
Offer an All-Inclusive Package
Let’s cut to the chase. Who are the only people thatlove deals more than a mum of eight in Aldi? Students. That’s who. If you offera “bills included package” when you’re marketing your HMO, then you’reguaranteed to find student tenants.
You might be sceptical, especially if you’ve gotmultiple properties to advertise, but offering an all-inclusive deal might havemore benefits than you think. Let’s face it, money is an awkward thing to talkabout. So, if you plan on having several strangers move into your HMO, it’s agood idea to remove the problem entirely.
The last thing you want is for one of your tenants tomove out because “Lisa takes longer showers but doesn’t pay more for water”(trust me, it happens). The majority of students are new to paying bills so theprospect of only having one will get them in the door.
Alternatively, if you’ve got multiple properties (andmanaging your tenants’ bills seems like more hassle than it’s worth), you couldoffer a percentage off the first month.
Offer Your Deal at the Right Time
If you’ve got a great deal, offering it at the righttime could be the difference between 100% occupancy, and empty rooms. As youcan imagine, students tend to look for new properties at certain times of theyear. So, every year, there are two prime times for finding student tenants.
1. Results Day
Results day is another date that’s guaranteed to bringeyes to your property’s advertisement. First-year students tend to apply foruniversity halls rather than private accommodation but there are limited spacesin halls. Those who are waiting for their results before deciding where tostudy might find themselves looking elsewhere; cue their new landlord. Plus,some students wait to see where their friends are going before they make theirdecision so you might even fill your rooms in one go with a group of tenants!
2. Before Students Go Homefor the Christmas Holidays (Nov/Dec/Jan)
There’s a common misconception that students look fornew homes at the start of the university year. However, most students prefer tohave their room secured before they head back home for the Christmas holidays.Offering your deal around this time will get the early birds in the door. Plus,if you offer your deal early, you’re more likely to find good tenants. Let’s behonest, students that plan ahead tend to be more responsible than those wholeave it until the last minute.
Focus on Photography
Advertising your HMO to students has quite a fewpositives: student properties are almost always in high-demand, you don’t haveto spend thousands dressing your property (as long as they’ve got a bed and adesk, students are usually quite happy), and what HMO landlord doesn’t lovecharging rent per room? I mean, the returns are next level.
However, having a student property doesn’t mean you shouldput less effort into your property listing. Student tenants might be easier tofind, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have competition. Photography isincredibly important when it comes to putting your HMO on the market. Puttingin the extra effort will help your rooms stand out and make sure studentschoose to live in your property over someone else’s.
9 Pointers for Taking the Best Property Photographs
1. Photograph your roomsfrom eye-level.
You’d be surprised what using the right angle can dofor your property! Taking your property photos at eye-level allows tenants tosee the rooms as they would if they were walking around the property. It makesit easier for them to imagine living there!
2. Use a tripod.
“Howam I supposed to balance my camera at eye-level AND take good photos?”, I hearyou ask. Well, it’s time to invest in a tripod, my friend. Don’t worry if youdon’t have a camera, you can even get tripods for smartphones these days (wow,what a time to be alive)! Simply set up your tripod at eye-level, then all youhave to do is press the button. Easy, right?
3. Use the corners of theroom to get the best angles.
This tip will transform your property photos! We’ve allseen those dodgy property pictures that look as if they’ve been taken by atoddler, right? Well, that’s exactly what we’re trying to avoid here.
Now that you’ve set your tripod up, use the corners ofthe rooms to guide you as you take your photos. For example, if you’re using asmartphone, select the grid function (you know, that pesky thing that alwayspops up when you least want it).
Once you’ve got the grid, line up each side of yourscreen with a corner. You should be able to see one corner in front of you (theother two should be just off-camera). This will make your rooms look biggerwhile making sure your angles are on point!
4. Take your interiorproperty photos early in the morning.
Taking your photos early in the morning will give youthe best lighting. There’ll be fewer shadows in your photos and your rooms willlook bigger and brighter!
5. Take your exteriorproperty photos at dusk.
Taking your exterior photos at dusk will make yourlisting stand out (and make your property look extra cosy). The majority ofstudent tenants search for new properties on their phones rather than on alaptop. If your listing looks completely different from the others, it willstop their scroll and encourage them to look at your advertisement!
6. Turn ALL of the lightson.
Make your rooms look warmer and more inviting byturning all of the lights on in your property while you’re taking your photos(even if it’s daytime). This is especially important when you’re photographingthe exterior of your HMO. The warm light from inside will contrast with thedark blue of the sky and make your property look fantastic.
7. Dress your rooms.
Dressing your rooms is another way to make yourproperty look homely and inviting. You don’t have to make it look like aboutique hotel, but adding some lamps, a duvet cover and a nice rug will go along way. For more pointers, read our five top tips for dressing your HMO.
8. Make sure all of thedoors are open.
Photographing your rooms with the doors closedinstantly makes your property look smaller. Make the most of your property byopening up every door before you start taking your photos!
9. Edit your photographs.
Give your photographs a little somethin’ somethin’ byediting them before you add them to your listing. Don’t worry, you don’t haveto be a photoshop expert to make your photos look professional. Free apps likeLightroom or AfterLight work perfectly! All you have to do is adjust thelighting and sharpen the details a little then, ta-da! You’ll have gorgeousphotos that will attract student tenants in no time!
Make Sure You Advertise Your HMO on the Right Platforms
Our last tip for finding student tenants is to makesure you advertise your HMO on the right platforms. Students don’t search forproperties in the same ways as young professionals or families. As I mentionedearlier, they’re more likely to search for a new home on their smartphone. So,make sure the platforms you use to advertise your HMO are optimised forsmartphone use as well as desktop. If you’re not sure where to advertise yourstudent property, you can always use affordable HMO marketers. For example, us!We’ve been in this game for a while, so we know exactly where to advertise yourproperty to fill your rooms up as quickly as possible. You can read how itworks here!
Start Finding Student Tenants Today!
Well, I hope that’s cleared a few things up for you!Student properties are fantastic investments as long as you know how to get themost out of them. If you take our tips and tricks on board, you’ll do justthat. There’s no reason why you couldn’t start finding student tenants today!Brainstorm what kind of deal you’d like to offer, take some top-notch picturesand start advertising your HMO. You’ve got this!