The combination of declining property affordability for first-home buyers, increasing population density in cities and the trend towards living alone means more and more Australians are living in one-bedroom flats and studios.
We’ve compiled some tips to help agents improve their listings for small apartments to make the process more efficient for both agents and home hunters.
There really is no excuse for simply posting an exterior shot of the apartment block, or no photos at all. Even if the interior is not appealing, it is inconsiderate to expect potential tenants to attend viewings with no idea of what the interior looks like.
Avoid blurry shots, make sure the home is tidy, and ensure the photos are orientated correctly. It looks very unprofessional when a photo is uploaded onto the listing at the wrong angle (this happens more often than you might think).
2. Kitchen (or lack thereof)
Prospective renters need to know if there is a kitchen or kitchenette, and which appliances are included. State whether there is a full-size oven and stove, benchtop oven, microwave and sink.
Also include whether a full-size fridge/freezer can be accommodated, or if only a mini fridge will fit. If a fridge/freezer or mini fridge is included, put that in the listing too.
People who are looking for these types of homes may be on a tight budget and will need facilities to cook food at home.
Including all this information is especially important if photos of the apartment are poor quality or not available.
Does the property have a private bathroom or is it a shared bathroom? Some listings nowadays try to avoid revealing that the ‘apartment’ is actually a room in what is, technically-speaking, a boarding house.
The prospective tenant needs to know whether the bathroom, kitchen, dining area and laundry are private or shared because they might be very uncomfortable with shared facilities, particularly the bathroom.
And don’t forget to list whether the bathroom has a bathtub, as this is something a renter might specifically be interested in.
4. Bed size
If the unit does have a separate bedroom – what size bed will it fit?
If it’s a studio that is very small or if there is a nook available for the bed, let people know what size bed will comfortably fit.
If the apartment has a wall bed, mezzanine bed, or loft, make sure to include clear photos showing the bed area.
Storage is a big issue for renters. Many older flats don’t have built-ins, and for the renter to have to purchase storage can be pricey and inconvenient.
Let prospective tenants know if there is built-in storage and where in the apartment it is located. If standalone storage is supplied, include this in the description.
Including all the security features of a building is essential. Is the apartment in a secure building? Does the front door to the unit have a deadlock?
It also helps to include information about the location of the apartment. This could be whether it is on the ground floor, if it faces the street, if there is a lift, and whether the street out the front of the building is well-lit at night.
Including this information might seem over-the-top, but it is especially important information for those living alone and female home seekers.
7. Parking and public transport
Stating whether an off-street parking space is included is mandatory for online listings, but if there is no off-street parking it helps to say if there is on-street parking and whether the road has meters or clearways.
Including information about the walking distance to all public transport options is essential, particularly for low-price flats and inner-city locations where the renters are less likely to own a car.
Many of these tips may seem obvious, but there are so many listings that omit these essential details.
Showing courtesy to your potential tenants by giving them all the details they need to make an informed decision will save you time in the long run because it will reduce phone and email enquiries asking about the features of the unit.
Further, you will waste less time doing inspections with prospective renters who don’t have a clear understanding of what the flat does (or doesn’t) have to offer.
Improving the quality of your listings will also strengthen your personal brand as an agent and increase trust in home seekers during their home hunting journey.