Several Kenyans are purchasing homes with the purpose of renting them out, as a new way to invest in today’s market.
If handled properly, one is always guaranteed rental income every month. In this digital era, one of the common ways to market your property is through online listings. Take caution, though, because if you do not do it well, you may never get clients to occupy your house, whether for short or long-term stay.
It is advisable to list your property on multiple platforms. This could be through real-estate agencies and companies or through sites such as Airbnb, HomeAway and Craigslist for short-term letting.
“Listing sites continue to be a booming business especially because they offer a wide market range whereby both local and international potential clients are able to see the different homes available in different parts of the country,” states Mr Morjaria, director in charge of real estate at Abacus Properties Limited. He adds that the more places your home is listed, the higher the chances it gets of receiving guests.
One of the common mistakes people make while listing their homes online is uploading photos that do not match the reality of the house alongside their listing.
“Some people tend to download photos from the Internet and use them as their own,” says Mr Morjaria. “This is dangerous because once the guest arrives at the home and realises that they have been misled, they may give the house a negative review which could easily kill any chances of future tenants.”
While some people will choose to put in minimal effort and take basic photos with their phones, getting professional photos may boost the chances of attracting guests to your home or apartment. The photographs should depict the space, its surroundings and its amenities precisely. There are some guests who book a house based solely on the photos they have found online.
While giving a description of the listing, it is important to create a context that will make people want to use your home. “It is possible to undersell property by giving insufficient information about it thus losing clients’ interest,” notes the real estate director. “On the other hand, it is possible to oversell one’s home by exaggerating its details. This may lead to guests being disappointed upon arrival, which in turn could lead to a negative review.” The description of the home should be concise and valid.
When it comes to listing homes and residential spaces online, pricing matters a lot. Reasonable prices increase the chances of getting guests faster. While factors such as location and amenities influence the price of the home, it is advisable to set a fair price.
“The house should be in line with the market range. One can consult a real estate agent to advise on pricing if they are not sure. One can also do a comparison of prices within the neighbourhood to get an idea of a price range to settle on,” advises Mr Morjaria.
Get positive reviews
Anyone listing their homes for rent must realise that reviews are important to staying in the business. “Losing one’s reputation as a landlord or host of a home listed online is very easy. Once a bad review is associated with your home, it becomes very difficult to get clients interested in it. At the same time, having a good review encourages those searching to approach you if in need of a home,” notes Mr Morjaria. Handle clients respectfully and cordially, he adds.
Adhere to any legal requirements
It is one’s responsibility to inquire on any legal processes required of them before listing their homes online. The title deeds of the home should be in order. “The homeowner must ensure that any income that comes from the house is in adherence with the taxing procedures of the Kenya Revenue Authority so that they do not land in trouble over tax fraud,” advises Mr Morjaria.
BY; DAILY NATION