HMO Top Tips – Getting your property ready to rent with Clare Hedgecox
I think criteria initially when we’re selecting
an HMO is location first and foremost. We know that if we can buy the cheapest house
but in the best location then we can just configure it ourselves internally. We can
go up into the roof; we can go out the back as long as we stick to building regulations
or planning applications. We can configure it inside what we need but what we are trying
to achieve for our housemates is a really wow factor in terms of communal space so we
want to not just rent a room, we are showing them that there are actually going to be renting
this beautiful house. It’s almost selling a lifestyle, aspirational
living you know so we have we create a focal point and then we use what I call five points
of interest so when you walk into a room you will see that point that point that point
and it leads yourself round into the kitchen area. It’s just has a lovely feel a lovely
atmosphere and I think we capture our housemates as soon as they walk into that area before
we’ve even shown the room. I develop a mood board and I’ve got a Pinterest
account and I keep a visual reference of that on my phone so when we are out I can stay
on track. But there’s many ways of finding different looks the scandy is big at the moment.
There is a geometric range and there’s industrial, the whole industrial look so I think if you
pick a theme and which is easy to find. All the major retailers have a look book on their
home pages. They give ideas if you go on IKEA for instance they have room sets and they
show you how to put things together so it’s quite easy to follow one of those schemes.
But if you chose a natural base and then choose an accent colour that will give a pop of colour
so when you take your photographs you’ll get something that will stand out and when out
potential housemates scrolling through on Spareroom our photos really stand out because
we’ve got that pop of colour. We use soft furnishings in all our houses
and we try to pick things that are relevant to our customer so for us we are aiming for
young, sparky graduates. We’ve got lots of European and international luxury brand retailers
in our investment location so we pick things that we think are relevant for them. So yes
we use cushions and throws and things like that but we will put a sports bag with some
trainers or put a nutribullet in the kitchen we will try and pitch it to what we know our
customer to be. That really helps and it creates a lifestyle.
Young professionals are always on their phone, their instagram and snapchat. They live in
a very visual world. So I think if you have a strong marketing campaign you make your
rooms really stand out in terms of focal points and your accent colours and your photography.
Then that certainly decreases voids and we get more people through the door to look at
the rooms so I think it’s a no brainer. This is the way to go.