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Advice for buy to let investors in London

Tenant marketing:
 - Rental pricing
 - Photography
 - Advertising placement
 - Viewings
 - Property plans

Advertising placement

There are a wide variety of places locations and mediums to advertise and these may vary according to the location and price of the property to be advertised. It is also the case that the best places to advertise are fast evolving but it is clear that the internet is now the most common base medium. In only the most premium locations would Buy2LetExpert consider other avenues to augment (and certainly not replace) the net advert.

Advertising Medium

For the mass market London business, But2LetExpert utilise both www.gumtree.co.uk and www.rightmove.co.uk . A few years ago www.loot.co.uk were still dominant before gumtree became established. Now, gumtree has become almost too big. Even a premium advert is only rotated at the top of the list. Rightmove will not allow the public to advertise directly but it does seem to be gaining market share and so Buy2LetExpert certainly use it. The use of rightmove is essential when advertising premium London property. Google a postcode and 'property rental' and the rightmove entries tend to spring up. This is important.

The Advert

The photos are by far the most important factor but the wording is important. Short and simple and to the point is best. Pick out the positives such as closeness to tube, beside river, pressured showers and so on. The first sentence and/or header should include the main description. Choose words carefully. Buy2LetExpert might choose:

'3 large bedroom quality apartment close to tube'.

However, a more common alternative might be:

'3 double bedroom refurbished flat close to transport'

Avoid 'double' bedroom unless you want to attract more than 3 occupiers. The word 'apartment' is more international than 'flat' and so broadens interest. There is always transport in London....but not always a tube.

The body of the advert its self should try to convey the key positives of the property. So if it is close to a fashionable market or street, say so. If you have had the property a few years check what is fashionable NOW to a 25 year old not what was the case 5 years ago! Take a look at similar properties advertised in similar areas by others. Pick the best points. It is well worth investing a little time.

Always use good English and check spelling carefully. This is obvious but not always adhered to!

It is worth paying to have advertising placed at the top of search lists. Costs may be as low as £50 for a couple of weeks on top of the £50 or so standard advertising costs. An advertising cost of £100 or so is good value when the property has been properly photographed and the advert worded correctly. It ensures the maximum likelihood of potential quality tenants viewing at the target price.

Advert Rotation

The advertisement will be presented with one main photo appearing on the initial search. We would normally recommend that this be changed after a few days to different photo. This ensures the advert stays fresh. A repeat visitor may be attracted to the alternative photo.


Buy2LetExpert recommend internet advertising to commence about four weeks ahead of expiration of any previous tenancy contract. Referencing requires two weeks and we might expect one to two weeks to conduct viewings and secure a holding deposit.

If the property is prepared properly and the advertising is good, we know that a low level of viewings would likely only be caused by a too greedy rent. This can quickly be changed but should not be necessary if the rent level has been chosen with care. Changing the rent in this manner implies bad planning and research and risks an avoidable void which is certainly contrary to the Buy2LetExpert goal of increasing returns by minimising voids.


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