The property market in Singapore has been on a decline since the implementation of cooling measures in 2013. Those who are looking to sell has been holding out as prices continue to head south. Perhaps a good way to mitigate this is to try to rent out the apartment to earn some rental income instead. Since rental prices for private properties have fallen around 5% year-on-year, landlords may want to have a more realistic expectation when it comes to setting their prices. Despite this, there are some little tricks you can use to increase the probability of renting out your property at a great price. Read on to find out how:

Location

Location is often a huge influencing factor when it comes to property prices. While homes in the central region are often able to maintain their premium due to the location, do not be disheartened if your apartment is not in the prime area. This is because the “ideal’ location is different for everyone.

Take for example, the government initiative to move commercial centres to outskirts of Singapore, such as Changi Business Park and Woodlands. Expats who work in these areas will be looking out for apartments nearby instead of the Central Business District(CBD). Think about how the location of your apartment can appeal to certain demographics. Highlight nearby transportation that can allow your potential tenants travel conveniently to certain areas. If your place is some distance away from the main road or MRT, you can emphasise the peacefulness of the surroundings.

It helps if you know your target tenant so that you can ‘sell’ your apartment better. For example, if you see that the visiting Korean tenant is renting the apartment for his family with a school-going child, highlight some features that could be relevant to his lifestyle. For instance, are there schools nearby? Or perhaps some delicious Korean restaurants and supermarkets in the area? Small things like this can impact the decision to rent; at the end of the day, it’s about bringing out your location’s unique selling point!

Photos can make a difference

When you advertise for your apartment online, the first thing that a potential tenant will see is pictures of your apartment. This is why it is so important to take a good picture. Ensure that the rooms are bright and make an effort to tidy up your place, and spruce it up with decorations to make it look cosy during the photoshoot. Here’s a great site that offers tips on how to take envious photos of your home.

Most tenants would gauge by the picture to decide whether they should even view the apartment so in order to ask for a decent price and have a higher probability of rental, invest some time in staging your apartment.

Provide Basic furnishing

If your target tenants are professionals working in Singapore, you might want to consider providing some basic furnishing instead of showcasing an empty room or apartment. Everyone wants to feel comfortable at home, even if it is a rental place. Take some effort to furnish the rooms so that it makes people feel at home, after all, the property still belongs to you! Keeping the place well-furnished also increases its value. This does not mean spending a 5-figure sum on doing up any complex renovation but simple stuff like giving your place a fresh coat of paint or replacing an old table or chair can do wonders for the home. The furniture will also last a good couple of years, so they are considered your investments for future tenants as well.

Be Flexible In Your Terms & Conditions

In a tenant’s market like the current situation, tenants typically seek a shorter lease in order to take advantage of possible falling rental rates. You may find that most may ask for a 1-year contract instead of the usual 2-year term. While it may be more convenient to take on a longer term contract, remember that if you miss out on this one, you may have to let your apartment vacant till you find someone who fits your terms and conditions, resulting in a loss of rental income. So flexibility is the way to go.

If you are just renting out a room, it is also good to be a little flexible with regards to the use of common spaces like the kitchen. Some landlords here do not like their tenants to use the kitchen as they assume it would be messy in the kitchen. Keep an open mind and remember that everyone likes a pleasant living environment, so the freedom to be able to do what they want within reasonable limits is a sure way to make you look like a better landlord to rent from.

Article written by Lynette Tan
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ValuePenguin is personal finance company based in New York. DJ is responsible for building ValuePenguin’s presence in Asia, from researching personal finance topics in the region to building relationships with financial and media institutions. He previously worked as an investment analyst at leading hedge funds in New York including Cadian Capital and Tiger Asia. His expertise is in the global technology, consumer and financial industries. He graduated from Yale University with a degree in Economics, and speaks Korean, English and Mandarin Chinese.

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