Hard-to-let properties arise for many different reasons. Properties can become hard-to-let because people’s aspirations or lifestyles change over time, so that previously popular homes become outdated and unwanted.
There can be a change in demand that is driven by legislation, such as the ‘bedroom tax’ making larger properties less desirable, or new competition meaning there’s less demand for older, existing housing stock. Sometimes It can simply come down to the marketing of properties not being quite right.
Whatever the reason, there’s always a solution
arc4’s approach to solving the hard-to-let conundrum is to assess the current situation, understand why demand isn’t there for your properties and propose workable solutions to get things moving again.
Hard-edge data analysis enables us to clearly understand the current housing market in a specific area, and establish the local demographics and population profiles.
Alongside this we source market feedback from local letting agents to assess how the rental market has changed over time and determine the expected demand for the type of properties in question. We will often conduct site tours with local agents to get heir independent, unbiased views on particular properties, how they are presented and the desirability of their architecture and internal features/layout.
This local intelligence is supplemented by targeted market research in the local community, enabling us to capture and analyse real world opinions and preferences that impact on people’s rental decisions.
We will also present case study examples of similar challenges faced by other companies and organisations, the solutions they put in place and recommendations that they are happy to share.
A review of how your properties are presented and marketed, how the ‘sales’ process works and how this compares with your peers and local competition will be undertaken and recommendations offered to improve the process.
Once a thorough assessment of your properties and the current/expected market demand has been completed, we will provide you with the most viable options for your hard-to-let stock.
This may be as simple as a low cost makeover or more effective advertising and promotion. Alternatively it may involve repurposing, remodelling or changing the tenure of your homes. In certain cases a completely new start is required.
In each case, a ‘capital cost to rent/sales return’ analysis will underline the relative viability of a particular scheme.
Hard-To-Let Properties Case Studies
Knowsley Housing Trust comissioned arc4 to undertake a local housing market assessment to inform an options appraisal that was being carried out into four tower blocks belonging to the trust, presenting a number of management problems.
Following the introduction of the ‘bedroom tax’, One Vision were faced with increases in arrears due to customers not able to make up the shortfall in housing benefit allowance, and a drop in demand for larger properties. arc4 was appointed to advise on strategies for responding to this change.