This article completes the last in the series of artticles on investing in Turkish property before we compile the Ebook on the topic to send out to all those who have requested it. The last part of the chain for a buy to let investor in Turkish property is to rent the property out successfully and – god willing – for a tidy profit.
But this guide isn’t just for investors renting out your property in Turkey is an excellent way of covering some of its costs, not to mention the benefits of having a property constantly or near-constantly occupied for keeping it aired, maintained and secure. Most people want to rent out their overseas property, and most people have properties that could make great rental properties, but too many people think it is as easy as taking a few pics with a camera phone, sticking it up on the lettings sites and relaxing while the money flows.
While this works for some people, most people come unstuck and end up regretting ever considering buying a fly to let property in Turkey. Running a successful Turkish rental property is hard, but here are some tips you can employ to help make sure you succeed:
Do Your Homework
No doubt some people will be rolling their eyes at this one, but those same people would likely be amazed by the number of people who have bought Turkish property without seeing the area, let alone the property. Thank fully the number has decreased considerably since the credit crunch, but most still don’t do the correct amount of “homework”.
If you plan to rent out your property, it is neccesary that you not only visit the area and the property, but spend some real time in the area before choosing a property, getting a feel for the location and enjoying the same facilities and amenities, such as restaurants, that your guests (god willing) will be enjoying. This will also give you a chance to assess the competition, because you can book it to stay in while you are there – heck you might even pick up some gems of info from the owners, if you enquire casually enough.
While doing your homework you should also be thinking about what type and size of property you plan to buy. Smaller properties usually make the larger yields, but bigger properties are often easier to find tenants for, as families go on holiday more often than single people. You should also look into liabilities insurance so you are safe if your guests should have any accidents.
A Photographer is as a Photographer Does
This is arguably the number one mistake rental property owners make when they are starting out. You can buy a digital 16 megapixel camera in stores for 85 quid and compared to the old wind-ups these make us all look like great photographers. Note the use of “great” not “professional”. A professional photographer is more than just his camera, he has the knowledge of lighting, backdrops and such-like that can really make our property look great.
DIY images can make a property look smaller than it actually is, badly lit when it isn’t or worse, while a professional can possibly make a property look larger, and better lit than it may be, not that we should be looking to deceive anyone, but our images create the first impression of our property and we don’t want to fall at the first hurdle either. At a cost of £100-£300, professional images pay for themselves in 1-2 rentals, and they really portray the property in the right light — in more ways than one. Try for no less than 10 photos, with the best exterior feature of your property as the first or top listing image, followed by wide-angle lens interior shots and a few of the property at night.
Treat it like a Business
Having a rental property in Turkey (like any holiday favourite) is brilliant for you and for your friends and family. But it all too often leads to a dilema when a friend or family member asks to stay in the property during peak times. Many owners don’t stay in their own properties at peak times, because it is when the property earns the most money, but explaining this to family members can sound like you are putting money above them.
However, the peak period is also when a property gains the most repeat business. In order to have a truly successful rental property you really need to fill every peak slot with paying guests. So, if you treat your property like a business from the outset, even if it is a second home, it makes it easier to explain the business reasons for keeping the property for paying guests at peak times, especially if you explain that even you don’t use the peak time. Most friends and family will understand that a business needs looking after to survive and the others will forgive you in time – hopefully.
Just when you thought it was Safe to go Back in the Water
Nowadays we are all on Facebook, and in fact it can be a great tool in marketing a rental property, but it can also be hell in a hand-basket. If your property doesn’t live up to its promo in any way then the guests will almost certainly post online. For minor problems it will probably be comments on your Facebook page, slightly worse and they will post on their own page, worse still with images, and terrible we will probably get a video to back up the complaint – when it goes on Youtube, Twitter, +Google and god knows how many other places our pain is multiplied.
A rental property, and especially a young rental property business thrives off referrals, so such negative press is disastrous not to mention the lost repeat business in the first place. To avoid such problems check out your property before each tenant arrives. If you cannot manage the cleaning and preparing for tenant arrivals hire a lettings manager who can, they can hire the staff and ensure the property is brought back to standard for each tenant’s arrival.
What About if we Have No Guests?
Above we have covered the pitfalls of a business that brings in tenants well, but what if we have done everything above and we still aren’t getting any tenants in?
In this case the first thing to look at is your price. If your property is cheaper or more expensive than others like it in the area, then this will put people off. If not your price, then try to find out what successful landlords in your area are doing and mimic it.
If you’ve managed to get inquires but no one has become a guest, make sure you’re responding to your potential renters in no more than a 24-hour period, and try not to be too aggressive or too quick to close the deal.