Our lettings manager Orlaith Brogan gives us some advice on what to consider if you are planning on building your property investment portfolio.

Investment in the sector has always been popular but has gained considerable momentum over the past few years. More and more landlords are looking to grow their portfolio and take advantage of the improving market.

There are a number of things to consider when expanding your portfolio to ensure your property investment is a success and you are prepared for the increased responsibility of a growing portfolio.

What you have already learned

Now is a good time to consider what worked with your existing investment, what did not work and what you will do differently this time? What advice did you receive that really helped you and can they assist with this additional investment now.

Financial advice

It is important that your finances are in order and you get the best guidance from a mortgage adviser. From getting the best mortgages to releasing equity, this is key to ensuring expanding your portfolio will be a success.

Perfect location

Where would you like to invest? What is demand like in this area? The location is extremely important and it must appeal to your target market.  Consider local amenities, transport links, parking available. If there is little information available about the area, reconsider investing here.  Will you keep your portfolio in the same location or will you spread your investment over different target markets?

Minimising void periods

As your portfolio expands so will the importance of maximising rents and minimising void periods.  Start with your marketing. Maximum exposure will attract more tenants to view the property; the property should be clean and tidy for viewings so tenants can visualise themselves living there.

You should also move quickly when credit and reference checking your tenants to ensure that they can move in as quickly as possible. You should always adequately reference check your tenants as this is the most effective way to minimise problems with late rental payments at a later date.

Minimising maintenance issues

Happy tenants stay longer and whilst tenants expect maintenance issues, they much prefer a property that is well maintained and in good order. Look at what might break down before the tenants move in and work hard to minimise these issues.

When maintenance issues do occur your tradesmen should be available to attend as quickly as possible. We carry out accompanied move in inspections and show the tenants how to operate the boiler etc and how to effectively report maintenance issues (the more information the better).

Take a uniform approach

You may have 2 or 22 properties and there is a lot to be said for presenting them in a similar manner. Similar paintwork, carpets and fittings means that you can buy in bulk and use excess items (such as paint) in more than one of your properties. There is no strict rule on this but consider what will work best for you.

Consider the ever changing legalities involved in renting

What was once best practice is now becoming law. The government expect you to be up to date on these changes and to act accordingly. If you use an agent, you should ensure they are up to date and if you choose to manage them yourself you should keep updated on the law.  Are you aware of things like the tenant deposit scheme, the requirement for legionella risk assessment tests and the new housing bill?

How will you manage your property portfolio

How you decide to manage your portfolio is very important. Know that there is no right or wrong way to do this, you must choose what works best for you. If you decide to manage the properties yourself you should consider the cost of using an agent and the value they offer versus how much you enjoy managing properties, the rent you are achieving (agents often secure higher rents) and the time you have available to manage the property and deal with the industry changes.

We love to chat

We always love to talk at ESPC Lettings. So if you've got any questions about growing your property portfolio please don't hesitate to get in touch. Call us on 0131 253 2847 or email landlord@espc.com