How You Can Take Advantage Of The 12 Month Stamp As An Owner
Who would have thought that after we were under lockdown conditions during COVID and the world was at a standstill that the Barbadian residential rental market would not only pick back up but propel itself past anyone’s expectations? I think most of us would share a mutual agreement that the 12 Month Welcome Stamp initiative was nothing short of brilliance and not surprising that the Honorable Prime Minister launched this at the most opportunistic time.
Ask any real estate agent over the last month how exciting this time has been! I can personally say that I haven’t seen activity like this since Ross Medical School migrated to Barbados in January 2019. Needless to say, to everyone in the real estate realm (unless your property has already been rented) you’re probably wondering what you can do to achieve a rental STAT.
So, without further ado, here are 5 tips I’d like to share that can help you optimize your ability to get a rental soonest!
- List your property with a reputable real estate agency. These agencies are experiencing increased exposure at present as everyone searching for accommodation is online. More importantly, ensure your description of your property is SEO ranked (want to know more about this? Let’s chat!)
- Have a look at Airbnb/VRBO listings to see how the spaces are decluttered and neat. The less personalized it is, (family photos on walls/ trophies on shelves, etc.) potential tenants can’t envision themselves living in that space. Think about it this way. An artist wouldn’t paint on a completed painting, they would want a blank canvas to make this painting their own. It’s the same with tenants, they want a space they can call their own but subconsciously when they see personal items in photos/videos, they aren’t as inclined to sign on.
- Your pictures tell a tale but a high-quality video walkthrough tells the full story. Potential tenants want video walkthroughs and live video tours. These pre-recorded videos and live tours give them the comfort and guidance they need to make an informed decision when making an offer.
- Include garden and if applicable, pool maintenance in the rental rate. As a landlord, you can never be quite sure how your tenants will maintain your beloved garden and pool. By including it in the rate, it gives you comfort in knowing it’s being taken care of to your standard.
- If your rate doesn’t include utilities, we suggest discussing a rate inclusive of utilities with your agent. This inclusion will have caps on the utilities and any expense over the caps will be for the tenant to pay. We have found that a rate inclusive of everything is hassle-free for tenants and you as the landlord are ensured that all utilities are paid for.
Whenever you get an offer, request a tenant information form and do your due diligence. In Barbados, landlords aren’t able to do credit checks but are able to call references to make sure it all adds up.
Before I wrap up, one thing I’d like to mention; whilst the 12 Month Welcome Stamp has increased the volume of rentals, COVID also created additional opportunities for landlords.
During the lockdown, tenants realized 1 of 2 things (potentially more but that’s for a later date):
- Their current space was too small for them and they want to expand so they can encompass a home office to have a dedicated space to efficiently work from home.
- With reduced salaries, uncertainty for job security, and fear of the unknown, tenants have looked at downsizing.
Both of these realizations also create opportunities for landlords.
With the influx of ex-pats and the local market still actively seeking the home that is just right for them, the residential rental market is ready to accommodate all!