Do you ever feel that no matter how many hours you work, no matter how much thankless overtime you put in or how many extra assignments you helpfully offer to take, all that you get in return are a few crumbs from the corporate table? You’re not alone. Even the hardest working among us struggle to get by. Sure, you could make a little money on the side with a side hustle, monetising your blog or selling your artwork on Etsy, but let’s be real here. How long would it take for a side hustle to become a viable form of income? How realistic is it to expect your monetised hobby to be a lucrative revenue stream that will grow your wealth so that you can afford the gorgeous things in life?  

The age old adage that it takes money to make money may not be 100% accurate but there’s certainly a modicum of truth to it. Sure, there a number of ways in which you can make money with little or no upfront investment. Just look at all those money making apps out there. But while these may be great for saving a little small change week on week to save up for a nice meal or mini break towards the end of the year, if you want to make a meaningful amount of money, investment is definitely the way to go. But the stock market is an unfathomable mystery to many and we all know that cryptocurrency is inherently risky business. Property, however, has potential. Even though the property market has undergone some fluctuation in the last decade or so, it’s still widely regarded to be the safest place to put your money.

But don’t you have to be a millionaire to become a property investor?

The stereotype of the millionaire land baron living it large at the expense of tenants who are paying through the nose for over priced city center apartments is an unfortunately pervasive stereotype. The reality, however, is that most investor landlords are normal people just like you. Sure there are lots of wealthy investors out there with multi million pound portfolios but many of these people started out at the bottom just like you with one or two properties. Don’t have the money to invest in a property at home? Overseas properties also have enormous rental demand and can be purchased for a fraction of what you can expect to pay domestically. Just check out this buying property in Malaysia guide. Asia has a number of developing markets that show consistent economic growth while still having affordable properties. Getting in on the ground floor now could be a real money spinner in just a couple of years. There are a range of luxury condos in Malaysia that can be purchased for less than £75,000. You’d be hard pressed to find a property at home for that little.

So, now I have a property, how do I make it irresistible to tenants?

Just because you’re buying property in an area that’s desirable to tenants with a high potential yield, doesn’t guarantee that your property will become occupied quickly and stay occupied, guaranteeing you a steady stream of income. It still behoves you to make sure that the property is desirable to prospective tenants. Interior decor is such a huge part of what gives a home character and it’s a discipline you’ll need to master to ensure that your portfolio property keeps making you money. Even beautiful properties can be marred by ugly decor. But decorating a portfolio property is a very different animal to decorating your own home. In order to make sure you’re doing it right, you’ll have to ask yourself the following questions…

What sort of people do I want to live here?

Knowing your target market is a fundamental part of any business. And if you’re making money out of a property, that property is your business. What sort of people do you want to live in the property? Single young professionals? Working couples? Responsible families? All of these will have subtly different tastes and preferences to which you’ll need to cater. Young professionals will likely be prepared to sacrifice space for spec. All they’ll need is a bed, a desk and a sofa and they’ll likely be happy. Families, on the other hand will likely want enough room to give their kids room to grow. Older markets will likely have their own possessions that they may want to bring so it’s important not to have so much furniture as to be intrusive.

Is it what’s right for the property or what’s right for you?

Even though you own the property, it’s essential not to think of it as yours. It’s extremely tempting to make decorative decisions with your heart rather than your head. By all means add a few creative flourishes if you feel so inclined but be wary of imposing too much of your personal style into proceedings. Even a little thing like the colour of the carpets could put prospective tenants off. Remember that this is a tenant’s market and with so many rental properties out there, tenants can afford to be choosy, even in desirable areas.

Keep it neutral

When decorating the property, it’s important to keep things neutral… But tasteful. Err on the side of clean lines and neutral colours like whites, linens, beiges, greys and creams. Even if you love bold colours like red, bear in mind that they can be divisive and some people won’t even entertain the notion of living in a property with bright red kitchen cabinets even if the property is otherwise perfect for them. Keep the furniture functional and tasteful but avoid anything too lavish or opulent. For starters it may alienate tenants and for another thing they are easily worn and damaged.

But... don’t go too far!

Finally, in your zeal to create a space that is tastefully decorated yet has mass appeal in mind, remember that nobody wants to rent an anonymous slab. The finest line you’ll walk is giving the space a sense of life and personality while allowing them to project their own tastes onto it.

*collaborative post 

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