Market studies from the first quarter of 2017 suggest that rents are still seeing a downward pressure, continuing the trend of sluggish growth from last year. With rents falling in many areas of Dubai and increased supply of residential units being delivered (in the run up to Expo 2020), many landlords are finding ways to up their bargain game in order to keep their units occupied.

If you’re a landlord looking to rent out your vacant space, we round up some tips on how to market your properties to prospective tenants.

Post an appealing ad

Since your ad will be competing with hundreds of others on constantly updated online platforms, the content of your ad can help you stand out. Typically this should include all the information that prospective tenants are seeking as well as additional information that may attract them to your property. A well-written ad with bullet points and high quality images is more eye catching than an ad with low quality images and bulky paragraphs.

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Highlight your property’s USP

While basic specifications such as number of rooms, size of the apartment, amenities, price and payment options are important, what’s worth highlighting is the USP of your property. Since the rents in almost your entire community may fall in the same range, do you have something to offer that others don’t? If there is a bus stop right outside your building, a children’s park just around the corner or if yours is a pet friendly building/neighborhood – these are the kind of things that you should be highlighting the most.

[Related: Would you want to become a landlord in Dubai?]

Offer flexibility & add-ons

What makes a rental property even more attractive is – convenience. The more flexibility you offer in your rental contract, the sooner you will have the contract signed. These may include:

  • Multiple rent cheques: This essentially highlights the ease of payment – the more number of payment installments you offer, the more convenient it may appear to the potential renter. There are less takers for upfront or one cheque contracts unless you offer a significantly lower rent for such payments.
  • One month free rent: The word ‘FREE’ resonates with one and all. Start your contract on an attractive note by offering your potential renter a one month free stay and hence sweeten the deal for them.
  • Utilities included: Many expats, especially those who’re single, working professionals or students with less time on their hands are looking for all -inclusive options – rent plus utilities. If you find yourself in an area which is popular among such groups of people, why not design a package that caters to them?
  • Short term contracts: Many expats who have recently moved to Dubai are interested in shorter term contracts to start with, considering their new jobs and less acquaintance with the city. With the norm being the usual one year contracts, shorter ones such as 3 or 6 month lease agreements would certainly give your rental offering the edge.
  • Contract extensions: Many a times renters may not be up for renewing their contracts for another full year, but if they do seem interested in extending for a couple of more months, why not offer such flexibility? Especially if the supply greatly exceeds the demand in your locality and given the downward pressure on rents this may seem like a good idea.
  • Holiday rentals: With Airbnb making its way into the UAE a couple of years ago, many landlords are also turning their properties into short-stay rental units for tourists, escaping the lower rental yields and longer contracts. With just a few simple procedures and fees, you can register with the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and be able to list your property on Airbnb.

[Related: The (surprisingly affordable) cost of insuring your home!]

Don’t ignore the upkeep

When tenants are viewing a property they are picturing it as their future home. You don’t want the worn off paint and scratched surfaces to remind them of those who lived there before them- a major put off. This is why you shouldn’t take shortcuts when it comes to maintenance, even if it means spending more money. Work on making the first impression an everlasting one.

Choose the right agent

If you’re using an agent to help you find the best deal, make sure to select the right one. Find an agent with a good reputation and customer service skills. Ideally this should be somebody who is an expert in your locality and has a well-rounded experience in the real estate sector. Make sure the agent has a valid RERA number and the real estate company is registered with the Dubai Land Department.