Every year around this time, it’s always the same in the Eightfold office. The team is preparing for the season to come and making sure everything is prepared and that we are as ready as we need to be to deal with one of the busiest seasons of every year. No, it isn’t Christmas and the festive season that brings some of the busiest periods in most industries, but the looming student season, the busiest part of the residential lettings calendar in Brighton and Hove.
As with the listing of any property, it’s important at this time to ensure that all of our student listings are as they should be; that the properties themselves are viewing ready; that the adverts are correctly priced for the market and the quality of the house; and agreeing on the initial strategies with the landlords.
However, one aspect of this student season is unlike listing other rental properties and that’s the consideration of when to put the portfolio live. There are several considerations behind the perfect time to list, but it’s a crucial angle to take on board, when dealing with such a large number of properties at once, rather than just a single unit.
The two biggest pressures when considering when to list our student portfolio are the time required to ensure they are ready to go, as we all know having the listings right is paramount to performing in the market; and the demand in the market itself. The former is easy to assess, as it is largely the same each year, with the team at the ready to put their time into polishing the adverts and making sure everything is up to scratch. The latter brings with it the risks. List your properties too early and they will sit on the market when no one is looking and drop down the listings on the portals, as more properties come to market; list too late and the swell of demand will be decreasing as your properties go live.
This year brings with it more pressures and questions over the perfect timing, under a similar guise to the pressures felt across the country this year, in the form of COVID restrictions. With this week’s announcement of a loosening of restrictions over Christmas, it is only logical to expect a severe tightening in the new year. Traditionally, January and February are when demand is highest from students looking for their homes for the following academic year. However, if the beginning of 2021 brings with it another round of being shut in, this period may look very different from previous years.
Fortunately for us here at Eightfold, we’ve put a lot of time and effort into our digital offerings, from professional photos to floorplans and even 3D tours of a lot of our properties. This means we’re well placed to continue showing properties in this period, to focus the mind when we are able to attend viewings again.
This time of year is also a time when we work through our new instructions, as landlords looking to move agent with their student house need to get everything moving at this time, to make sure they’re in the full launch when properties go live. We make sure to give new instructions and our existing portfolio the same time and care so that our entire offering looks as good as it can.
What we have seen is that year on year, this perfect moment is moving earlier and earlier in the year, under pressures from the keenest student tenants looking to secure their perfect new home before their classmates (and a little pressure from other agents potentially beating you to the punch). What this has left us with is a full launch coming this year on 1st December 2020, when we will have our full student portfolio live.
We’ve already started taking enquiries and adding prepared students to our mailing list with their requirements, to ensure we can bring suitable properties to them, rather than them having to do the work, so if you’re reading this and you fall into that category, please feel free to add your name to the list!
Our student portfolio can be found on our dedicated student page at https://www.eightfold.agency/students/