Manchester SpareRoom Enquiries – Leads Drying Up?

manchester spareroom

Summer is here! Is the drought of tenant enquiries over? If you’re an HMO landlord in Manchester, you might have noticed a significant drop in enquiries on SpareRoom this year. The rise of purpose-built co-living spaces, such as Union by Vita Group, could be a key factor affecting the traditional house share market. With the opening of Union’s new development in Manchester city centre, offering modern amenities and a vibrant community, traditional HMO landlords might be feeling the pressure.

The Rise of Co-Living in Manchester

Co-living is reshaping the rental landscape in Manchester. Union’s new development, with 870 bedrooms and an additional 806 planned for 2025, epitomises this trend. These high-quality 1-3 bed co-living apartments come equipped with co-working spaces, an on-site gym, and a flatmate matching service, making them highly attractive to young professionals.

The increasing popularity of co-living is driven by the need for flexible and affordable living options, particularly among millennials and young professionals. The ability to rent for as little as one month provides a practical solution for those seeking flexibility and a community-focused lifestyle.

The Impact on Traditional House Shares

With the emergence of purpose-built co-living spaces like Union, traditional HMO landlords are facing new challenges. The modern amenities and community-centric features offered by co-living developments are highly appealing to young professionals looking for a house share in Manchester city centre. The convenience of having everything from fitness facilities to social spaces within the same building adds a significant level of attraction.

This shift in preference is evident in the statistics. Union currently has 101 adverts on Manchester SpareRoom, equating to about 400 rooms, with prices ranging from £945 to £1140. These figures suggest that many potential tenants are opting for the enhanced living experience provided by co-living spaces over traditional house shares.

Should HMO Landlords Be Worried?

The question of whether HMO landlords should be worried about the rise of co-living spaces elicits varied opinions. Here are some perspectives based on recent discussions among landlords and industry professionals:

Different Market Segments

Many argue that co-living spaces like Union cater to a different segment of the market compared to traditional HMOs, particularly those in the suburbs. For example, en suite rooms in Salford typically rent for £650-£750, while Union’s rooms are priced higher at £945-£1140. This price difference suggests that co-living developments target tenants with higher budgets, often those who might currently be renting studio or one-bedroom flats at even higher prices, such as £1,200+.

Location-Specific Demand

The success of co-living spaces may be limited to city centre locations where there is a high population density and ample job opportunities that justify the inclusion of amenities like co-working spaces. Outside of city centres, where Article 4 directions might restrict the proliferation of HMOs anyway, the demand for such high-end co-living spaces might not be as strong.

Competition for Quality Properties

There is consensus that co-living spaces will compete with high-quality HMOs and studio flats in or near the city centre. These properties typically attract young professionals who value convenience and modern amenities, which are precisely what co-living spaces offer. Therefore, landlords with properties in these prime locations might feel the competitive pressure more acutely.

Tenant Overlap

While tenants who rent rooms at £650-£750 might be able to afford the higher prices of co-living spaces, this overlap is likely not significant enough to cause a major shift in the market. However, the presence of co-living spaces does introduce more choice for tenants, which can affect demand dynamics for traditional HMOs.

What HMO Landlords Can Do About Reduced Manchester SpareRoom Enquiries?

If you’re a HMO landlord noticing a drop in SpareRoom enquiries, there are several strategies you can implement to boost your listings’ visibility and appeal, helping you survive the drought and minimise voids.

Create a Waiting List

Establishing a waiting list can help manage tenant interest and ensure you have potential tenants lined up when rooms become available. This proactive approach keeps your properties occupied and reduces vacancy periods.

Conduct a Market Rent Review

Regularly review the market rent by comparing at least 10 similar properties and recent lets. This will help you establish a competitive and attractive rental price for your listings, ensuring you attract more enquiries.

Update Manchester SpareRoom Adverts Daily

Keep your listings fresh by updating them daily. This practice keeps your ads at the top of search results, increasing their visibility and the likelihood of enquiries.

Consider Featured Ads

Investing in featured ads can significantly boost your listings’ exposure. Featured ads appear at the top of search results and attract more views, leading to higher enquiry rates.

Write a Killer Manchester SpareRoom Ad

Crafting a compelling SpareRoom ad is crucial. Highlight the key features of your property, such as location, amenities, and unique selling points. Use high-quality photos and include detailed descriptions to give potential tenants a clear understanding of what to expect. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Headline: Create an attention-grabbing headline that includes essential information like the number of bedrooms and key features.
  • Description: Provide a detailed description of the property, including amenities, location benefits, and any special features.
  • Photos: Use high-quality images that showcase the property’s best aspects. Ensure the rooms are clean and well-lit.
  • Call to Action: Encourage potential tenants to contact you for viewings or more information.

Speed to Lead – Jump on Those Manchester SpareRoom Messages!

In the competitive rental market, responding promptly to enquiries is crucial. Studies have shown that the faster you respond to a potential tenant’s enquiry, the more likely you are to secure a viewing and, ultimately, a tenancy. Here are some tips for improving your speed to lead:

  • Immediate Responses: Aim to respond to enquiries within minutes, if possible. Use automated response tools if you can’t always be available.
  • Flexible Viewing Times: Offer flexible viewing times, including evenings and weekends, to accommodate the schedules of prospective tenants.
  • Follow-Up: If a potential tenant shows interest but doesn’t immediately commit, follow up with them to keep the conversation going and address any concerns they may have.

Or… Work with a Trusted HMO Partner

Managing a successful HMO can be time-consuming and challenging, especially with the increasing competition from purpose-built co-living spaces. At Confidence Property, we specialise in managing house shares and ensuring high occupancy rates. Our proactive approach to HMO Lettings includes implementing strategies to optimise rents and minimise vacancies, ensuring that your investment yields the highest possible return.

By choosing Confidence Property, you can relax with peace of mind knowing that we’re doing the hard work for you. We won’t rest until we’ve found you a great tenant!

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