Back in 2001, Foxtons unveiled our Corporate Services department, which connects landlords with businesses who are looking to relocate employees. Through the years, we have amassed a large network of strong corporate connections. For instance, our top searches by volume this year (July 2021 to July 2022) have been from META (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), Google, Apple, Deloitte and PWC. During this past year, we’ve conducted 4,433 corporate searches.
Through our experience, we've spotted some trends that landlords can use to attract corporate clients.
Why let to businesses?
London landlords, especially landlords who have property portfolios, show great interest in corporate lets. Corporate clients often provide high-calibre tenants, and businesses have a good budget for rental properties, so you can expect a strong return on investment. Landlords might find peace of mind in a reliable rental income with corporate tenants.
Can you let to businesses?
There’s a misconception here, that corporate clients are only looking for premium properties in prime central London locations. We actually receive searches for properties from £1,100pcm to £40,000pcm – so there’s quite a range. In addition, our top office for corporate deals is in Wimbledon, out in zone 3.
Make your property stand out in corporate searches
Here are five trends that we see corporate clients looking for:
1. Pet-friendly properties
Since Covid, we have noticed that the interest in pet-friendly lets for corporate clients has increased significantly. Our Premier Clients team are helping more and more landlords set up their properties to be pet friendly. They are often asked to help add appropriate pet clauses to lettings contracts and to request pet references from previous landlords.
Further reading: "Pet-friendly properties are in demand"
2. Picture perfect
It is important to have recent pictures taken by professional property photographers. We often work with relocation agents, who organise their searches by the imagery we send them. If the photography isn’t good enough, your property will not stand out or make an impression. Your key shots, the ones that go first, need to highlight the main selling points of your property – the spacious kitchen or view from the balcony. Be sure you have a good shot of the: kitchen, living room, main bedroom, main bathroom and an external shot. If your property has outdoor space, the relocation agent will want to see that too.
If you need help in this vital step, Foxtons Photography team are professional property photographers with a wealth of experience highlighting a property’s best features. Let your property with Foxtons, and this service will be included in the marketing package.
Further reading: "7 tips for photos that generate more viewings"
3. Work from home (WFH)
It’s no secret that Covid shook up the working world. Companies had to lay the groundwork for employees to work from home, so the potential for WFH was realised. Many companies have now introduced hybrid working, so we see WFH space as a priority more often than we used to. If you have a spare room or even an empty area of the sitting room to stage a workstation for photos, and you do have extra furniture you can move in and out of the apartment (see #5), this might help put you on the radar.
Further reading: "Is working from home here to stay?"
4. Professional management
The lettings landscape has changed significantly. There’s an influx of new and updated legislation, and corporate clients must be able to rely on landlords to remain compliant at all times. This is the main reason some of the companies and relocation agents we work with will only view properties that have professional property management. Whether it’s an external company or Foxtons Property Management, they need to be assured a professional experience.
Foxtons Property Management
More than a property manager
Smoother tenancies – start to finish, thorough property inspections, professional service and full compliance. Our team of experts, with a vast reach across networks of skilled contractors and the latest technology, will provide a professional service that will protect your property investment. Our landlords say:
"I've had the pleasure of working with Foxtons' property managers who've helped to anchor my business. They work long and hard throughout the tenancy lifecycle, whether it's to do with repairs, contracts, deposits, defaults, legal or regulatory matters. Their support in maintaining and managing properties is an invaluable skill. They liaise with tenants on difficult and often time-consuming issues when things go wrong. Having my properties fully managed takes the burden off me so that I can focus on what matters."
~A.S., June 2022
Further reading: Corporate insights in "A Premier event for London Landlords".
5. Furnished, unfurnished or part-furnished
With relocation agents, furniture is an important consideration. Sometimes, companies move staff to London from outside the UK. These tenants are unlikely to be hauling along things like sofas and bed sets. So, being willing to buy furniture can massively benefit your corporate let. Alternately, there are corporate tenants are looking for partially furnished, or do have their own items. If you can be flexible, it will open you up to all kinds of corporate searches.
If you’re a Foxtons client and want more guidance on furnishing, speak to your property manager or relationship manager.
Further reading: “How to furnish a buy-to-let property if you're a landlord”
Corporate Services for Portfolio Landlords
Tailored service for your property portfolio
Our Premier Clients team handles large and expanding portfolios for landlords. Through this team, we can provide even greater access to corporate services. If you own multiple rental properties, get in touch – we can look into providing you a managed portfolio as well.