Women landlords positive about expanding portfolio

In addition, some 87% of women surveyed also believed property brought a better return than interest in savings, while 85% put their trust in bricks and mortar rather than leaving money in the bank.

The survey of 500 property women revealed that women were radically re-vamping the sector with increased professionalism, attention to detail and superior customer service as the credit crunch demands a new approach.

More than half (58%) admit to upping their game with the current economic climate – 63% are providing a rent freeze for long-term tenants, 10% have reduced rent while 27% are introducing added extras including:

* Offering a free life coach, debt counselling or after care service;
* Learning new languages to attract non-English speaking tenants;
* Flowers and wine for tenants;
* Free monthly window cleaner;
* Introducing flexible payment schemes;
* Flat screen TVs and free broadband;
* Accepting pets;
* Considering DSS tenants.

The research marks the launch of the NLA Property Women Awards 2009.

The Awards, which recognise the success of women who own and manage their own property, are endorsed by property consultant and addict, Melissa Porter, who on launching the Awards said: "Amidst the adversity in the market place, it’s both empowering and reassuring to be involved with a team of people who are creating opportunities and taking control.

"I consider myself a businesswoman who bases all my work and property decisions on solid business foundations, which is why I think it’s so important to celebrate these women who are not only transforming the property market with their business savvy approach, but also their lives, and in many cases the lives of their tenants."

Business savvy female landlords lead the way in customer service as they listen to and consult their tenants. The survey showed that good communication (87%), customer relations (94%) and a high standard of property (95%) rather than low rent are more important factors to excelling in the rental game and maintaining long-term tenants.

From flexible mortgages to flexible landlords, property savvy women show that the all important female touch is helping their properties stand out.

Top Tips for Landlords of the Future – it’s a people business:

* Be prepared to work hard and commit yourself full time to your properties – being a landlord is a long-term investment, not a short-term win;
* Treat tenants like customers – you are supplying a product;
* Have a trusted selection of reputable tradesmen and always use the same ones;
* Always meet potential tenants and trust your instinct;
* Don’t overstretch yourself financially – start slow and know your limits;
* Do your homework – up and coming areas, new legislation – you have to stay up-to-date;
* Look for niche markets and seize opportunities;
* Join the NLA – the cradle-to-grave support organisation for landlords.

The NLA Property Women Awards have been launched this week. Winners from each region will be selected as well as the Green Property Woman of the Year rewarding eco-conscious behaviour and the Young Property Woman of the Year for all women under 30 who have already made their mark on the property market. An overall national winner will also be announced at the Awards ceremony on 23 July in London. Nomination forms can be found online at www.propertywomenawards.org.uk. Entries close at 12 noon on Friday 12 June.

NLA Chairman David Salusbury said: "We are delighted by the optimism shown by our female members. Female landlords demonstrate that with professionalism, creativity and a flexible approach, property can be a solid investment during the recession. The NLA Property Women Awards is our way of recognising their successes, the challenges they’ve overcome and, ultimately, act as an inspiration for more women to become landlords themselves."

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