Two people sat at desk

Step one: we get to know each other

We like to speak to all of our investors, so you’ll have a call with us to chat about your goals. We’ll want to know your appetite for risk, whether you’re buying your first buy-to-let or adding to a portfolio and how much money you’re looking to invest. We'll also want to know whether you're looking to protect the money you're investing or optimise for monthly income. Once we have a full picture, we'll use a mixture of public and proprietary data to help you identify your investment options and narrow down your choices.

Step two: we source you an investment property

We’ll get out on the road to do the viewing before presenting you with a shortlist of 2-3 properties for you to review. We'll then take care of negotiating and securing your purchase, so you can be completely hands-off. We look solely at areas within the home counties which continue to be popular with the 42% of renters leaving cities for greener spaces, and with limited land to build on, you can expect steady capital appreciation. We only look at houses that are chain–free to avoid any hold ups.

If you already own a buy-to-let and you’re looking for an agent to manage it for you, we can help. Use our rental income calculator to find out how much we could earn you.

Step three: we help you with the property purchase and admin

We can help you with the conveyancing process. We’ll recommend lawyers that we partner with and you’ll go through the necessary checks to purchase your investment. If you’re going to be taking out a buy-to-let mortgage, we’ll introduce you to our mortgage broker partner, too.

Step four: we make your house into a home

A before and after picture of a Smarter Rent refurb project
One of our recent refurb projects for a Smarter Rent investor

Once you’ve completed on your property, the next part involves getting your investment ready to be rented. Our in-house Design and Refurbishments Team will propose any works and present you with a plan to sign off. Each house is assessed individually and any works are done so with your renters and returns in mind. Depending on the state of the property, this could be anything from a lick of paint to a full refurb with new flooring, windows, bathrooms and kitchens. We’ll manage everything from start to finish.

We will also look at the home’s energy efficiency. If we think this could be improved, we will work with a specialist consultant to create a report with recommendations, the costs and the impact those works will have on your home’s cost saving and energy efficiency. We’ve installed solar panels, heat pumps and batteries in homes to reduce their energy consumption by 85% and reduce bills to almost zero. We manage all of the works, some of our investors don’t see their purchase until the works are completed.

Step five: we get it ready to rent and manage it

A Smarter Rent garden with outside dining
According to Rightmove, one of the most sought after features by renters is a garden

Our research shows that renters are willing to pay more for a home that is set up for their needs. We will look at each home and think who will most likely rent it. We then kit it out accordingly to maximise your income, from high quality furniture to the home essentials your renters will need, such as crockery, Smart TV’s and linen. 

The final step is getting your home out there. We take care of professional photographs before posting on an extensive range of platforms including Rightmove, Plum Guide and We also work closely with a network of relocation agents, insurance companies and sports venues. Our 24/7/365 maintenance team takes care of all works and our housekeeping team manage the cleans. Read about our management service here.

We closely monitor your home's pricing, occupancy rates and expenditure to ensure you are getting the maximum returns. 

Your property investment FAQs answered

How long does it all take and when can I start earning money?

From the point of you instructing us to defining your brief and showing you a shortlist of potential properties, you can expect 2-3 weeks. If you say yes to a property, we’ll negotiate on the price which could take 1-2 days. We can usually get a sale through to completion in just 3 months as we operate chain-free. Refurbishments can range from a few weeks for small-scale changes, or 2 weeks to 3 months for larger projects that require new bathrooms or kitchens, or green retrofitting such as solar panels or heat pumps. We will pre-market your property to make sure you have renters from the earliest possible date, and you’ll get paid each calendar month for the previous month’s rent.

What are the costs?

In today’s market, we usually require a minimum £250,000 cash investment. We charge a sourcing fee of £2,500 plus VAT per property. You’ll pay half when you instruct us and the other half on completion. Other costs during the process will be legal fees along with your deposit, mortgage, stamp duty and survey costs, depending on what’s required. Once you’ve completed on your home, we will propose a cost for any improvements needed such as refurbishment, decoration and furniture. This will need to be agreed on and paid before we make a start.

Do I own the asset?

Yes, you have 100% ownership of the asset. This means you aren’t tied in and can choose what you do with it. We purely source the investment for you. You can choose whether you want us to refurbish and manage it.

Which areas do you buy in? Do I have a say in it?

Woking town centre
Woking is a popular location for renters due to its excellent train links into London and schools

We focus on sourcing investment properties in towns across the home counties which combine affordability and consistently high rental demand. We use a mixture of public rental data, population data and yield numbers to assess where to buy, and proprietary data to understand demand versus occupancy in each location.

While we work collaboratively with our investors, we like to be guided by data and experience to make sure you get an investment that will earn you reliable returns and protect your capital.

What are your occupancy rates?

We consistently achieve a 95%+ occupancy across our portfolio. Our flexible contracts of 1-36 months mean we can source reliable tenants while being nimble enough to fill shorter gaps if needed.

Do I need to refurbish?

All of our homes go through a rigorous 107+ point checklist before we sign them off for rent and we turn away 75% of homes. This ensures that each and every one meets the standard we set out. We also find that it’s better to refurbish your home upfront rather than to get surprises down the line when your renters are already in and we’ll only propose refurbishment works if we think it will improve your income. It also means that you can get the cost over and done with. Then all you need to think about is your income.

A refurbished living room at a Smarter Rent investment property
A completed refurb at a home in Bracknell

Should I buy with a mortgage or cash?

We don’t yet offer financial or tax advice, but we work with a network of specialist tax and property advisers who we are more than happy to introduce you to.

Should I buy in my name or a company name?

Same as above - please let us know if you’d like any financial advice and we’ll put you in touch with our experts.

Still have questions? Reach out to our team today and we'll be happy to discuss your investment options