But when Sallie took on her second renovation project last year - a house in Provence, France - her Chobham bolthole sat empty for six months. Sallie turned to the world of lettings to see if her townhouse could not only cover its costs, but earn her an income to finance her French renovation project. Since working with Smarter Rent Sallie has:

- Worked with Smarter Rent to upgrade and market her property to her target audience
- Achieved 100% occupancy and returns of 80-100% more than on long lets
- Earned enough income to finance her French home renovation

“Having owned a property in London for 20 years and spent time working abroad, I had experience of renting out my home. However, when it came to my Chobham house, traditional agents were only offering minimum six month contracts and I would have to change all the utilities. This wasn’t going to work for me. I was after flexibility and control so I could return to my home as and when I wanted. Researching online, I found Smarter Rent. They offered the ability to rent out my property when I wasn’t using it while keeping it set up with my personal effects, furniture and utilities. They could also get me double the rent traditional agents were promising - it was a no brainer!

Smarter Rent lets Sallie rent out her home when she’s not there but return whenever she likes

After an initial conversation, Smarter Rent arranged to view Sallie’s property to see how they could help her. 

“At Smarter Rent, we work with both current property owners and those looking to purchase properties for investment purposes” Smarter Rent Founder, Adrian Sutherland, explains. “Our aim is to give renters exceptional homes they actually want to live in and maximise returns for owners. To do this, we analyse hundreds of different data points, assess the market and then source (if required), refurbish and market the property to a chosen audience. Our methodology ensures occupancy rates of over 95% and up to double the money for owners compared to long lets.

“When Sallie came to us, she had a beautiful home that was newly renovated to a very high standard. It was also in a fantastic area with excellent transport links, a garden and parking. We felt Sallie’s property was a dream for families looking for a mid-term rental - that’s a tenancy between one and 12 months because they are refurbishing their own home or perhaps between property transactions. This is a typically underserved market which has respectful renters while also getting owners much higher returns. 

“We met with Sallie and put forward a proposal. We suggested de-personalising the property slightly and refreshing a few pieces of furniture to make it better suited to the families who would be staying there, including items such as a zip and link bed for a more flexible set up. We stored Sallie’s belongings in one room so they were out of the way but she could still make it home when she came back. We then set her up with fresh, hotel quality linen so she didn’t have to use her own, and our housekeeping service which takes care of all cleaning and laundry.”

After taking professional photos, Smarter Rent were ready to list the property. They use one of the widest range of websites in the lettings industry to make sure their properties are seen by as many eyes as possible.

Sallie’s property earns her 80-100% more compared to long lets and is financing her French renovation project

Sallie’s property was an instant success with booking enquiries straight away. Since being managed by Smarter Rent, it has been fully booked with no empty days and earns Sallie an income of 80-100% more than if it were on long lets.

“It’s an emotional thing when you’re renting out your home as opposed to a buy-to-let that’s purely for investment. With Smarter Rent, they are incredibly helpful and there’s always a point of contact should I need to speak to anyone. I know the house is being looked after with trustworthy tenants and I feel confident that I’ve got people living in the house who are going to care for it. And even better, the returns I’m getting with Smarter Rent are financing the renovations on my French house!"

Inspired by Sallie’s retirement plans? Have a home that could be earning you additional income? We'd love to chat: hello@smarterrent.co