You might think that setting the rent you charge for your room is simple. You just pick an amount that:
- covers your mortgage
- gives you a profit
- reflects the facilities, size and location of the room
Once you’ve done your research, including checking the SpareRoom Rental Index, you’ll know what the going rate tends to be in your area, and you can pick your figure. Right? Wrong.
There are two additional factors you need to consider when deciding how much to charge (and they could have a big impact on the response to your ads).
Bills Included or Excluded?
The most popular way to advertise on SpareRoom.co.uk is bills included. We recently polled our users, asking them how they prefer to see rents displayed in SpareRoom ads. The overwhelming response was with bills included in the amount (94%), with only 3% saying that they preferred to see the amount without bills, and the same percentage not having a preference either way.
Having bills included makes it easy for tenants and lodgers to keep a handle on their outgoings, so they know how much they can afford to then spend on more appealing things – food, clothes and going out! When bills are excluded, it’s unnerving that you could at any time be presented with a large bill you hadn’t planned for.
A quick search of our database reveals that only 14% of our rooms are currently offered exclusive of bills, which should keep most sharers happy!
Weekly or Monthly rent?
The second factor to consider is whether to offer your room with a weekly or monthly rent. Going by current trends, most room advertisers (66%) show a monthly rental amount, whilst 34% list rent weekly. But what do room seekers prefer? Weekly amounts look significantly lower, so it’s tempting to think that could entice them to click on your advert.
A room seeker, scanning a list of mostly monthly rents, might be tempted to click on a tantalizingly low figure. When they realise it’s a weekly amount and, therefore, not as low as it first seemed, they may feel slightly duped.
Our theory was that room seekers would overwhelmingly prefer to see monthly rents, especially if they’re receiving a monthly salary rather than a weekly wage packet. But then we analysed Room Wanted ads (placed by over a quarter of a million room seekers in the last year) and discovered that, in fact, only 60% express their budget in terms of monthly rent, with 40% choosing to state it in weekly terms.
So although there is a defined preference for monthly, it’s not as clear-cut as whether to include bills or not. Something for you to ponder, before you place your next room offered ad.