3 tips to being successful at a property auction

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When you want to purchase an investment property, whether it is your first time or if you are a seasoned expert, it is always a good idea to check out local auctions to try to snag a great deal. Here are three tips to being successful at an auction.

Have you done your research?

Always research the market you want to buy in and talk to Agents and other experts to make sure you go into the auction fully informed and the property and the neighbourhood. Research online as well if you haven’t already done so. You can check out other auctions to see how they operate if you’ve never been to one before. Always get independent advice on legal, finance and building matters before sale day.

The more research you do ahead of time, the more prepared and calm you will feel on auction day. You’ll know if the property is something you want to buy and you’ll feel confident knowing you are going to get a great deal.

Do you know the rules of an auction?

Get there early and familiarise yourself with the rules of the auction. In Victoria, the auction rules must be displayed at least 30 mins before the start. The auctioneer will officially let everyone know that he will run the auction according to the rules of the state and bidders mustn’t make false bids or cause a disruption. You can get a large penalty if you are caught doing this.

What’s your upper limit?

Auction are very exciting, and it can be easy to get caught up in the moment. Know what your upper bound is before you start and stick to it. The auctioneer wants to get the best price possible, so they encourage bidders to compete. Know what the property is worth and what your budget is.

What do you think about auctions? Let us know in the comments if you’ve purchased an investment property at an auction, or if you plan to in the future.

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Do you have different leases for different tenants?

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Tenants moving out is always stressful. Landlords worry about how the rental will be left, and tenants just want to get their bond back.

Your lease agreement states that the tenant should leave the property how it was when they moved in, except for ‘normal wear and tear.’

But what does that mean?

Tenants think that landlords charge for every little scratch and owners believe that tenants aren’t careful enough and should pay for the damage they have caused.

The problem is there is no precise definition of ‘normal wear and tear.’

The easiest way is to hire a Property Manager who has experience with all aspects of working with tenants, and they will be able to give you clear guidelines on what to expect.

But if you do not have a property manager, there are some things you can do to protect yourself as a landlord and as a tenant.

Put it in your lease

The best way to avoid issues is to document it in writing. Make sure you have this clause in your rental agreement and write in detail what is considered normal.

For example, worn carpets, paint chips and nail holes from hanging pictures are considered normal.

But provide some examples of what you would expect tenants to pay for, such as; stains on the carpets, gouges out of the wall (where hanging pictures went wrong), chunks out of the wooden floors, broken windows – or broken anything.

If you have a range of options, then the tenants can see what to expect. If there will be pets, make sure you clarify how you want the rental left when they move out. Are scratches on the floor or walls acceptable?

Take lots of photos

When new tenants are moving into the property, take lots of photos or video of the property to minimise any disputes when they move out. Walk through the house together and point out any areas that you are aware of. Encourage the tenant to add to the list.

At True Property Management, we do regular inspections of all of our rentals, and we take lots of photos of every room in the house. We then send it to the landlord in a report.

Repair as soon as possible

Tell your tenant to call you if anything breaks. Small things can quickly add up. If repairs aren’t urgent, the tenant should document it and take photos, so you have a record of it.

Have various agreements for different situations

Something that most landlords don’t take into consideration when writing their contracts is who will be living in the property.

This can drastically affect what condition the property will be in when they move out. What is ‘normal wear and tear’ for a single professional will be radically different to what is ‘normal wear and tear’ for a family of 5 with a cat and a dog.

You mightn’t expect the walls to be painted, but you will probably get a few more dents on the wall and maybe some stains on the carpet. It’s worth the extra effort have an agreement that covers different situations.

Normal wear and tear

So in the end, normal wear and tear it comes down to someone’s word against another. Repainting, cleaning the carpet and a few nail holes and marks are normal, but if it’s more than that, it could be a problem. So take precautions, write it clearly in the contract, or ask for it to be written out, taking pictures, even ask questions about what to expect, then write it down and sign it.

Contact True Property Management to take care of all of your inspections, find great tenants and determine what is ‘normal wear and tear’ when they move out.

Invest in your future and buy a rental property this summer

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Will you be taking time out and hitting the beach this summer? The real estate market slows down over New Years so if you are looking to purchase a rental, this could be your opportunity to find a great bargain. If you don’t own and investment property yet, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with so much information out there.

Here are a few points to consider:

What’s your financial situation?

What have you saved for a deposit? What about other sources of money? Make sure that you have at least 10%, and some banks will want more. They also want to know where you work and will love to see that you have a secure job.

If you are relying on a First Home Owner Grant (FHOG), remember that more often than not they are designed for properties that you intend to live in rather than investment properties.

Do your research

What do you know about being a landlord? Do you have an investment strategy and are you clued up on how to evaluate a property to see if it will be a good fit for you? If not, then start talking to people and finding out everything you can about it.

No one does this alone

Outsourcing and delegating are probably the most important you’ll learn. You need a lot of people around you to make a successful landlord – Lawyers, building inspectors, buyers agent, financial planner, a property investment adviser, finance team, etc. Build your team and start putting offers in on properties.

Take the first step

You can have all the knowledge in the world, but it’s worthless if you don’t take action on it. Buying a house is a big deal, whether it’s your first or fifth one and you might experience ‘analysis paralysis’ at some point. You spend all your time researching but don’t have the confidence to take the plunge and do it. This is when your team will help you take that first step.

Are you going to invest in your future while everyone else is at the beach this summer?

What does a property manager actually do?

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Many new landlords buy their first rental and think they can manage it themselves. And they often do, but then life gets in the way, and you start to fall behind. Or maybe, you buy a second rental and the workload piles up. Property management is a full-time job. We know! We live and breathe it every day.

If you are a business person, you’ll know that success comes when you start outsourcing/delegating. Focus on what you are good at and outsource the rest to professionals who are experts in the field. But, many you’re wondering: how will a property management company actually help me?

Property Inspections

Regular inspections of your rental is an essential part of property security and peace of mind. If your property is vacant, then we endeavour to visit the property each week to ensure all is secure and in tip-top condition. Once there are tenants in the property for 3 months, then we start regular house inspections every 6 months.

During the inspection, we look at everything and let you know if there are any issues like:

  • Any short-term maintenance that needs to be done
  • Any large renovation jobs that may be required in the future (giving you options of how to handle it)
  • We will let you know if the tenants are looking after the property, and that nothing neglectful is happening, or likely to occur.
  • We organise your annual servicing of heating, cleaning gutters and check the gardens – pruning back large trees is an easier job when you keep on top of it.

Vacancies and Tenants

We advertise your vacancy, screen potential tenants to make sure they are suitable and contact their references. We know all of our tenants well, and we can match them with the best possible rental for their needs. If they are happy that the property is close to work, shopping and desired schools, they will stay there for longer.

Other things we love to do

We make sure you are getting the maximum market rent for your area, and we spend time looking for quality tenants, which often means long-term tenants. Your vacancy periods are reduced, which then increases your income. We also collect your rent for you each week, deal with tenants who don’t pay and provide you with rental statements.

If you need help managing your rental property, contact us at True Property Management.

Attract amazing tenants to your rental by doing these 5 things

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The purpose of investing in property is to make money, and you can increase your income by adding value to the property over time. This will allow charging more rent, and if you want to sell in the future, you will get a much higher sale price.

There are a few things you can do to increase the value of your property that will attract better tenants and allow you to charge more rent.

Kitchen and bathrooms

Kitchens and bathrooms sell houses (whether you are looking for a tenant or a buyer, you are ‘selling’). That’s a fact. Everyone wants a gorgeous, practical bathroom and kitchen. If you can only afford to update these rooms, you’ll still attract the right tenants. Add a lick of paint and replace the taps if your budget is tight.

More storage options

The most common issue most renters have is that there is never enough storage. Resolve this issue for them by building a garden shed, turning the carport into a garage or including thoughtful wardrobe storage. Get creative and convert the unused area under the stairs into fantastic storage. Look for inspiration Pinterest to find endless ways to deal with storage.

Neutral colours appeal to more people

When updating your rental, replace carpets and curtains with neutral colours. If you’re tempted to include a bright feature wall, you’ll reduce the number of people who want to rent it if it doesn’ got with their belongings.

Gardens and Backyard

A beautiful garden, with excellent fencing, will go a long way in attracting tenants. It broadens the appeal of who will be interested. A fully fenced property is ideal for professional couples or a family with small children or a dog. If you can add a fence to your property, it will be worth your while.

Outdoor patio or deck

Everyone loves to relax outside, so having a patio or deck that naturally flows from the inside will make tenants happy. The house will look a lot bigger when you have open homes, and your prospective tenants can visualise themselves entertaining their friends and family.

Those are some fundamental changes that you can make that should add value to your property. What other ideas do you have that will appeal to potential tenants?

3 questions to ask before buying an investment property

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It’s buying and selling season. The spring and summer months are always busy for real estate.

If you’ve been thinking about getting into investing, the next few months are the perfect time to start.

A buyer’s agent is your best friend when it comes to negotiating a price for a property, but if you have decided to do it yourself, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

I’m sure you’ve looked and looked at a lot of properties by now, and if you are ready to get to the negotiation table, you’ll know what similar houses are selling for.

Remember, the key number here is the final sale price, NOT the asking price.

It is fairly common that an agent will list a house 5-10% more than what the vendor will settle for, so keep that in mind when you are heading into negotiations. The asking price is just the starting point. The final sale price could be quite a bit different.

So, before you barge on through to the negotiating ring, here are a few questions to ask the seller.

Why are you asking for that price?

Sometimes a vendor will take on their agent’s advice and list their property appropriately; others will have their heart set on a particular price and will-not-budge, no matter what their Realtor says. These types of sellers are always tough to negotiate with.

Have you had any other offers?

If so, you will then know what the competition is like for this property. A lot of competition means the final sale price won’t be as low as you would like.

How long has it been listed for?

If it’s been on the market for a while, the vendor may be more willing to negotiate. If it’s just gone onto the market, then the seller may be willing to wait around to see what happens.

Why are you selling?

If you know their personal circumstances – divorce, a death in the family, a move across the country, then you know they may be willing to settle quickly (aka willing to negotiate), which may provide you with the opportunity to buy it immediately.

What other important questions do you ask the seller before you purchase their property?

Landlords, what do you look like to your tenants?

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You have bought an awesome rental property, and now you need to fill it with an equally awesome tenant. Someone who will take care of your property and stay there for some time – great tenants are attracted to properties with specific qualities.


How do you come across to your tenants?

If you had a shop and customer was looking at a $15,000 item, how would you treat them?

If your tenant is paying you $300 a week rent, over 12 months that’s $15,000. Not only are they paying you money and paying the mortgage, but they are giving you all the appreciation value for free. It pays to treat your customer (and your investment) as a top priority.

Did you stop and think about how you dress when you meet your potential tenants? Do you show up in an old t-shirt and worn shoes?

Tenants will judge how well maintained your property is by the way you present yourself – both in appearance and in attitude. Present yourself well, and it will help you get what you are looking for.

Be on time and be organised

You’re hosting an open home for your rental. You are half and hour late, your car is a mess, and your fumbling to find the paperwork you’re looking for.
It doesn’t paint a pretty picture.

Or, your first prospect arrives at the open home, it’s all opened up with your checklists and application forms a neatly laid out. You then efficiently talk them through the features of the property and show them around. You let them know what’s expected of them as tenants. If they are your ideal tenant, they’ll stick around.

Turning Pro

Be professional at all times, and it will make tenants feel reassured, and they’ll know what is expected of them. Present a dishevelled chaotic persona and the bad tenants know they can treat your property with the same manner.
There is a lot to be said for personal attitude. If you don’t think you can present yourself as a professional, organised and efficient landlord, consider a property manager – an organised and professional one!

If you need a property manager, contact us at True Property Management to find out how we can help you.