Tag Archives: investment property

Is it time to hire a property investment advisor?

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The most successful people know that to achieve their goals, they must have a strategy in place. Being a landlord is no exception. If you want to achieve your investing goals, whether that’s owning one property or 5, start with the big picture plan and break it down into annual, monthly and weekly tasks.

If you are new to property investing, you may need to connect with an expert and employ the services of a property investment strategist to help you.

A good property investment advisor will be unbiased. They will not be trying to sell you something. They will give you honest feedback, and develop a strategy that is aligned with your financial goals, your risk profile and also aligned with your current bank balance.

Here are a few things to think about that will help you determine who will be the best fit for your needs.

Most advisors probably have their own investments so start by asking them about their track record. Find out when and how they started, what they like to invest in, how many properties they own, what mistakes they made etc. Finding out this information should provide you confidence and encouragement about their abilities.

Having their own investments is not essential, however. Regardless of whether they do this for themselves, you’ll want to see testimonials of other clients they have helped. Do your research and find out what other people have to say about them.

Investment techniques change over time as markets change. Find out how they recommend structuring investments and the techniques they use for maximising equity and cash flow for their clients.

Hiring an advisor is a big step in your investing success. What tips do you have when choosing the person who is the right fit for your unique situation?

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.

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.

How to snag a deal when it comes to investing in property

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One essential element to being a successful property investor is getting to the property before the competition and snagging it for under market value.

But how do you do that?

It all comes down to planning.

Research and Planning

You need to do lots and lots of research! The numbers don’t lie, and you need to have accurate historical data to make informed decisions. Some areas you need to cover include:

Median price in the suburb that you are investigating – past 12 months, five years and ten years
Track property sales in the targeted suburb. Which ones are going to auction, which is being passed on. Ask for price guides from agents. (Keep a closer eye on comparable properties)
When you are viewing a property, find out what it last sold for, when and how long it stayed on the market.

 

Consider a buyer’s agent

A buyer’s agent is on your side. They are trying to get the best deal, and they take the emotion out of it all. Send the agent to auctions to ensure you don’t get caught up in the excitement and go over-budget. Buyer’s agents are experts in the areas you’re looking at, and from their experience, they will be able to give you a general idea of what a property is worth.

 

Make an offer

Sometimes you might want to put in an offer before a property goes to auction (if that is where it’s going). Some vendors may want to skip the auction stress altogether and jump on your offer. Have a good negotiation strategy – not offering your top dollar first off is a good move.

 

Know when to walk away

There is always going to be another property around the corner. So if you miss out on one because it’s more than what you can afford, don’t worry another one is on its way. Plus, you never know, the vendor may not be able to sell it for their asking price and may get back in touch.

Bargains aren’t easy to find but they’re definitely out there. Have you snagged any good deals lately? Let us know in the comments.

How to expand your investment property portfolio

You have one rental property and it’s working out well for you.

Now, what do you think about expanding on that?

It’s the key to achieving financial independence.

One rental property gets you on the ladder, but climbing the ladder is the only way to make any real passive income.

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Once you have the hang of it, you may want to take on more properties because your first property was such a success.

You have a great tenant, the maintenance issues under control, and the income you get is a nice bump each month – maybe not as big as you’d like, but it’s nice to see all the same.

Now you’ve settled into being a landlord you want to climb onto the next rung of the ladder.

Building it’s a challenge at first, but once you’ve settled into a routine, it becomes second nature.

It may feel overwhelming making that leap, but now that you’ve done it once, you can do it again.

Here are the biggest things to think about:

Finances

Getting a mortgage is the biggest barrier when it comes to expanding your property portfolio.

Taking out a mortgage is a possibility, but you are likely to get stung with extra fees, payment requirements, and approval process will probably be tougher.

Make sure you research what the rules are.

It’s important to have an accountant on your team that is familiar with property investing, as they will help you with finding the best way to go about it.

Another option is refinancing your first investment property to fund your second, or maybe consider bringing an investor on board.

Someone who doesn’t want the hassle of dealing with the property, but wants a cut of the proceeds.

Maintenance

Dealing with maintenance and repairs on one property is manageable, but once you start expanding your empire, things start to look different.

If you have two properties that are in good shape and don’t have major issues, then you’ll be busy but it’s not out of reach.

However, if your properties are older and need more work, or if you add a third or fourth rental property , then it can be too much.

Employing the services of a property manager to help you is a good idea.

On the other hand, if you’re committed to doing it yourself for a while longer then you need good contractors.

The last thing you want is for a water main to burst and you are not being able to get over there to take care of it.

Ask around for recommendations of contractors; they are worth their weight in gold!

 

Operations

Collecting the rent on time, having the right lease available, organizing open home and house inspections, paying taxes, mortgage payments.

Who’s going to take care of all these tasks?

What about when you have 5+ properties to keep an eye on?

Do you have a watertight system, so nothing falls through the cracks?

Make sure you have a good property management system at this point, or again think about hiring one.

Tenants

Along with all the above, one of the big ones is finding and keeping tenants.

Without good tenants all the other aspects of managing properties become useless.

You can’t pay the bills without tenants, so this has to be a big focus – especially initially.

Finding good tenants is hard, but once they are in the property, really all it takes is being responsive to them. Follow up on maintenance and repairs, and stay out of their way apart from ‘Thank you’ every so often.

But marketing your properties to find those tenants can take a little bit of getting used to.

Once you know how to present and sell your property and choose great tenants, it becomes fun.

Until that point, it can be a hard slog.

Don’t give up too soon.

Now you know what’s involved in taking on that second rental property it’s an excellent time to consider involving a property management company.

One investment property is easy to manage on your own, but once you start to expand your portfolio it does get more difficult.

You don’t have to use property managers for everything; you can pick and choose what tasks you would like them to do for you – just ask!

Hate property inspections? Let True Property Management do it for you

Buying a rental property is a significant investment.

A massive investment in fact.

So you need to know your tenants are looking after it.

But the thing is, you’re busy.

You work full-time; you have family commitments, perhaps you coach your son’s rugby team.

True Property - Hate property inspections? Let True Property Management do it for you

Managing your investments is a full-time job on top of all that.

When your tenant first moves in, you keep on top of everything, but slowly but surely things get postponed.

You don’t visit them. They don’t call with any issues.

Then they move out, and you realise why they haven’t called.

Your beautiful property is completely trashed.

It takes weeks to clean it up and get it rented again.

This situation happens more than you think and it can be avoided just by carrying out regular inspections.

If you don’t have the time or if it just keeps getting shoved to the bottom of your already bulging to-do list, you need to give True Property Management a call.

How we carry out inspections

Inspecting your rental is an important part of security and peace of mind.

If your property is vacant, then we visit it each week and make sure everything is secure and in perfect condition.

When tenants have been living there for three months, we will inspect every six months.

What we look for during an inspection

We make notes and report back to you:

  • Urgent and non-urgent maintenance tasks that need doing now
  • Any renovation jobs that will be required in the future (to give you time to plan)
  • If the tenants are keeping the property to an acceptable standard

Annual Inspections

We recommend having a building inspection done every year or every 3-5 years depending on how old your property is and what condition it’s in.

Doing this makes sure the building is safe and will highlight any maintenance issues that you can’t necessarily see.

These problems could be tax-deductible, so it’s worth looking into.

Have the heating, cleaning gutters, etc. services every year and watch the landscaping – do large trees and shrubs need pruning or creeping ivy need taming?

It gets out of control quickly, so staying on top of it is the best solution.

Keep in mind that the outside grounds are a big part of the appeal to tenants and can add thousands to the capital value.

 

Exit Inspections

When tenants give notice, we do a pre-vacating inspection. This allows us to:

  • Decide if any essential work is required before we can seek new tenants
  • Highlight any areas for the tenants to get back to pre-arrival condition (normal wear and tear excluded)

When the tenants do vacate, a detailed exit inspection is carried out.

We do this to make sure the property is returned in an acceptable condition.

If any damage or cleaning is necessary, we’ll apply the appropriate deductions from the bond.

We are very thorough in the process of inspections as we feel that this a key way to ensure the property will:

  • Appreciate in value
  • Provide maximum market rent
  • Attract quality tenants – which often means long-term tenants
  • Vacancy periods are reduced, increasing your income

Are you worried you don’t have enough time to spend managing  your investment properties yourself? Contact True Property to find out how we can help you.

Hey Landlord! Did you know that you’re a business owner?

When you buy your first rental property, you become a business owner.

And running a business requires a lot of time and effort to do it properly.

Many people think when they purchase an investment property, they can sit back and watch the money roll in.

But guess what?

It takes more than that.

HATE PROPERTY INSPECTIONS?

If you want to be successful, the first thing you need to do is keep a close eye on your finances.

Managing the finances for your property investment business shouldn’t be an afterthought.

It should be a core part of your strategy.

It is important to plan ahead and always have money set aside for unexpected expenses that may pop up.

Try forecasting for six months and then adjust your plan if necessary.

Have a separate bank account

Like all businesses, you should try to keep your personal expenses separate from your business ones. It makes it much easier to organise come tax season. Open another account with your bank, or even a different bank, to ensure your finances are kept entirely separate.

Keep a record of all your expenses

This can include things like:

  • Advertising to find a tenant
  • Repairs
  • Maintenance
  • Rates
  • Insurance
  • Hiring a property manager.

You can create a simple spreadsheet for this or use an accounting software like Xero. Remember to keep all of your receipts too.

Manage your Income

The best way to collect rent is by automatic payment. The same amount on the same day of the week or month makes it easy to keep track of. You have a digital footprint of every dollar you receive and you know instantly if a payment is late. When you are in business, you are there to make money and owning rental properties is no different. You need to know what income you have received to the cent.

 

Hire an Accountant

While you may be able to handle your finances yourself, is it always a good idea to get an accountant to look over things too. They can deal with the taxes and deducible expenses. You may be able to claim things you never even thought of. Hiring an accountant is a good idea if you have multiple income streams.

How have you organised the finances for your property investment business? Contact True Property Management to find out how we can help you manage your finances better.