Tag Archives: property investment

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?

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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.

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.

What should I look for in a property management company?

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Having excellent property management is essential for your investment. The owner should not need to worry about their rental at all when they hire a property manager. Here are some things to look for to make sure your property is in good hands.

Tailored fee structures

Most property management companies have a fee schedule in place. The ability to tailor this feed to meet your individual requirements is critical.

Avoid add-on fees

Many property managers are looking to make money at every opportunity and add-on fees wherever they can. These include occupancy charges, marketing fees, advertisement fees, and so on. A good property manager will give a landlord a flat rate for their costs and then stick with it. Doing this provides stability, predictability and impacts your ability to manage your investment portfolio.

Communication is essential

A good property manager regularly updates their client and lets them know immediately about any issues with the rental property. They recommend steps to stop the problem quickly. Additionally, a good manager also provides regular contact information for 24/7 access. From your initial conversation regarding the fee structure, through to regular contact concerning your investment property; you should feel comfortable asking questions, relaying instructions and receiving advice.

Not all investment properties are created equal

There are those who are general property managers and others who understand rentals with specific needs. A good property manager is one who has the experience to identify and meet the unique requirements of a property that won’t be completed by general services.

Frequent and timely financial reporting

A property investor wants to know where his income is and if there are any problems. Good property management involves coordinating and tracking the financial information for your investment property and providing this to you in an accurate, regular and easy to understanding format; keeping the value of the business safe and transparent. Many property managers now provide secure online information, allowing you to log on and look at your reports as little or as often as you required.

Provide a comprehensive service

A good property management company will understand the concept of complete management and take care of multiple services for your investment property. Beyond just collecting the rent, your chosen property manager should provide legal assistance, screening, background checks, collection services, and organising maintenance requirements through their network of tradespeople.

In summary, choosing a good property management will provide you will peace of mind knowing your investment property is protected and providing you with the best return on your investment possible.

If you are looking for a property management company to take care of your rentals, contact us today.

Would you let your tenants renovate your rental?

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By letting your tenants make the house their own, they’re more likely to be happy tenants and stay in your house long-term. However, you might open the door for them to make other (unapproved) changes, which means you could spend more time and money fixing them when they move out.

There are a few pros and cons when it comes to letting your tenants make improvements to your property.

 

Pros:

There are a few advantages to having tenants be involved in decorating their space, after all, it’s their home, even if it’s your house.

If you haven’t redecorated in a while, then it may be worth considering if they have experience in what they are doing. You could get some free labour out of it. Find out what their previous experience has been, and you might be pleasantly surprised.

It could be a great selling point when renting out the property. When showing prospective tenants around you might offer that they can redecorate with your approval – it may mean that you can get them to sign a longer lease.

This could also be used as an incentive to renew their contract. You may want tenants to commit to a 6-month lease, and then upon renewal, the tenants would be able to paint a certain number of rooms (or whatever renovations they want to do) with your approval. This will develop trust, history and incentive.

 

Cons:

The horror stories are out there about what some tenants have done, and if you have been burned before you will no doubt be on the ‘No’ side of the line.

Tenants who you allow to paint one room an approved colour and they end up painting the whole house – in bright orange!

They have never painted before and end up painting over light fixtures, outlets, carpet, or even paint around furniture rather than move it.

They try to remodel the house by knocking down walls – load bearing walls.

 

Middle-ground

As with anything, it comes down expectations laid out at the very start. If you have a lease that outlines what tenants can and can’t do, then you have saved a lot of headaches.
Some things that you could consider to include in the lease:

  • Have a set of approved colours.
  • You purchase the paint and they provide the labour (this ensures that the paint will be in fact, the colour that you approved).
  • Inspect the work afterward or supervise the painting.
  • An extra deposit. Either a deposit to cover the house or an additional deposit per each room decorated.
  • Spell out what sort of holes in the wall are acceptable for hanging artwork.
  • Wallpaper guidelines colours and quality of the installation.
  • If you have been burned once you won’t want to go down that track again, but if you have developed a good relationship and history and have good clear guidelines in the beginning, then you both can win.

Renovating and decorating is a major issue for any house, regardless of who is doing it. Contact True Property Management for advice and let us oversee any work being done to your investment property.

4 things you’re doing wrong as a new landlord

When you are a new landlord, it can be hard to know what to expect and what you need to do to maximise your income.

Here are some common pitfalls that many new landlords find out about the hard way.

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Not charging the right rent

When you buy a property, do some research on similar properties in your area. If you set the rent too high, no one will want to rent it and it will sit vacant while you lose money. On the other hand, if the rent is set too low you won’t make any profits and not only that, you may attract undesirable tenants.

A property manager will be able to inform you on similar rentals and advise you on an acceptable price.

Not keeping track of payments

Money should always be on your mind. If your tenant doesn’t pay their rent, it can be a very lengthy process to resolve and could leave you considerably out-of-pocket.

Keep tabs every week or month when rent is due and if your tenant doesn’t pay on time, you can send them a notice. This process varies from state to state so be aware of your local laws.

Monitoring rent payments and contacting tenants sooner rather than later may help resolve issues and mitigate any financial loss.

Not doing regular maintenance

The #1 complaint from tenants is that their landlords take too long to do repairs. Not following through can put unnecessary strain on your relationship.

If a maintenance issue arises and you don’t fix it, you may be liable if your tenant injures themselves.

Sometimes, the tenant may decide to fix it himself or hire a shoddy contractor, which can cause more damage to the property. Make repairs a priority and ensure they are completed to a satisfactory standard.

Trying to self-manage a property

It can be stressful for landlords to manage their investment properties. Most of them simply don’t have time to do it. Yes, you can save money by doing it yourself, but the benefits of having someone take care of everything for you can outweigh the costs.

Property managers will check the property on a regular basis to see what maintenance needs to be done. They also find and screen tenants, and they have a list of tenants who are known for not paying rent, damaging their rentals and being evicted.

If a dispute arises with a tenant, property managers know the correct procedures to help resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

 

Hiring a property manager eliminate these mistakes for you. Contact True Property Management for more information.