Tag Archives: rental

Finding new tenants before the new year

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It’s already the end of November, how this year has flown by! Are you thinking about your new year’s resolutions for 2017? Landlords often find that new years equal new beginnings and tenants will be moving out during the summer holidays so they can get settled in their new area before the kids go back to school.

If you’re organised, you can get your next tenant lined up and ready to move in before the previous one has left. This will depend if you have maintenance issues to sort out first, but the quicker you can get a new tenant to move in the better on your bottom line.

Have you thought about holding an open home to show prospective tenants around all at once and you won’t have to be on call to show people around individually?

How can you make sure your open home is a success?

Be prepared. Be confident with your property and the open home will go a lot smoother.

Make sure you arrive at least 30 mins early. You can guarantee that people will show up early if the property is in the right location and ticks lots of boxes. So be there before everyone else. Maybe even get there an hour before, just to be safe.

Telling prospective tenants to ‘go online and download the forms’ may put them off. Have all of your application forms on hand, and more than you think you may need. It’s always better to have too many than not enough.

First impressions matter so walk around the property and see things with fresh eyes. People will be put off if the carpet is rolled up along the wall and paint cans lying around. It doesn’t matter if you promise that the carpet will be in and the place repainted before they move in. Complete all of your tasks before you hold the open home.

Is the garden tidy and the lawns mowed? Is everything working inside? Does it need new carpet put down? If your previous tenants have moved out already, now’s the time to do all of your repairs.

You can employ a property manager to take care of all these things for you. It is wise to be still involved in this process, but a property manager can take the brunt of all of these tasks. Remember that investing in property doesn’t mean that you set it and walk away.

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Vacant rental? It’s time to get to work!

Vacant rental? It's time to get to work!

Finding your dream tenant is very much like finding your dream client in business. The more you can do up front, will save you a lot of time and headaches down the track. When tenants move out, there is always some wear and tear so spending time getting your rental up to scratch before renting it out again is always worth it.

A well looked after property gives the impression that they will have a landlord or property manager who will look after them. New tenants will feel like they will be able to reach out if they have problems or maintenance issues which need to be dealt with quickly.

Here are some tips to make sure your rental property is rented again as soon as possible.

Update your rental

Take advantage of the vacancy to refresh the property. Whether you just need to do something simple like building a deck, re-painting or replacing the kitchen or bathroom, it much easier to get it done before you rent the property out again. Use the downtime between tenants to your advantage and get any planned upgrades completed during this time when the work will not disturb your tenants.

With your property well maintained, clean, and fresh, you’ll be ready and make a good impression on your next client. A little extra care applied to these simple things will help you start off your next landlord-tenant relationship on the right foot.

Sort out any maintenance issues

Some tenants will report every minor problem during their tenancy while others will let things slide. See what needs some attention and before your next tenant moves in, make sure any required repairs are taken care of.

Walk through the entire property with a checklist and fix anything that needs it.

  • Check that the smoke detector is working and has new batteries
  • Check for dripping taps and fix any that are.
  • Make sure every door has the proper knob or handle.
  • Check for cracked window panes and replace.
  • Check all screens (doors and windows) to ensure they open and close and have strong locks on them.
  • Look at the paint on the walls and ceilings. It depends on when it was painted last; you may get away with just wiping them clean.

Sometimes you’ll get lucky and have great tenants who leave the place in better shape than when they got it, but even with great tenants, there are always a few things to clean up upon move-out.

  • Air conditioner filters – these need to be done on a monthly basis so make sure your new tenant knows how to do this, moving forward.
  • Exhaust vents and fans. These get very dirty, so they also may need a thorough clean if the previous tenants haven’t kept up with it – especially the kitchen range hood.

What other things do you do to get your rental ready for the next tenant?

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.

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?

Will you rent your property out with furniture?

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As a new landlord, will you rent your property out as furnished or unfurnished? Both have good and bad points which owners need to consider. Think about the functionality and purpose of the property, the current rental market, and who your ideal tenant is.

Fully Furnished Rental Units

Furnished units can charge higher rent, and they have a lot less competition. However, landlords will need to invest more in maintenance and should also realise that there may not be as many tenants looking to rent a furnished place.

Vacation homes and apartments are probably the most logical reason for landlords to furnish their units. If the property is intended for short-term leasing (usually six months or less) to vacationing tenants or foreigners who are travelling on a working holiday, they should be furnished. Holidaymakers will not bring furniture with them, and they still want to stay in a beautiful place.

Rentals intended for business people should be furnished elegantly and provide all the personal and business amenities that would be available at a hotel (internet/wireless access, network TV, linen and bedding). These units are usually rented out for anywhere between several days to a few months, and they usually in business districts or near the airport.

Flats that are near a university campus, which landlords are willing to rent to students, should be furnished with sturdy furniture that will, on the one hand, survive rough handling and still be cheap enough to replace when it’s needed.

 

Partially Furnished Units

Newlyweds and young people who have accumulated some furniture but not enough for an entire house would appreciate a partially furnished apartment. They may include kitchen appliances such as a stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher; washing machine and dryer, and maybe a piece in the living room and bedroom. Landlords should provide furniture in neutral colours so it doesn’t look out-of-place with the tenant’s furniture.

Empty, Unfurnished Units

Renting a unit as unfurnished will attract the highest number of tenants, and there are more rentals for them to choose from.

Tenants want to make their rental units as comfortable as possible so they want to add their touches to them. They want to rent an unfurnished home so they can bring in their furniture and home decor. Unfurnished rentals are the least amount of work for a landlord because you only have to deal with the house and not the contents in it.

Do you lease your rental as furnished or unfurnished? Let us know in the comments.

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.