Property MANAGER Dear Valued Customer Welcome to the Winter edition of ‘Property Manager’. It has been an exciting time for Roberts Rentals as we continue to make significant investments in our people and their ‘skill set’ in order that they continue to provide the best levels of customer service to all our customers and clients. There will always be a reason (or excuse) for staff training and professional development activities to be pushed to the bottom of a businesses’ priority list. But at Roberts Rentals we actually consider it an essential ingredient to our success as this type of ongoing initiative not only keeps our team members skill levels high – it also boosts productivity and job satisfaction. Team members who observe their employer investing in their careers are likely to stay longer, be more versatile and work harder – which is particularly good news for our valued property owners! We are in regular contact with Australia’s leading Property Management training institutions and we leave no stone unturned in our quest to have our people recognised as the best in the market place. By identifying the skills that will be of most valuable to our team in the near term and the future, we will continue to be Tasmania’s most successful Property Management business and provide all our customers and clients with the best possible service.
Winter 2014 In this issue
> There is a Skill in Selecting the Right Tenant…
> When to Start Marketing the Property > Window Locks a National Concern > Are You Looking at Buying or Selling in the Near Future?
> Getting Your Property to Stand Out! > Reminder - is your Public Liability Insurance up-to-Date?
Thank you for being part of our story. Khan Dick - State Manager
ABN 12 009 475 647
GETTING YOUR PROPERTY TO STAND OUT!
When a tenant vacates a property with no prospective tenant secured to move in, it can be a stressful experience for some property owners. Waiting to attract the ‘right’ tenant can result in the property remaining vacant for a period of time, which means there is no rental income to support the weekly investment mortgage. To attract the best possible tenant in the quickest possible time paying the highest possible rent is about getting your property to stand out. Times have changed… the majority of tenants are seeking their next rental home online through the major real estate listing websites. Visit any of these sites and you will clearly see that your property will often be competing with tens or hundreds of others. So how can you get your rental property to stand out? Unfortunately a well-worded text description is no longer enough. People want to read, touch, feel and see what is being offered. While at this stage of technological advancements we cannot touch and feel the property through a computer, the visitor does want to see as much as possible to determine if they want to shortlist the property for a viewing. First impressions count when trying to generate enquiry. There needs to be lots of
2 PROPERTY MANAGER
photos showcasing ‘every room’ of the property. The more photos the better the interest. Rental listings with only a couple of photos are often ignored (for the many others a tenant has to choose from) as they cannot quickly visualise what the property is offering. The photos need to be clear and inviting, showcasing the property. Presentation is paramount. Many of the ‘wow’ photos are taken by professional photographers, which should not just be embraced for sale properties. And now… there is a new trend in online rental advertising and marketing… Over the past three years or more we have seen the emergence of video tours. These are short, cost-effective videos where the prospective tenant is able to experience a virtual tour of the property. Market research has already indicated that we spend 75% more time on websites with video; and listings with videos can receive more than 400% more enquiries. Marketing your rental property is not just about classified advertising anymore. The focus of advertising and marketing a property is that you want it to be seen and attract enquiry. All advertising and marketing costs are a tax deduction, including professional photographers and video tours. If you would like to know more about how cost effective it can be to have your property stand out, please feel welcome to contact our Property Management department.
WHEN TO START
MARKETING THE PROPERTY We are often asked by landlords to start advertising and marketing the property several months prior to the property becoming available to assist in securing a tenant quickly. When and how the property is marketed is an important factor in reducing a vacancy period. With the majority of tenants now sourcing their next rental home online via the Internet, this has become the mainstream of rental advertising to attract tenants.
When a property is first listed on one of the major rental websites there is one chance and one chance only to get it right to reach a ‘maximum’ tenant seeking audience.
If a property was placed on the Internet a month or two months prior it would miss the window of tenants seeking a rental property at the time it was available for rent.
Tenants who are searching for a rental property often complete an automated property alert. When a property is listed for the first time that matches their search, the details are emailed direct to their inbox. On most of the property sites, this often only happens once.
We also understand that it is vitally important for the maximum number of photos (including an optional video tour) and a well-worded description of the property to be updated prior to listing the property on the Internet to capture this tenant alert market. ‘Photos coming soon’ does not sell a rental property.
The transition period for tenancy changeovers (when tenants seriously start looking) from one property to another is generally 2-3 weeks. Tenants do start looking earlier… but in choosing their next rental property they understand the process of having to give notice while minimising the possibility of paying double rent.
IS YOUR PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE UP-TO-DATE? It is a requirement for all owners to have a minimum of $10 million public liability insurance cover on investment properties to protect you in times of a slip and fall at the property. If an injury was to occur at the property and you were uninsured it could cost you your investment. Please feel welcome to contact us to discuss any questions you may have.
The focus at Roberts Rentals is always to be updated on the current market, embrace advertising technology and expose your investment property to as many tenants as possible to reduce any possible vacancy period.
Are you looking at buying or selling in the near future? Call us today and talk to the experts. Even if we don’t have the perfect property that you are looking for we can find it for you to save you time. We also find that our clients appreciate our honesty in being able to provide them with value added information on the sales history of the property if they are considering purchasing through another agent, which will often not be disclose. Think of it as us being appointed as your buyers agent’ with no commitment or obligations.
THERE IS A SKILL IN SELECTING THE RIGHT TENANTâ€Ś Selecting the right tenant is not as simple as it may seem. As a property management agency with many yearsâ€™ experience, we have learnt that there are some tenants who try to work the application process and sneak under the radar of the application screening process. Making the wrong decision from the outset can cause long-term issues of rental loss and property damage.
A NATIONAL CONCERN Each year, around 50 children fall from windows or balconies in Australia, which is almost one a week. Many suffer serious injuries and sometimes these falls are fatal. Children aged between one and five are most at risk as they are too young to judge the potential danger.
It is better to have a vacant property for a short period of time than to lower your selection standards. When selecting the best tenant for your property we take into consideration the following: 1. How long they have rented their previous property and how long they wish to rent the property. Long-term tenancies reduce wear and tear on a property and reduce your outlays of advertising, as well as reducing loss of rent during tenancy changeovers. 2. Can they afford the rent? We use a similar formula to the banks. The 30/70 rule. 30% of the household income for rent and 70% for living expenses. 3. The references provided by previous landlords/agents, employers and personal references. 4. Have they been listed on a national tenant database for a tenant breach? 5. Do they have pets? Sometimes a tenancy without pets can cause less issues. 6. How many people wish to reside in the property? The more people in a property can impact on greater wear and tear. 7. What is their character? During property inspections and the interview process we ask important questions to determine if they are genuine. We are hard to please in the tenant selection process and will always short-list the best tenant based on the above criteria
With this in mind it is important for landlords to be aware of window locks when considering presenting your property in a safe condition for the tenants to reside. Legislation states that landlords must provide and maintain locks necessary to ensure that the property is reasonably secure. While it is not a legal requirement for landlords to provide window locks, Robert Rentals strongly recommends that every property has these installed to protect you in times of potential litigation should there be an injury. This small, tax-deductible expense can save lives. If you would like our agency to organise this on your behalf, please feel welcome to contact our Property Management department
IMPORTANT: This is not advice. Clients should not act solely on the basis of the material contained in this newsletter. Items herein are general comments only and do not constitute or convey advice per se. Every effort is made to ensure the contents are accurate at the time of publication. Clients should seek their own independent professional advice before making any decision or taking action. We take no responsibility for any subsequent action that may arise from the use of this newsletter.
4 PROPERTY MANAGER