Tips on how to keep your tenants long term Exclusive Property Group

Blog

Tips on how to keep your tenants long term

April 28, 2015

You have a great tenant and now you want to ensure they stay as long as possible. How do we hold onto good tenants’ long term? The answers are very simple.

Ensure the property is in good repair at all times and be responsive

Maintaining your property to a high standard at all times not only increases the value, but it also minimises the risk of vacancy. Tenants appreciate landlords who are willing to maintain their properties to a high standard and in return, they will work hard to look after the property.

 Increase your rent regularly but in smaller increments

No tenant will appreciate a large rental increase, however all tenants understand that rent increases are inevitable. Showing your tenant a list of comparable properties and reducing the amount of the rental increase will prove that you are being reasonable and fair.

Be proactive

At the commencement of a Tenancy Agreement, try to diarise when the lease is due to expire and contact the tenant at least 60 – 90 days prior to find out what their intentions are and renew their lease accordingly. If you are looking for security, renew the lease as soon as it expires.

Appreciate the tenants

Reward tenants when they look after your property. If a tenant has maintained the property to a high standard, I show them that I appreciate them, whether it is leaving behind some chocolates or movie tickets or a personalised hand written thank you card, it demonstrates appreciation and your tenant will appreciate you for it.

If you combine the above tips, you will be sure to hold onto your tenants and minimise the vacancy periods. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact Liza Baghdassarian on 9199 7501.

Christmas decorating tips

December 18, 2014

Are you feeling overwhelmed with so much to do over the silly season?

Why not make your home into a festive space for your friends and family to gather into. I will provide you with some fast and simple ways to inspire you to decorate your home with some Christmas cheer.

  1. Give your guests a breathtaking welcome by dressing up the front doorway. Placing some tall urns on either side of the front door with small decorative Christmas trees on top will not only look spectacular but will also leave a fabulous first impression. A couple of large bells with festive ribbon can also look very pretty on the front door knob.
  2. Decorate Your Staircase with swags of greens, beautiful red bows and some other unique embellishments. You can use clothes pins to string Christmas cards along the staircase if you wanted to.
  3. Decorating the Christmas tree and sticking to the same colour scheme throughout the home is one of the most important things you can do.
  4. Placing presents under the Christmas tree prior to Christmas creates a feeling of excitement, not only for you but for the whole family.
  5. Wrap candles of your choice with some colourful Christmas ribbon and place them on tables and mantles in the bathroom.
  6. Christmas stockings can be hung anywhere, not just over the fireplace. You can use door knobs, hooks under the window sill, or even onto some pieces of furniture.
  7. Table trimmings; Forget the expensive china and extravagant centrepieces. You can create your own personalised runner by placing pins along the sides of a guided poster board and creatively weaving a coloured string from pin to pin which will make a modern textured focal point.

Christmas can be wonderfully memorable, all you need to do is enjoy yourself and relax. You will soon find yourself getting into the Christmas spirit. On behalf of myself and the team at Exclusive Property Group, we wish you a very happy and safe Christmas. We are looking forward to a successful and exciting 2015!

How to pick the right time to buy

November 13, 2014

One of the things I see as a property specialist is investors who miss out on a great opportunity because they become so obsessed about timing and market trends that they actually miss the chance to buy.

While timing is very important, it is not the vital ingredient to success. It is important to be cautious about when to buy but dragging your feet will not result in profitability. The property market will always have its soaring or gloomy periods but if you can afford to buy now, then doing some homework on capital growth in the area you are interested in will go a long way.

If your goal is to hold onto a property for a while, then when you buy is not as crucial as what you buy.

The location of the property plays an important role in capital growth. Areas that are within close proximity to transport, shops, and restaurants and located in quiet pockets are usually high in demand regardless of how the market is behaving.

Something else to consider is the fundamentals of the property. If you are looking for an investment property, then look at what’s high in demand. For example do people in the area need parking or do the demographics show that most use public transport. Doing some homework about the common age group of the people in the area will help you pin point what they require. This will assist you to buy a property that meets the demand.

If you are prepared to keep your property for a medium to long term and if you buy in an area that has a proven track record, then you will be buying into success. Good luck with your purchase!

Top mistakes property sellers can avoid

October 13, 2014

Over many years, I see common mistakes people make when selling their homes. Here are some examples of those mistakes and how to avoid them.

Selling your home before you’re prepared

Selling your home can be a very exciting experience but it can take many months if you’re not ready. Preparing the home for sale is just as important as being emotionally ready. Before you decide to put your property on the market, do some research so that you can make informed decisions on price, presentation, advertising and whether you should sell by way of Private Treaty or Auction. This will help you mentally prepare and assist with the whole selling process.

Overcapitalising

We all love to renovate our homes to suit our requirements, but upgrading a home for purpose of selling is completely different. If you are unsure about how to renovate, visit neighbouring properties and try to stay in line with what your completion is doing. It’s crucial that your property is presented at its best and there are lots of little things you can do to achieve this. An example of this is cleaning. Ensuring that your home is spotless will make the world of difference. You would be surprised how something so simple can go a long way.

Choosing an agent based on their quoted price

Beware of those agents who over quote to get your business. They will tell you what you want to hear which will result in disappointment. Choose the agent who you believe is honest, reliable and experienced not an agent who aims high and fails to deliver.

Advertising

The amount you spend on advertising depends on the type of property and whether you are going to sell it by way of Private Treaty or Auction. The most effective way to advertise is online. This is where you will usually find your purchaser. There are many agents out there who will try to make you spend thousands on advertising, but what they’re really doing is promoting themselves.

Pricing

Don’t pick a price based on how much profit you would like to gain.  Obtain at least 3 written appraisals from agents before formulating the price. Take into consideration what similar properties have sold for in the area, how they compare to your property, how long it took to sell them, the condition and age of the property. Keep in mind that buyers are looking at lots of properties in the area within the same price range so they know a lot more than you think.

 

Do you need a property stylist before marketing your home for sale?

July 28, 2014

Property styling is not about remodelling your home, it’s about increasing the value to your home by maximising its potential.

Many people ask me how the property should be presented for purpose of selling. It is essential to style the property to suit the purchaser’s perception. We often think that our own taste is the best, but unfortunately this is often not the case.

A first impression is extremely important when looking to sell your property. Property stylists are specialised in looking at your home from the buyer’s perspective and converting your property into an appealing haven. They will take advantage of the home’s natural light, surrounding environment and the detail, to create the ‘wow’ factor.

For those of you who are looking to sell or rent your property, we all have the one goal. We aim to achieve the highest possible value. As a rule of thumb, generating a desirable and functional space which matches your property to the surrounding neighbourhood and market will help accomplish this.

Expert property staging has become a crucial ingredient in achieving a successful sale. Properties need to be presented beautifully in order to attract the right amount of buyers and achieve the best possible price.

Is your balcony or deck safe?

June 13, 2014

Recently, I have been hearing a lot about accidents and deaths occurring as a result of unsafe balconies and decks.
Did you know that all balconies and decks must be constructed to the requirements of Australian standards and the Building Code of Australia? Make sure you do your due diligence when purchasing a property.

For those of you who have timber decks or balconies, we recommend that you check for wear and tear and arrange regular termite inspections to prevent your deck from being destroyed. Water can also affect timber so it is important that it is regularly treated.

If you have concrete balconies or decks, make sure you check for signs of leaning, look for flakes in the concrete or cracks. Inspect the side and under the balcony to see whether you can see rust stains or exposed steel.

Landlords must ensure that their balconies and decks are regularly inspected and maintained. If you are unsure of what to look for during your inspections, I would suggest you engage an expert. Licensed builders, building inspectors, structural engineers and surveyors are all qualified to inspect and give you the peace of mind that your balcony or deck is safe.

Would like a balcony safety guide for your property? If so, please feel free to give me a call on 9199 7501.

What to consider when deciding to furnish your investment property

March 27, 2014

I get asked so many times:  Should we rent the property furnished or unfurnished?

There are many advantages of furnishing your investment:

1.  Higher rent

The better the property is presented, the more rent you will be able to achieve.  High turnovers allow greater flexibility both with pricing and also provides the landlord with more frequent opportunities to inspect their property.

Some of the most important things to consider before deciding to furnish your property is what kind of tenant you will be targeting? Does the location of your property appeal to your target?  Is there a lot of other furnished properties in the area and will the demand be high?

2.  Furnished properties generally attract short-term leases

Students, families on vacation, or corporate professionals who are on contract are generally interested in short term furnished rentals. These types of tenants are happy to pay higher rent for the convenience of having a furnished home.

3.  Tax Advantages

There are plenty of tax advantages when renting a furnished home, I recommend that you get the advice of a tax accountant on what items can be written off immediately and which items will be written off over their estimated lifespan.

4.  Less Wear and Tear

Furnished means no removalists and less damage to your most valuable asset.

It’s important to keep in mind that a furnished rental will require good quality modern furniture that is welcoming and easy to clean. Keep in mind that all furniture, appliances and items in the property must be maintained or replaced and updated by the landlord regularly. Using neutral colours such as greys or browns will appeal to most. Try to avoid expensive antiques and electronics or decorative items of sentimental value.

It’s recommended that you obtain landlords insurance which will cover you for damage to furniture and contents. Although deliberate damage is rare, it’s better to be prepared, just in case.

Should you require a sample inventory of a furnished property or would like to know what your property is worth, give me a call today at 9199 7501.

Tips on how to buy a property at auction

March 11, 2014

Auctions can be a daunting process, if you do a little research and get to know the property, it can actually be very easy.  Here are some tips on what you can do:

1.  Research

Find similar properties that are being sold in the area that you would like to buy in.  Look at things like land size, location, the condition of the property and parking availability.  Attending auctions for similar homes in the area will give you a good idea on  the demand and also the price.  Watch the people who are bidding and how they are bidding.   Visit the local council and make inquiries about the area so that you are informed of any issues that may affect your decision to purchase.

2.  Get a pre-approved loan

Get qualified for a mortgage from a bank or lender so you know how much buying power you have.  This is very important as you want to make sure that you are researching properties within your realm.

3.  Outsource help

Speak to agents in the area and get them to show you properties that are within your budget.  Find a suitable property conveyancer who will give you advice on the contract of sale.

4.  Budget

Decide what your maximum bidding budget is and make sure you stick to it.

Good Luck and Happy Bidding 🙂

Mistakes to avoid when managing your own investment

January 31, 2014

Have you ever hired a property manager who never returns your calls, never actions your requests and has no knowledge of current legislation?

Many investors decide to manage their own property because they have had poor experiences with property managers.  Some of the reasons my investors have complained to me about their prior Real Estate Agents:

1. Horrible customer service

2.  No common sense when selecting tenants

3.  No rent reviews are conducted for years, resulting in low returns

4.  No property inspections means that the property is not being maintained

And these are just to name a few!

I like to warn property investors of some mistakes that can be made when managing their own property so these mistakes can be avoided.  Listed below some examples.

1.  Comprehensive screening of quality tenants

It is vital that the RIGHT tenant is selected to occupy one of your most valuable assets. This means that all prospective tenants need to be property screened. Some investors get carried away with placing the first tenant who applies for a property and they end up losing money because the right tenant was not selected and was not capable of meeting the rental requirements.

2.  Not acting quickly when repairs are required

We understand that everyone’s priorities are different, some landlords prefer to save their money instead of maintaining their valuable asset.  In turn, the property becomes run down, difficult to re-let and results in a very expensive renovation for the landlord.  On the other hand, if a property is maintained on a regular basis, this minimises expenses for the landlord and maximises returns and also assists with tenant retention.

 3.  Forming a direct relationship with the tenant

For those investors who wish to manage their own property, it’s easy to form a good bond with your tenant as you are usually dealing directly with them.  The issue with this is that it is difficult to form a strong relationship and keep it professional at the same time.  In the case where  your tenant is in arrears, or spills red wine on your brand new carpet, it suddenly becomes difficult to confront them about it.  It is the investors best interest to insure that their asset is well protected.  Therefore choosing an experienced property manager to liaise with the tenant and look after your investment is the smart option.

4.  Regular rent reviews

There are two types of property investors:

1.  Those who review and increase rent on a regular basis and in small increments

2.  Those who do not increase the rent in years then serves the tenant with a huge increase which results in a vacant property.  I personally recommend that regular increases be served (within reason) so that you keep up with market trends and keep the tenant happy at the same time.

3.  Not taking property management seriously

If you want your asset to perform for you, then you will need to trust a professional to manage it.  Property investors underestimate the complexities of managing an investment.  It’s actually not as simple as you think, so many things can go wrong and unless you know the legislation, it can be very challenging to resolve.

4.  No regular inspections

Some property investors don’t have the time to conduct regular property inspections and others avoid them as they feel this is providing the tenant with the opportunity to raise maintenance issues which they don’t wish to address.  Routine inspections are essential, in order to ensure the tenant is maintaining the property to an acceptable standard.

I welcome the opportunity to discuss your future property requirements and look forward to adding you to our list of happy landlords!  Give me a call at 04 1365 8566.

How do you choose a reliable property manager?

January 29, 2014

A trusted property manager will play an important role when managing an investment property in Sydney. A reliable property manager has knowledge of local market trends and can maximise weekly income and supply top quality tenants who can maintain  your investment property. If you are determined to own a property, then we recommend to hire a property manager in your local area of Sydney to represent you and  manage your property.

Once you’ve got shortlisted a number of potential property managers, it’s necessary to meet them individually to compare their property management services and to chat to them about rental returns. Questions To raise once Interviewing a Property Manager in Sydney Does your agency have an infatuated property management department? Some agencies  will not prioritise the task of property management and will hire inexperienced front table employees or receptionists to do a property managers job.

It is vital for you to check whether the agency has dedicated employees to effectively manage your property. Is a director/owner of the agency overseeing the property management department? How focused is that the agency on property management? You should ensure you choose an agency that takes property management seriously.

This is your valuable asset and needs to be managed by a reliable property manager. Is the owner of the business heavily involved in the management side of the business? How many years of expertise does the property manager have? Experienced property managers are required to obtaining quality tenants and dealing professionally with any issues that may arise. Can your property manager in Sydney give you a written comparison on rental values within the market? A real estate agent who has a wealth of knowledge of the local area will be able to easily provide you with a comparable market analysis.

An industry leading property manager can offer an accurate market appraisal to ensure that you receive maximum rental returns. How does a professional real estate agent review potential tenants? How do they verify whether or not the tenant is appropriate for a property? Do they conduct police checks, or checks concerning their past rental history, current employment, etc? How many properties does the property manager manage? Are they representing several others, thence being honourable and successful? Bigger isn’t always better when managing investment property.

A professional property manager will manage a smaller portfolio to ensure special attention is provided to each and every property. Will your property manager represent you at the Tribunal? In the case that you experience difficult tenants, your property manager will need to attend court on your behalf to represent your case. A reliable and experienced property manager will need to be hired to be able to step up in these circumstances.

Does your property manager advise you when a maintenance issue arises? In the event when maintenance issues arise, you will be trusting that your property manager will use their common sense before arranging repairs. Once you have chosen the real estate agent to manage your most valued asset, you should make sure you are clear on all their fees and charges so there are no nasty surprises.

Meet Liza Freitas - Your Property Specialist

Liza Freitas, Managing Director of Exclusive Property Group, has extensive experience in property, specifically in residential property sales and property management.

Liza began her career working alongside some of Sydney’s leading property agents. And it is this unique mentoring, from successful and well known property specialists, that helped enhance Liza’s professional instincts and facilitated the development of her extensive knowledge and understanding of the property market.

Find out more
Liza Baghdassarian - Exclusive Property Group Sydney