Tag Archives: Property Management

3 Reasons to Consider a Property Manager

Ask-yourself-if-hiring-a-property-manager-makes-sense-for-youThere’s no rule that says you have to put the running of your investment property in the hands of another. However, there’s no denying that hiring a property manager to look after your investment can be a huge help.

The following are three reasons why you may want to consider the services of a property manager.

Time

Collecting rent, responding to tenants, keeping up with maintenance and repairs – these are just a few of the time-consuming tasks that come with owning an investment property. Unless property investment is your full-time job, chances are you won’t have the time (or energy) to keep up with these responsibilities properly, especially if you own multiple homes.

A property manager can handle the day-to-day obligations on your behalf, freeing you up to live your life instead of worrying about your four walls and a roof. That alone can be worth the cost of hiring a property manager.

Knowledge

You may have done a ton of research before buying a property, but that doesn’t mean you’re an expert on the local market, nor does it mean you know the ins and outs of tenancy laws in your region.

By hiring a knowledgeable and experienced property manager, you can rest easy knowing you have someone in your corner who can steer you and your investment down the right and lawful path.

Opportunity

Hiring a property manager comes with its own expenses, yes, but it can also create an opportunity to make more money.

By having someone who will always be on top of caring for your property, as well as someone who can find and filter tenants on your behalf, you will cut down on the possibility of your home sitting empty.

After all, a home with no tenants is one that doesn’t bring in any income.

What to look for in a holiday home investment

First-National-Real-Estate_Holiday-Home-InvestmentAustralians love the idea of escaping their busy working lives for a wild weekend away or a relaxing few days at a nearby coastal spot.

From land-locked locations for cosy winter getaways to east-coast towns, there’s certainly no shortage of holiday home spots to pick from.

One popular approach is to purchase a holiday home as an investment. There are a few factors to consider before launching into holiday mode, however.

It’s not all cocktails on the beach

Sure, you can sit back with a pina colada or ice cold lemonade when you’re using your fantastic holiday home during the Christmas break or later on in the February heat.

However, have you considered what happens during the weeks of the year when you’re not kicking back and enjoying the sunshine or taking a week-long winter getaway?

If you’re truly buying a property as an investment, it needs to generate income in the months you’re not using it. You’ll need to consider peak and off-peak seasons in order to work out what your rental income will realistically be.

Once you’ve come up with a deposit for a holiday home, you’ll need to budget for regular mortgage repayments. If weeks go by with no short-term tenants, you’ll need to make up the shortfall yourself. If you choose to have medium- to long-term tenants, you won’t have nearly as much flexibility surrounding when you can stay in the property yourself, but you will have more certainty about your rental income.

What to look for in a holiday investment property

Sure, it’s important to buy a holiday home that’s going to provide the right environment for you and your family to relax in.

However, it’s important the property attracts holiday makers when you’re not living in it, in order to make good on your investment. The home should be located in close proximity to local shops and the beach if it’s in a coastal spot and be in an area that people actually visit.

Obtaining expert property management services can be beneficial, too.

Residential Tenancy Amendment Bill 2013 tabled in Parliament

rtaupdateOn Wednesday 20 March 2013, the Minister for Corrections and Consumer Protection, Nick McKim MP, tabled the Residential Tenancy Amendment Bill 2013 in the Tasmanian Parliament.

The Bill proposes a number of amendments to update the Residential Tenancy Act 1997 in order to bring the legislation more in line with the current rental market, and balance the rights and obligations of tenants and property owners.

Key provisions of the Bill include:

  • extended notice periods at the end of a lease to provide greater certainty of tenure and more time for tenants to relocate where necessary;
  • expanding the jurisdiction of the Residential Tenancy Commissioner to include making decisions about unreasonable rent increases and issuing orders for repairs;
  • requiring all properties be advertised or offered for rent at a fixed price;
  • the introduction of minimum standards for rental properties; and
  • clarifying the responsibility of property owners and tenants for maintenance and repairs.

It is expected that the Bill will be debated in Parliament in the coming months.

The full text of the Bill is available here.

First National Has Landlords Covered

landlordscoveredToo many landlords and property investors neglect to protect their valuable asset by taking out appropriate insurance cover.

The cover they need should extend beyond the normal building insurance policy, which does not cover things like willful damage to their property, failure to pay rent, or claims made against them by a tenant.

First National Real Estate Burnie can help landlords find the right insurance policy for them, whether they want to use it in conjunction with a typical home and contents or strata title policy, or are seeking something a bit more comprehensive. We also help our tenants find contents insurance, which can be challenging for those living in a shared household.

According to industry research, less than half of all self-managing landlords have specific landlord insurance, even though three out of five recognise a bond is not sufficient to cover most incidents with tenants.

Landlords who use real estate agents to manage their relationship with tenants  face fewer problems than those who self-manage their investment properties.

First National Real Estate Burnie manages properties on behalf of clients and ensure appropriate rental agreements are in place, screen potential tenants and check their references, regularly inspect properties and ensure maximum returns are achieved for each of our rental properties.

We have adopted leading edge systems and have best practice procedures in place to ensure vacant properties are marketed correctly, and maintained in optimal rental condition.

Clients are provided with documentation to support tax depreciation claims and regular value appraisals are arranged as well as asset management reports to maximise investment potential.

In essence, First National Burnie puts you first by making sure you and your investment are properly covered, and, that tenants are kept happy in a properly maintained home.

Property Management NOT Housework

Australians love property, both to live in and as an investment, but that investment needs to be looked after.  The best way to do that is to appoint a property manager that has the requisite qualifications, skills and experience says First National Real Estate Burnie.

With more than 70% of Australians buying their own home and a significant number also owning an investment property it is important these assets are not left to erode in value simply because they are not being properly looked after and managed.

For many, their investment property is their major investment or nest egg for the future.

With people now buying investment properties through their self managed superannuation funds, this is set to increase and these assets need proper care, otherwise many elderly Australians may find they run a little short on funds at a time in their lives when they should be as stress and worry free as possible.

It is vital investors make sure they get their investment looked after by professional property managers and not by the junior person on the front desk, as is too often the case.

It is a scandal that some real estate agents and networks see the sales department as the hero and leave property management to the inadequately skilled.  This is people’s hard earned investments we are looking after – it requires skill and training.

But the problem of inexperience is partly driven by investors who think it makes no difference who they have manage their rental property. Their choice of agency is therefore decided on the basis of who discounts their management fee the most. As a result, some business owners offset those discounted fees by employing inexperienced juniors to manage their landlords’ assets.

First National Real Estate Burnie commits its staff to ongoing training to stay ahead of legislative changes, and to better understand how they can add value to a landlord’s returns, preferring to compete on quality and results than the lowest fee.

While we’re commercially competitive, we take the professionalism of our property managers very seriously. They learn from world class trainers and each other at First National’s conferences and professional development events.  In our office alone, we manage more than $55 million worth of property – this is asset management, not housework!

Property management is our main business.  As a principal I know that a strong, well-managed rental portfolio is pivotal to our success.  It provides a good steady income as well as being our main asset. I’m completely committed to the stability of my staff and with over 30 years combined experience amongst us; we consistently achieve some of the lowest vacancy and rent arrears rates in Australia.

No one has more invested in property than the principal of a real estate agency – it is an asset that needs looking after. And, investors who think that hiring a property management professional is too expensive soon find out just how expensive hiring an amateur can be.

Some investors pay more for their monthly phone bill than they do with a monthly management fee. They only need a few unnecessary weeks of vacancies each year before they can find themselves well behind. And, a poorly optimised property can leave them tens of thousands behind over the long-term.

Rent Your Investment Property

The currently tight rental market and approaching summer holiday letting season means there should be no shortage of would-be renters, but it may not be straightforward to find the right tenant and get the best rental price.

Appointing a property manager who knows how to maintain the property’s tenancy at the highest possible rent and who will manage the home as though it were their own is the best way of ensuring landlords maximise their rental property returns.

First National Real Estate Burnie offers the ideal combination of professionalism, experience and commitment to manage properties.  The systems and processes we use underpin the strength of our agency and the property management services we provide.

Property management at First National Real Estate Burnie is more than just collecting rent or striking a deal on fees – it is also about the selection of quality tenants, ensuring timely rental payments, looking for opportunities to increase returns, and minimising vacancies.  At First National Real Estate Burnie we do this by using the latest technologies and pride ourselves on getting the best results in the shortest time.

Here are the top 10 steps to success for property management according to First National Real Estate Burnie:

  1. Accurate appraisals.
  2. Property presentation.
  3. Advertising and marketing to ensure maximum exposure through First National’s industry leading website, major real estate web-portals, eMagazines, social media and the network’s exclusive, award-winning tenant alert database.
  4. Accompanied tenant viewings to highlight special features and benefits of renting a First National managed property.
  5. Streamlined systems and process for improved efficiency.
  6. Comprehensive screening and reference checks of potential tenants.
  7. Proper document preparation and advising tenants of their obligations and outlining conduct expectations.
  8. Thorough property condition reports.
  9. Management services to ensure peace of mind, steady income, regular property condition checks, qualified maintenance and 24/7 emergency repairs.
  10. Completion.

First National Real Estate manages over 90,000 investment properties throughout the cities and regional centres of Australia and New Zealand, meaning the network offers some of the most experienced property managers in the country.

There’s no choice with tradespeople

When you own an investment, it’s essential that any tradespeople you hire for repairs be properly licensed, have insurance and an ABN.

Your First National Property Manager will only ever use such tradespeople for repairs at your property.

However, if you choose to manage repairs yourself and something goes wrong, an uninsured or unlicensed tradesman could cost you much more than you bargained for.

Zero Vacancies at First National Burnie

First National Burnie has achieved a zero vacancy rate, meaning that all of our rental properties are leased out.

Naturally, we strive to minimise vacancy periods for our landlords but a zero vacancy rate is almost unheard of in the real estate industry. This reflects not only the success of our staff and systems, at matching tenants to vacant properties, but also the general shortage of property across the country.

Throughout 2012, investors seeking the highest rental yields have been strongly attracted to mining towns, where returns can be astonishing but risks are also higher.

However, Australia’s regional centres continue to produce respectable yields and vacancy rates in capital cities are relatively low – with the national average sitting at 1.9% in July.

Across the capital cities, weekly rents rose by an average of 3.3% over the first 7 months of the year, the exceptions being Adelaide and Hobart. Perth and Darwin have produced the greatest increases in weekly rents throughout the year – 13.7% and 5.4% respectively.

Fortunately, First National Burnie will have some new properties becoming available shortly so we won’t be in a position where we can’t help people find new homes for very much longer.

Is it worth making your property more energy efficient?

Do you want to make your home more environmentally friendly but are not sure where to start, or whether it’s even worthwhile?

Green credentials are now a stronger selling point for a property than ever before and there’s little doubt buyers are motivated by green investments you may have made in your home. Even just small eco-improvements around your home will benefit the environment and increase your home’s value.

Making such changes is one of the easiest ways you can boost your asking price or make your property more appealing. As well as reducing your impact on the environment, you’ll save money on utility bills.

Although you may feel overwhelmed by the deluge of information about climate change, energy issues and savings, to the point that you don’t quite know where to start, there are many ways to make positive changes for a minimal cost in terms of dollars and time.

First National Real Estate Burnie’s 10 tips for creating a greener household include:

  1. Install a triple A-rated showerhead and a dual flush toilet to cut your water usage. If you rent your home, consider adding a 1.25 litre PET bottle filled with water to your toilet cistern to reduce the tank’s capacity.
  2. Replace standard globes with energy efficient (compact fluorescent) light bulbs.
  3. Install a water tank to use rainwater on the garden. In some homes, this can halve water usage and deliver a greener, more attractive garden during summer.
  4. Have your home’s insulation checked – walls and ceilings may need a top-up. Good insulation can save up to 55 per cent of heating and cooling costs.
  5. Repair the trim around windows and doors to prevent drafts and heat loss.
  6. When replacing old or cracked windows use double-glazed glass. It provides better insulation for heat and noise, while acting as a deterrent to burglars due to its strength.
  7. Use solar powered outdoor lights to illuminate your pathways and garden at night.
  8. Install ceiling fans. They’re far more energy efficient than air conditioners but will provide a cooling air-flow on hot summer days.
  9. Think long-term and plant deciduous trees in areas that let the sun in during winter and provide shade in summer.
  10. Start a compost heap to minimise waste sent to landfill, and provide your garden with a great source of nutrients.

Have You Unlocked Your Investment’s Hidden Cash ?

Claiming depreciation tax benefits can assist your cash flow

You’ve worked hard to buy an investment property but have you made sure that you’re maximising the cash flow your property is producing?

The more efficiently you manage your portfolio, the sooner you’ll be buying your next investment.

Did you know that any property built after 18 July 1985 is eligible for depreciation benefits on its historic construction costs?

No matter whether your investment is new or old, it will have depreciable assets that can be claimed such as air-conditioners, whitegoods, floor and window treatments, renovations and furniture, just to mention a few items.

80% of Australian investors do not claim these legitimate taxation benefits which is a bit like not claiming the weekly rent from your investment property.  This can equate to thousands of dollars in unclaimed benefits each year.

Claiming depreciation tax benefits can assist your cash flow to pay off your principal place of residence, increase equity in your property portfolio, and increase your cash flow or take home pay.

The Australian Tax Office allows you to amend your previous four taxation returns to claim depreciation benefits so if you have been missing out, it’s not too late to do something about it.

The fee for a Depreciation Schedule is fully tax deductible and your First National property manager can point you towards an expert Tax Depreciation specialist.

What are you waiting for?