Hello, and thanks for joining us today for Property Management Q&A with Sam Price from Templeton Property. Today, we’ll be answering the question ‘How to lease a property in a soft or competitive market?’.
If you currently have good tenants and they pay their rent on time and look after the property, do everything you can to keep them in place. That might even mean a slight rent reduction, installing an air conditioner or dishwasher that they’ve been asking for, whatever it takes – to some degree and depending on the cost of course. Remember it’s often cheaper to keep the current tenants in place rather than take the property to market where you have the advertising costs, the wear and tear of moving out, moving in, as well as the let fee. Therefore, it’s best to keep good tenants in place if possible.
- Advertise early
In a normal market, we’d advertise three to four weeks prior to the property becoming available for lease. Now, in this current market, we’re starting advertising five weeks before the property is available to give us ample time to find a suitable tenant prior to the property becoming vacant.
- Professional photography
We recommend this to all our clients. If you look at the competition of properties in your local suburb, you’ll see that a lot of people these days are using professional photography to advertise their investment properties for lease. We’re recommending the outlay, which is quite nominal in the grand scheme of things and tax deductible, as it’s well worth getting professional photography.
- Well written ad
Make sure that the property manager writes a well written ad that describes all the features of the property and its location. The ad should be proofed and they may choose to send it through to you for reading too and if you have additional items you’d like mentioned, let the property manager know so they can be included. Professional photography coupled with a well written ad goes a long way in advertising the property well to the marketplace.
- Upgrade the listing
Realestate.com.au and domain.com.au have different levels of advertising. The pricing is going up, but it’s still quite reasonable for rentals as compared to sales. We recommend that if a property is being let in a competitive market, or there’s a lot of competition currently online, or it’s been on the market for some time, increasing the ad from a standard to a feature, or feature to a highlight or a premium listing can help to bring the property from example page five on realestate.com.au back to page one or two, which increases its exposure.
- The mighty five
If you desire to have an investment property that has nominal or minimal vacancy over an extended period of time, it needs to ‘tick all the boxes’. We think every property owner that wants to set their property up for the long term should have, or certainly plan to include over time:
- Air conditioners – living room, then main bedroom etc.;
- Built in cupboards to the bedrooms;
- Ceiling fans to bedroom and living room;
While the property’s for lease, we recommend that you mow the yard regularly, probably every two weeks in summer at least. Winter can be a little bit longer, and look after all those little ‘maintenance jobs’ that need to be done. Don’t put it off until you have a tenant. Tenants look at this, they want a well-maintained property. Do all those little maintenance jobs that are obvious before the property hits the market for lease.
- Consider pets
As we know, there’s pros and cons of allowing pets into your investment property, but in a soft market where the market is competitive and you’ve been on the market three weeks and you’re just not getting any bites at all, it’s well worth considering pets, or allowing pets into part of the property. It could be an outside dog or an inside cat, or you can put ‘pets by negotiation’, but opening yourself up to that marketplace, which is quite a growing market can certainly help lease the property more swiftly.
- The market is the market
The market will dictate what value they put on the property – $ being a weekly rent. It’s not based on what your mortgage payments are, what you were getting five years ago, what you’d like to get, what you need to pay your bills, it’s based on the market at the current time, which is what the competition’s asking for their properties. The market is the market.
- Listen to your property manager
If you have a property manager that’s professional and knows their stuff, these are the sorts of things and more that they should be talking to you about. It’s important to listen to them, particularly in relation to the current market and pricing of the rental property. Please remember, this is a difficult conversation to have with you the owner, but it shows that they respect you if they’re willing to have that tough conversation with you.
That’s our 10 key principles to getting your property leased as swiftly as possible in a soft or competitive market. I hope this helps and thanks for joining us today. I’m Sam Price from Templeton Property, Brisbane’s favourite property manager and buyer’s agent.
At Templeton Property, our property manager’s and buyer’s agents go above and beyond to secure the best outcomes for our clients. Discover more about we can assist you by calling us today on 07 3368 1988 or Sam Price directly on 0418 159 993 to discuss your needs.