While we know that the ideal property investment is one that will achieve capital growth over time, it’s cash flow which sustains your portfolio until that time.
Of course rental returns help pay the mortgage repayments as well as other costs such as council rates and maintenance.
But the key is to sustain that all-important rental income and maximising your returns while minimising the risk of extended vacancies when you’ll have to fund those costs out of your own back pocket.
In my experience, there are ways to minimise these risks and they come in the form of attracting and keeping the best tenants for your rental properties.
1. Looking its best
Before you even advertise the property for rent, you should get plenty of internal and external photos taken of it, but only when it’s looking its very best, which can be achieved by:
- Cleaning out gutters
- Repainting the interior and/or exterior if required
- Pruning shrubs and trees
- Mowing the lawns
- Re-mulching garden beds
2. Repair responsiveness
Just as you keep your car in good condition, so you should your investment properties – especially since it’s worth a lot more money than your car!
One way to keep worthy tenants is to ensure you attend to any genuine repairs as soon as they’re reported.
Not only will maintaining your property make it a more attractive home to current and prospective residents, it will also safeguard its long-term capital value.
3. Appliance appeal
Does your property have a modern kitchen with shiny stainless steel appliances or is it more a time capsule with furnishings dating back to the seventies?
Once considered luxury items, things like dishwashers and air conditioners are now perceived as everyday essentials.
Installing quality light fittings and window furnishings, as well as the extra comforts we look for in a property, will keep your tenants, and your bank account, happy.
4. Don’t forget the outside
It’s vitally important to remember that first impressions count and usually that is from the outside of your rental property when tenants first arrive for an inspection.
Although your tenants are ultimately responsible for the gardens while living in the property, when it comes to the law and things like overhanging tree branches, it’s a good idea to address any small problems before they become big, or potentially dangerous, ones.
5. Value adding
Small refurbishments and improvements can be a profitable way to boost your rental yield and long-term tenant prospects.
The key, however, is to avoid over-capitalising and focus on aesthetic improvements, such as a fresh coat of paint, that will also increase the capital value of your asset.
6. The law and you
It’s a fact that there is a raft of legislation that governs the ownership of rental properties. [adrotate group=”29″]
What that means is it can cost you a lot of time and money if you fail to comply with the requirements outlined in your state’s residential tenancy legislation, which is where having a professional property manager can help reduce these risks.
Failing to adhere to safety laws around things like smoke detectors and pool fences not only attracts hefty fines, it could also mean your property sits vacant while you take the necessary steps to address any breaches.
7. Understand your market
When something causes an imbalance in the supply/demand matrix across different rental markets, you’ll often see vacancy rates creep up into the three or four per cent- plus range, or tighten considerably, depending which way the scales go.
You must know what’s happening in your market in order to meet rental price expectations.
While you don’t want to undersell your rental property, you don’t want to alienate potential tenants by asking an excessive price either and it sits vacant for an extend period of time.
8. Reasonable rent
This isn’t just about pricing according to market expectation when relisting your property, it’s also about carefully considering any potential rent reviews.
Investors have the legal right to reasonably increase the weekly rent on your asset in line with inflation and other factors, but sometimes you need to weigh up whether an extra $5 or so per week is worth possibly losing good tenants over.
However, it’s equally important to ensure your property’s rent remains in-line with the market.
9. A question of pets
As a property investor you want to minimise any potential damage to your investment, so it’s understandable that many landlords stipulate a “no pets” policy when marketing their asset.
However, when you consider that around 63 per cent of all Australian households own a pet of some kind, you can see how discriminating against our four legged friends could significantly reduce your potential tenant pool.
10. Communication is key
Engaging a professional property manager as the middle person between yourself and your tenants can greatly improve communication, and outcomes, between all parties.
Effective communication is essential to ensure any concerns are addressed before they escalate into a potential tribunal appearance or a tenant decides to move on to greener pastures and you’re left with an empty investment property.
Here’s something else you can do…
Why not find out the difference a dedicated property management company can make to your investment returns.
At Metropole help you build your wealth by offering you the best property management services available because we are a different breed of licensed estate agents.
We do not sell real estate.
We lease and manage residential properties throughout Melbourne and Sydney and concentrate all our resources on ensuring that your specific management needs are fulfilled.
This means we will look after your property the way we look after our own, using our professional skills and the latest technology to find quality tenants, minimise vacancies and handle marketing, repairs, maintenance, accounting and legal compliance efficiently and cost-effectively.
… and the real benefit is a generally better return on your investments with minimum fuss and more peace of mind.
Discuss your property management needs with our department manager and learn how we can maximise your returns.
We would be happy to give you an obligation free rental appraisal of your property or one of our strategists can assess the performance of your entire property portfolio for you. No cost – no obligation.
Just click here now and leave us your details and we’ll be in contact.