Friday, March 30, 2012

Landlord business is big business and it is a 24/7 business!

Just one investment property makes you a landlord…  that means you're the owner of a small business.   The business of property like all businesses needs managing properly... PROFESSIONALLY.

In the current climate with the often antiquated and strict legal requirements (especially with the current under resourced administration of the Residential Tenancies Act), the business of being a landlord can be an absolute minefield. Today thanks to the complexity of the law, the confusion that is being touted, the delays in hearings and the demanding nature of tenants, experience and resources are needed to avoid getting yourself and your business into unpleasant, risky and sometimes expensive situations.

How do I know this… Sylvia and I started our real estate business back in 1985. Typical of the time we started with a couple of sales… and then we had a couple of buyers wanting to rent their houses out.  So we started a property management business.  We slowly built it "brick by brick".  Over 27 years it has grown to where it is today at 2,000 properties and has become one of the largest in this state – brick by brick.

So is it all about size?  Biggest does not necessarily translate to best. What we do know however is that size does matter when it comes to landlords protecting their investment and scale is critical to achieving optimum returns under tough conditions.

Size matters when it comes to 1) contacts & connections – you need clout when it comes to negotiating lower maintenance costs and contracts, 2) marketing - dominant online marketing attracts the best tenants in the shortest time frames, 3) results - local offices and sophisticated databases record every detail and means we can maximize rental returns where smaller operators will struggle, 4) specialists and resources - competent, experienced relief staff and specialists to provide seamless around the clock management when things occasionally don't go to plan.

The game continues to change and the business of managing an investment property is changing fast – it makes me dizzy with the number of rental businesses changing hands at the moment.  People with no experience are taking on large rental businesses without having learnt the lessons along the way.

Now here's the hard sell…  we've had enquiries this week from people thinking of changing agents as rent roles have been changing hands fast and furious lately it seems. This in turn is often disruptive to the business of being a landlord.  So don't sign any new agency without giving us a call first.

Why not ring me to have a confidential chat about the management of your investment property – there is nothing to lose and everything to gain. You may discover an enormous difference in the capabilities and experience of the various agencies. We're well practiced at making the transition to Toop&Toop painless while simultaneously driving enormous tangible benefits to the health of your rental business.

Toop&Toop Property Management are the first agency inducted into the REISA Hall of Fame… the highest accolade in the state.  This doesn't happen by accident – it takes a lot of hard work, sweat and tears and mostly a lot of experience.

While we're talking investments, be sure to head down to Victor and the South Coast over Easter and pick up a bargain with one of our INVEST FLEURIEU Easter Monday Auctions. Organise your finances this week, go to and check out the 20 auction properties - from shack to mansion – they're all going under the hammer Easter Monday.

Fleurieu rentals are available to lease long term and as holiday letting, or maybe you are a first home buyer looking to buy a great house within commutable distance from town... best buying in years.

Anthony Toop

Let us know any of your comments or questions about changing property management agencies.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Preventative Maintenance

The autumn weather has definitely started to come in so it’s the perfect time to get all of the maintenance for your property completed before that winter weather hits!
The biggest area of concern would be gutters; the last thing you need is damage caused to your property from blocked gutters after a heavy rain fall. Ensure gutters are clear of any leaves or debris and the downpipe drains away from the house.  Preventative maintenance is the best way to ensure you don’t have to deal with flooding in your property this winter, saving you a potential costly situation.
The recent storm that hit Adelaide caused significant damage that could have been avoided.
Roof leaks can cause a large amount of damage through winter. Any roof leaks that you are aware of should be  fixed. It’s also a good idea to get the entire roof checked to be safe that there are not any other leaks.
Service those heaters that haven’t been used in 9 months that may be covered in dust. Ensure they are working sufficiently and void of any damage that could cause issues. The winter chill can hit quickly and your tenants don’t want to be left out in the cold, so it’s important to have the heating in working order.
Heaters get a lot of use during the cooler months, so it’s also a good time to get your smoke alarms tested for safety reasons. Check that your smoke alarms are up to standard according to government regulations. Smoke alarms must have lithium battery or hardwired in a rental property.
Outside the home takes the brunt of the wild weather in winter so gardens need to be tended to. If you have fallen limbs or trees make sure they are not damaging or over hanging the property.
Preventative maintenance will help you save time and money on any potential issues that may arise through the winter months. Quotes and getting the maintenance done can be time consuming, so fix problems before they become major issues.
If using a property manager ask about setting up a preventative maintenance program for your property, this saves you the leg work and enhances the life of your property. Some property management companies will use preferred suppliers who often offer specials for seasonal maintenance, saving you money. 
For further information on maintenance follow the link below.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Presenting Your Property

Just like a sales campaign, presenting your property in the right manner will enhance your marketing campaign for your rental. To attract the best tenant there are many things you can do for your property.
Professional Images
Having professional images taken of your property is a low cost way of promoting your property in the right light. They can highlight the features of your property and make it more attractive to prospective tenants. The photos should represent the way you would like it to be kept with a tenant inside. Put the dishes away off the sink, close the drawers, take the magnets off the fridge, all these little things you can do make a big difference in the way your property is perceived by others.

Before Presentation
After Presentation



When writing an advertisement for your property, make sure you have noted all the features which would be attractive and important to potential tenants i.e. air conditioning,  gas/electric cooking, separate laundry, dishwasher, private yard, built in/walk in robes, car parking etc. Be honest in your advertising so people are well aware what to expect when they come through. Consider what would appeal to your target market and reflect that in the copy.
Ready for Inspection
When an open inspection or private appointment has been arranged, it is good to have the property looking at its best. This may mean simple things like putting dishes away; packing up toys, de-cluttering and making sure the whole property including yard areas are neat and tidy. Showing that the property is well looked after, shows prospective tenants you expect the same from them. Attend sales inspections for ideas on how to prepare the property.
Attracting the Preferred Tenants
The state and condition of your property will attract the most suitable tenants. The space, layout and location of your property may be suitable for a professional couple or family, but in actual fact may only attract students and sharers. If it be in need of a paint, replacement of carpet or update of kitchen or bathroom this can all affect who your property attracts. Keep this in mind when preparing your property for rental and remember be objective about your property others may not necessarily view it as you do.

Experienced Leasing Specialists can help guide and advise you through the rental process. Working together with a professional will guarantee the best results.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Selecting the right tenant is everything!

When looking for suitable tenants for your investment property it can be difficult to distinguish between the good and the not so good. Property managers deal with tenants on a daily basis and can therefore help select the right tenant to ensure secure income for your investment property and that it is well looked after.
First impressions are important so from the first moment of interaction with a prospective tenant whether by a phone call, email or an open inspection, observations are made about the type of character they present.
The application process can be extensive and is designed to draw out the true character of the applicant. Reference checks should be conducted to confirm not only their financial stability and rental history, but references of their character. This way you’re able to judge whether they have accurately portrayed themselves.
Look for details and key points that describe what is believed to make a responsible tenant. It can be a vulnerable experience to lease a property out, so it is important to ensure the ground work is done to narrow down ideal prospective tenants.
Some people chose to seek the help and guidance from a property management division to help them through this. The reason some people do this is because property management teams have vast experience with all types of people and personalities. Property management is focused around people, the amount of time spent dealing with individuals regularly gives a good sense of judgment and understanding of what landlords seek in a tenant and which would best fit the property. The close relationship between property management teams allows an enhanced ability to know what would make a good tenant with a range of experience and skills. Licensed real estate agents also have access to TICA - a national tenant database to catch up with any misdemeanours.  They also have an intimate knowledge of the Residential Tenancies Tribunal and its application.
Remember that whether you manage your property yourself or whether you chose to hire an agent, ultimately you, the landlord are responsible for picking the tenant which you believe will fit your investment property.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

RP Data report March 2012

This week RP Data released their March 2012 report, which surfaced some interesting statistics relating to the local rental market. Here are a few excerpts from the report:
  • Gross rental yields March 2012:  4.2% (houses) / 4.8% (units)
  • Rental growth is now occurring across a number of cities and product types.
  • Since March 2011, the annual change in rent for houses has increased by 0.7% ($2), while for units this change over the same time frame has decreased by -2.8% (-$9).
  • However, since March 2007, rents  have substantially increased, with houses by 2.4% ($40) and units 3.5% ($50) over the five year period.
  • Rental values remain low across most capitals, which is likely to result in further upward pressure on rental rates.
For those of you who want to get your hands dirty and get in amongst all the facts and figures, see the full detailed report attached here. There’s some great information there about sales too, so for those investors who may be looking at expanding your portfolio, it’s a great research starting point.

Welcome to South Australia’s first Landlord News blog...

Commencing in March 2012, this blog will be dedicated to bringing you – the Landlord - valuable, informative and timely information about the South Australian rental market.

This service is not only offered to Toop&Toop clients, it’s freely available to everyone as a high level two-way communication resource where you can ask questions, make comments and participate in conversation on everything property management.

“Kerrie Akkermans, General Manager of  Toop&Toop Property Management, will be reporting on the latest hot topics and issues that you as a Landlord should be aware of. This blog will be the ‘go to’ resource for all things property management in South Australia.”

So welcome to our newest space – we look forward to sharing our knowledge with you, and in turn receiving invaluable input and feedback from you all. Enjoy!