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FINDING THE RIGHT TENANT IN A TOUGH MARKET

By Ankita Makkad

The most important task we can do for a landlord is to find the “right” tenant, in the shortest timeframe, for the highest possible rent.  To achieve this there are three key elements that we must get right – price, promotion and presentation.

Whether your property is being marketed for lease for the very first time or a tenant is vacating and the property is returning to the market, when it comes to pricing always be guided by your property manager.  Your property manager is dealing with the rental market every day and will likely have similar properties to yours in their portfolio.

The property manager can determine the most appropriate price to commence advertising and will provide you with current market evidence to support this.  The market will be the ultimate decision-maker when it comes to how much any property is worth so it is critical that pricing feedback is gathered from prospective tenants to determine the best strategy for moving forward.

Both the agents approach to leasing and the online advertising campaign are equally vital in promoting the property.   In the current market a far greater level of flexibility in home open times is required to accommodate ALL prospective tenants.  Where we could once have one home open and a property would be leased we now may need ten, fifteen or more.  This is why dedicated leasing staff are essential.

A property manager looking after a portfolio of 100 plus properties will have difficulty finding time to conduct the number of home opens required to lease a property in todays market.  Removing the leasing function from the property manager ensures that they are available to do what they do best – deliver a high level of service to landlords and tenants.

Technology also plays an integral role and state of the art leasing software is now available to offer prospective tenants a 24/7 online booking system and the flexibility to nominate home open times of their choice.  This is backed up by dedicated leasing staff.  All leads are captured into a database where they can be directed to any similar type properties within their geographical area of interest.

In a crowded marketplace a great advertising campaign is critical to ensure your property stands out from all the others.  High quality photos and advertising script that will appeal to the reader both have the ability to increase the return on your property and ensure that your investment has a minimal vacancy period.

When it comes to presentation your property managers advice is invaluable as they know what attributes tenants are looking for.   For a property to have walls, floor coverings and window treatments in excellent condition is now considered to be the bare minimum and it really goes without saying that your property should be sparkling clean for inspections.  This is not always possible if the property is tenanted and the tenants are in the process of packing their belongings, but if the property is vacant then it must be spotless and the gardens looking their best to attract a great tenant.

Popular features include heating/cooling, quality appliances, dishwashers, good internet access, parking, security and storage.   We have a fantastic climate in WA so covered/paved outdoor areas are also highly sought after.  Try to look at your rental property through a prospective tenants eyes and ask why they should choose your property over another.

The Property Council of Australia has tipped that Western Australia’s “lean years” will end in 2018 and while there may be brighter times ahead it remains more important than ever to partner with a proactive agent, with a clear plan for leasing, to ensure your investment achieves the highest possible rental yield.

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