Top tips for making your investment property stand out from the crowd

Light globes

Perth’s rental landscape has changed considerably since the height of the resources boom when competition was so intense prospective tenants routinely offered more than landlords were asking.

With the vacancy rate currently sitting at 5.7% competition is fierce among landlords and property managers looking to secure reliable, long-term tenants.

Though marketing your property for rent may fall under the list of responsibilities your property manager should necessarily take on, there are certain measures prospective landlords can take to ensure their property stands out from the crowd.

Abel McGrath Property Group’s Specialised Investor Service Manager, Jason Goncalves, says pricing your investment property correctly has never been more important than now, leading into the second quarter of 2016.

Mr Goncalves says arriving at the correct price should involve factual rental reporting, factoring in days on market, as well as looking at current comparable properties available and the attributes other homes feature.

“The first step should be to provide the landlord with well-researched advice which is in line with the current market whilst keeping their best interests in mind,” he said.

“In a competitive rental market it makes sense for landlords to be flexible with their rental rate and to ensure they are being guided by their appointed real estate professional to look at ‘the bigger picture’.”

“In a renters’ market one of the most important things to remember is to ensure you get the BEST tenant not just the tenant who will move in the fastest and pay the most,” Mr Goncalves says.

He says when considering rental applications, landlords should consider all applications and deal with them individually with the assistance and advice from their property manager.
“Efficient and thorough reference checking procedures should still be of the upmost importance to the property manager and landlord, and should not to be compromised in this market.”

Mr Goncalves says creative marketing and advertising to ensure your property stands out from the crowd is vital to ensure you get the best results.

“The most effective marketing campaigns should consist of professional photography, descriptive advertisements and creating content that will engage and entice prospective tenants to ‘buy’ into the lifestyle as well as the property.”

At times like this, the proactive and well structured real estate agencies will shine through the slower market as they offer ‘best practice’ strategies.

He says extra enticements are sometimes advertised upfront to attract tenants initially in a more competitive market.

“These could include a rent free period, gift vouchers or the inclusion of gardening and pool services,” he says.

“The advice for landlords is to be responsive to market conditions.

“What we are finding is properties that are difficult to lease are because owners are not absorbing the realistic information provided or altering their expectations in line with changes in the market,” he says.

“Or they are offering properties which haven’t been well maintained over the years and still attracted interest or they are block value houses which will be demolished at some point and the demand no longer exists in these cases.”

Jason Goncalves

Do ‘Days on Market’ really affect the sale of my home?

Days on market

‘Days on Market, or DOM, is commonly bandied about by real estate types to describe the number of days your home is on the market prior to sale.

Statistics about DOM in terms of the general health of the property market are often quoted by REIWA and other property bodies and websites as good indicators of where the market is at and where vendor’s expectations should be sitting.

In addition to this agents will have their own DOM figures to reflect their ability to sell homes which is important to consider when choosing your agent.

Abel McGrath property consultant, Michelle Kerr, said the reason DOM figures were important was because they gave an idea of how well a property was received while it was available for sale.

“Many issues can affect how long a home sits on the market and therefore the DOM number gives a fairly accurate reflection of how the home was received,” Ms Kerr said.

“Ideally the best time to get an offer is within the first 30-60 days on market.

“If the home is on market for longer than 60 days with no offers then both the seller and agent should be re-examining their strategy and pricing to find out why not.”

Ms Kerr says if a home is on the market for an extended period, buyers will immediately assume something is wrong with it.
She says the negative perception this creates can be extremely damaging and can sometimes force sellers to reduce their price drastically when the initial pricing is way off market.

“One of the main reasons a home spends longer on the market than it should is if it is priced incorrectly initially,” Ms Kerr explained.

“Pricing a property is part art and part science and an experienced agent should be able to guide you in terms of where to set your price to achieve the best result.

“Pricing too high in comparison to where the market around you sits will mean you’ll eventually have to drop your price faster and at a steeper rate as time goes by,” she said.

Ms Kerr said early buyer feedback will give the agent and the vendor a really good indication of where it sits in the market.

“It’s important to remember you are selling in competition and not isolation and buyers will be comparing everything in the price range and area they are looking in.”

She said another reason a home can languish on the market is poor marketing.

“Marketing is more than just listing on a couple of websites and getting the word out there that you have a home for sale,” she explained.

“Pricing and marketing go hand in hand and there is a process that should be followed to ensure your property is presented in the best possible light to the broadest possible market.”

Ms Kerr said that buyers in the modern marketplace are time poor and searching for and evaluating properties at a faster speed than ever before.

“Getting the pricing and marketing strategy right from the outset is therefore more important than ever.”

Michelle Kerr