It’s no secret that the West Coast property market is experiencing one of its most challenging periods in recent years.
While markets in Sydney and Melbourne have continued to experience record growth and seemingly continued unmet spiralling demand, the market here has softened considerably in the wake of the resources slow down.
This has impacted not just sellers, but landlords also, who have been forced to readjust their expectations around expected return on their investment.
While at the height of the boom, landlords might have had the luxury of choosing between a plethora of competitive offers, these days, tenants have a lot more bargaining power.
Abel McGrath Property Manager, Samantha Withnell, says although the market is definitely tough in many respects, there are still ways landlords can ensure they get the best out of their investment property.
“Being realistic and listening to good advice is really the key to achieving a decent rental return in a quieter market,” Ms Withnell says.
She says landlords are in general more realistic and are also willing to listen to good quality advice.
“If we educate our landlords on the amount of rent they may lose by keeping their property advertised at the wrong price, they can usually see that the potential long term gain outweighs any short term loss,” Ms Withnell says.
She says although a reasonable rental rate is always imperative for landlords, it is equally important to secure the right tenant.
“Therefore we do find that our landlords are often open to renegotiating to ensure they hang on to or attract a quality tenant.”She says there are a number of ways landlords or investors can ensure a rental property stands out in a softer market.
“Having professional photographs taken for advertising purposes is essential in a competitive market.
“Ensuring the property is clean and tidy and the garden is well maintained, even if a property is vacant, is also extremely important.”
She says it’s also a good idea to look at the rental rate on comparable properties in the same area to give you a guide as to what to expect.
“However the rental rate should stay in line with the current market and it shouldn’t be necessary to reduce the rent below this.”
Ms Withnell says some landlords currently offer extras such as a week’s free rent or gift vouchers to entice good quality tenants and ensure their property stands out from the crowd.
“Enticements such as including pool or garden maintenance, or being a bit more flexible around the issue of pets, can all help to put your property ahead of its competitors.”
She says the Perth market appears to have stabilised at this point with minimal movement up or down expected in the next 12 months.
“And while we understand that in challenging economic times everyone is trying to save money where they can, ensuring you have a good property manager on your side will be far more beneficial in the long run”.