When people buy or sell a property they are often making a decision that involves one of the largest financial transactions they are likely to make in their lifetime. If a client feels that working with their real estate agent was a positive experience, they will be more likely to engage that agent’s services again or recommend the agent to others.
As a real estate agent, there are many opportunities to create a positive experience for a client and thus build your trusted adviser status. Offering appraisals, negotiating the best price for a property and even giving gift hampers on settlement are all ways that can help in this regard.
It can also be beneficial to recommend or suggest other property-related services to your clients, for example quantity surveyors. Quantity surveyors are able to create schedules which detail the depreciation deductions available for both the building structure and the plant and equipment items contained within a property. The Australian Taxation Office allows those who invest in income-producing properties to claim this depreciation, which reduces their taxable income and results in a tax saving.
By raising the topic of tax depreciation with your clients, you can show that you have a real interest in their financial wellbeing. It’s a win-win situation because your clients could improve the deductions they receive on their tax return and therefore their available cash flow. As a result, your trusted adviser status could also increase. Both new and existing clients may benefit from the services of a quantity surveyor.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to be a tax depreciation expert in order to help a client. By simply asking a client if they claim tax depreciation on their income-producing properties and recommending a tax depreciation specialist if they don’t, you could help to save them thousands of dollars.
With so many new investors recently entering the property market, real estate agents are no doubt encountering investors who are unaware of the benefits of tax depreciation. In addition, research conducted by BMT Tax Depreciation suggests that up to 80 per cent of existing property investors may not be maximising or claiming these deductions correctly. This means that there are potentially thousands of property investors who are not receiving the correct tax return.