In part one of this blog, we looked at the importance of effective communication as well as the value of setting a detailed marketing plan.
In part two, we’re going to discuss three more important elements that go into finding the best quality tenants for your rent roll.
Inspections: be flexible
When setting open home inspection times for the property, ensure you are flexible and offer private inspections, including after hours and weekends – and communicate that to your investor. If you are doing a 6am OFI or an 8pm private inspection, let them know. This will further show you are going above and beyond for their property.
On top of that, make sure all internet inquiries receive a reply on the same day. I have a rule in my office that all email inquiries are to be responded to immediately. It’s tough, but it makes all the difference.
Reassess the price
It’d the dreaded question no property manager wants to hear, “Why hasn’t my home leased, it’s been two weeks?”
Well, put simply there are two reason – price and marketing.
Could be the price
In this situation, I would provide an updated Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to your investor to ensure you’ve priced the property competitively. If the property has been shown and has not generated any applications I would suggest that the local area CMA needs to be reviewed. For me this is done weekly, as my role as a business development manager.
As part of my role I need to know what’s for rent, how may days it has taken to lease and the rented price of the home. Providing an updated CMA to an investor is a way they can visually see the information, it’s based on fact and can aid in the next stage of the marketing plan, do we sit tight wait another week? Or do we reduce the price? Do we offer rent free periods? This is a tough discussion to have with your investor.
Could be the marketing
This is a great opportunity to re-write the advertisement, take new photos or re-arrange photos, look at doing an upgrade to the internet sites such as domain.com.au. (For example) by doing this, it may help attract people who might have read the marketing text but the front photo didn’t appeal to them. Also base your marketing on selling the sizzle, in other words the benefits they will have on a tenant living in this home.
Ensure your insurance
As property managers, we need to be aware of our landlord’s insurance policies at all times, but particularly when a home has been vacant for a period of time. Some insurance companies will not cover a home if it is left vacant for 30 days or more. This is a perfect time to remind investors to ensure they have adequate insurance cover for their property.
The insurance should include cover for the building, minimum contents cover for carpets, light fittings, etc. and public liability cover. It may also be prudent for you to advise your clients to take out landlord’s protection insurance policy to cover loss of rent or damage by tenants.
It may also be worth noting that most insurance companies offer a multi-policy discount if you add another insurance policy to your current policy. This could save the investor time and money.
By implementing the steps we've discussed, you'll find it will not only build and maintain your relationship with your investor but it will show them you are a key asset in their wealth creation.
Your knowledge, superior customer service and business-centric approach saves them money and time, and without you they would be worse off. You know that and I know that, but sometimes our clients just need a little reminder.
Mellissa Gibson first started in the real estate industry in 1998 and she has been with the L.J Hooker network since 2000. In 2010 she completed a certificate IV in Property Services and became a licensed real estate agent. Melissa has worked in all facets of the industry, starting at the age of 18 in an administration/sales division progressing to Property Investment Management to now the General Manager overseeing the whole office in particular the Property Management Team. Mellissa prides herself on being an active member of the community, taking a great interest in local charities, in fact in 2012 and 2013 Melissa was a Finalist for the Prestigious Real Estate Institute of NSW John Grieg OAM award for her community service, as well in 2013 The recipient of the Cessnock City Council Australia Day Award for community service in the Cessnock area signifying her devotion and commitment to the local community and giving back to the community in which her family lives and works. Mellissa was also a national finalist in the 2014 REB Awards for Property Manager of The Year Regional and BDM of the year, as well as a finalist in the LJ Hooker Awards for property investment manager of the year.