Advice and Opinion

Rental revelations – top five tips for rental owners

Advice from: Shaun Groves, National Rental Manager, Jawitz Properties

Owners of rental property can find their investment both rewarding and daunting, and following these simple steps can really make the experience more of the former.

1. Turn-around time

There is nothing more costly to a landlord than an empty unit. One month’s lost rental is equal to 8% of your return, and considering that the national average yield on a property is 8.6%, it is obvious that an empty unit stands to cost landlords dearly. Reputable rental agencies will typically have a long reach, exposing your property to as many potential tenants as possible. The law of averages would suggest that this will result in a faster turnaround time, and therefore a greater return.

2. Return on investment

Every landlord wants to achieve the best possible return on investment; the greater the monthly rental, the greater the return. Exposure is essential meaning that the more individuals exposed to your property, the greater the potential of achieving a higher rental. It is also worth noting that it is not only the quantity that you expose the property to that is important, but also the quality. An example of this could be a high end property targeting foreign nationals and corporates whereby a reputable rental agency will have existing relationships and be able to give your property the exposure it deserves to this very select list of clientele.

3. Quality of Tenant

Unfortunately high returns typically come with high risk. While this is not always the case, it certainly never has to be. With the necessary due diligence, one can be assured of a quality tenant that is in it for the long haul. This process includes vetting an applicant through every credit bureau at your disposal, acquiring rental payment profile records, systematic and regular pinging of individuals’ credit status and character references. What this effectively does is allow you to manage the risk. In light of the recent amendment to the national credit act, payment profiles are more relevant than ever considering that negative data (i.e. defaults may have been removed from the applicant’s record), thereby only leaving the payment profile as an indicator as to what might have happened in the past.

4. Employ a rental agent for smoother sailing

The appointment of a reputable rental agency can make all the difference in managing your rental property. Rental agencies take care of all the daily administrative tasks including rental income management, maintenance and meeting legislative requirements. What this effectively does is allow you, the landlord, to concentrate on your core business and have your investment properties managed smoothly.

5. Putting your best foot forward

Listings for rental properties are usually a dime a dozen and the ones that present best, will typically be well received. A picture says a thousand words and therefore it is imperative that the photographs of your property highlight its best features. Reputable rental agencies usually have an in-house professional photographer to assist. Architectural photography is an art and therefore the necessary skills and equipment are required. Remember that the property should be clean and tidy and the photographs must be accurate. For example, if you are renting the unit furnished, only include the furniture that is actually included in the deal, and arrange it as attractively as possible.

By: Shaun Groves, National Rental Manager, Jawitz Properties