Friday, August 08, 2014

Is no previous rental history a deal breaker?

For any Landlord, finding and keeping a quality tenant is key. These are tenants, who treat your property like it is their own, are diligent with rental payments and love living in your property.
As an owner, it can be difficult looking through applications trying to work out what the tenants will be like. Just like applying for a job, it's important for a tenant to make a good impression. 

In our world, an open inspection is a great opportunity for tenants to do so, as well as providing a complete rental application.

So what if you see an applicant that hasn't rented before?

Some properties attract tenants who don't have any previous rental history, or tenants who are unable to earn a full-time income.

University Students looking for their first rental property are an example of this; it can often be quite difficult for these tenants to secure a property.

If your investment property is one that is suitable for this type of tenant it can be a huge advantage in the market place.

Areas such as the Adelaide CBD and city fringe have investors who actively focus on this market and make the most of the peak periods of demand in January/February each year.

Landlords will typically include built in robes, appliances such a washing machine, fridge and some furniture in these properties, as they are more attractive to students or first time renters. Key items like this can often make or break the deal as Students are looking to avoid purchasing any expensive items. 

In the last 10 years, international students have increasingly been flocking to Adelaide to study with the number of students in excess of 31,000! Many of these international students have been left searching for accommodation for up to 2 months.

Setting up your property for first time renters can be a very profitable strategy.

Peak levels of demand are seen in January and February for these properties and it's not uncommon to receive 10-15 rental applications; these properties experience minimal downtime. 

So, how do you pick the right tenant?

Choosing the right tenant foryour property is an important decision for any owner. 
From our experience, a good application will:  

1. Include a cover letter that provides more background information on the applicants. 

2. Include all the supporting documents and information required. This helps confirm what is written in the application from a 3rd party.

3. If the tenants don't have a previous rental history or are not working full time, see if they have provided a guarantor.

Being new to renting doesn't need to be a deal breaker. 

A quality application can provide comfort that a tenant is capable of meeting rental payments and treat your property well. The key is to ask the right questions and to ensure you have the full picture before making any decisions. 

Chat to your property manager and they will be able to steer you in the right direction.

Friday, August 01, 2014

You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

The power of a first impression is undeniable. There is only one chance and the window is scarily short...between 7 and 17 seconds... 

Just like job interviews and first dates, first impressions in real estate are crucial. Not only for us as agents, but also for a vendor's or landlord's property. 

If you look at the science behind first impressions, it shows the way someone looks, the tone of their voice, and the feeling people get makes up 93% of the opinion process – the verbal messages and the actual words used only make up 7%. From our experience this can be directly translated to the way a property is portrayed in the market. 

For vendors, there is only one chance for your property to make a first impression to buyers... And as the saying goes 'first impressions are lasting impressions'. A buyers' first impression of a home sets up their expectations & their perception of the property's value... 

To make sure a property has a powerful first impression, it is important to understand where buyers are looking and what their habits are in each medium. 

We find that buyers searching solely on the internet for property are very different to those who look in the paper & move to the web for more information. 

Pure internet buyers are often analytical and are looking on the micro level. They look in specific areas, within a specific price range and the emotion in the process is generally balanced out by facts and figures... It is extremely hard for a property to stand out on the web, so understanding this behavior and the online user experience is essential in order to make a good first impression to these buyers... 

Statistics show that 69% of people don't search past the first page of real estate websites. 
Given that users only spend an average of 2.6 seconds scanning a webpage, there are a few things that can really help to create a great first impression in this area. 

This includes making sure your property has it's own unique web page, which means your property is the only thing in focus for the buyer and 100% of their attention is on your home and not competing property. At Toop&Toop, we make sure every property has this, and you will find the web page link promoted throughout all marketing material. For example:  

Secondly, to stand out in the online space, it is so important to have a property video. Videos increase buyer engagement by over 410% compared to just photos, creating an extremely powerful and lasting first impression. 

The newspaper is the other crucial place for a property to make a first impression... 

81% of people that read the newspaper, read the real estate lift out. 

This means you are not only capturing hot buyers but also a large proportion of readers who are not necessarily actively looking in the property market. 

This type of buyer is often more emotional about the property, they tend to be not as price driven and as a result can often pay more for a property to secure it. RP Data statistics back this up and they have found that 'properties advertised in The Advertiser and online sell for $49,000 more than using online only (average)'. 

This is consistent with our experience, as a number of purchasers, who first saw a property in the paper, were not actively looking to move at the time. It was the property which captured their attention and sparked conversation about the idea of moving home, not the other way around... 

We have spent a lot of time over the last 2 years, researching, tracking and analysing buyer behavior in all mediums.

We've kept our marketing evolving to accommodate changing user behaviors and have built up our online profile and capabilities. This is providing exceptional results for our clients with the most engagements of property videos in the country!..

For the last 6 months we have been focused on creating a new look for the newspaper.

We have taken into account all of the research and are leveraging how buyers look for property in the market today. We have been determined to make sure our clients' homes stand out and have the best first impressions in the market! 

I am extremely proud of our entire team for all of their work on this, and I am so excited to launch this in the market! 

Genevieve Toop