Thursday, November 20, 2014

Property investor secrets... create the right 'feel'.

Australia is making its mark globally for the level of accommodation offered to tenants. Chippendale (a suburb in Sydney's inner west) headlined in the media this week as the 'World's Best Tall Building'. The address is One Central Park... if you haven't checked it out you definitely need to Google it... what an amazing building! 

Boasting the largest vertical garden with 35,000 irrigated plants which cascade down 1,100 square metres of the buildings' exterior, Executive Director of Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and a competition judge, Antony Wood said, "Seeing this project for the first time stopped me dead. Nothing on the scale of this building has been attempted or achieved."

An interesting discussion flowing from the articles is, "What impact does a building like this have on those who live in it to make it so attractive to tenants?"

One of the residents in an article titled 'Why I love living at Central Park' commented on the 'feel' of the building, how the greenery and 'earthly' vibe of the property is what makes it so unique. Other features the resident raved about are the amazing 'outlook' and the 'vibrancy' and 'energy' of the building – no mention of bedrooms, bathrooms or built-in robes! 

I was a tenant myself for seven years, and the comments from the resident of One Central Park are spot on. A building, or property, can have a great vibe and so often it is the 'feel' that a tenant is looking for – whether they realise this or not. The vibrancy or great vibe can be all it takes to have tenants who rave about your home. Some properties we just 'have to have' and they trigger an emotional response immediately upon walking in the front door.

Our team are finding increasingly that tenants are looking for neat and tidy properties with simple features and lots of natural light. Items such as new carpet, bright white walls, new tapware, high ceilings and new blinds or curtains can go a long way to securing your rental returns. These are very small investments to create big returns. 

As an emerging active investor, the question I'm now asking is, "How can I create that 'feel' in a property?" If I am able to unlock that secret, it will enhance my investment returns. 

Naturally, the usual number-crunching is critical. With my own investments I have ticked the typical boxes – I chose property close to public transport, amenities, schools etc. But what about that next step... creating a property that tenants are emotionally attached to and simply don't want to leave? Maybe that new coat of paint, upgrading bathroom finishes and replacing the shrubs in the courtyard (that I have been putting off) could be all it takes to create this 'feel'.

What is the unexpected flow-on effect of all of this? Tenants who love your property are less likely to move, effectively removing any down time created between tenancies, while treating your property like it is their own home. Remember, your tenant is your biggest asset and your most important client. 

As one of South Australia's largest residential property managers, we can learn a lot from the architectural professional on the changing needs of tenants and embrace those things that can trigger positive emotional responses to your property. Create that special 'feel' and you will have a property that creates raving fans and importantly long-term premium rental returns. 

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