Thursday, March 31, 2016

Investors... Marketing spend is adding to your bottom line, not subtracting from it.

We are heading away from the festive season into autumn and the typical 'busy period' of the rental market is now behind us.

The approach of aligning lease dates within the December/January period is a common strategy adopted by many investors, to capitalise on the heightened level of rental activity.

However, what if you are an investor that is not in this boat? Or you are facing a 'break lease' situation? A strategic marketing plan is essential for any landlord, but it becomes even more critical when a property becomes vacant outside of the peak rental period. If done correctly, a marketing campaign will not only attract the largest number of quality tenants to your property (as opposed to the investor's property down the road) but will also help reduce downtime, ultimately adding to your bottom line.

At Toop&Toop we are passionate about property marketing and understand the positive impact it has on obtaining exceptional results for our clients - both in Sales and Property Management.

And here's why...

Our team recently launched a property in Norwood with a marketing spend of $700. The leasing agent saw 17 groups through the home and received five strong applications. The property was leased on the first weekend after being on the market for only 5 days, and achieved a rental amount above the owner's expectations at $410 per week! With an industry time on market of 38 days in Norwood, the reduced vacancy time was a saving of $1,932.85 to our landlord.

Another example is a property in Rose Park. With a marketing spend of $905 (which included a property video of the home) our team achieved a rental amount of $1,000 per week. The property was leased prior to it becoming vacant and was only on the market for 9 days! With an industry average time on market of 36 days, this investor achieved a significant saving in excess of $3,857.25.

A third example is a property we leased in Parkside. This property had a marketing spend of $459, and achieved a rental amount of $50 per week above the landlord's expectations. It was leased after the first open inspection after receiving a total of 7 quality applications.

These are only a handful of examples where substantial dollar savings were achieved with a tailored marketing campaign, designed specifically for the property. Many investors who focus on a sound marketing campaign are experiencing reduced downtime and are attracting the largest audience possible to their home.

Investing in professional marketing campaigns can be a new way of thinking for many landlords but we've seen the results. The return on investment is higher for those who do, and a strategic approach to property marketing is proving to add dollars to investor's bottom line, not subtracting from it.

Suzannah Toop

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Million dollar buyers are still on the hunt this Easter!

The top end of Adelaide’s real estate market has had a strong start to the year. The supply of luxury homes in sought after suburbs across Adelaide remains tight, and at Team Toop we are seeing properties in this area of the market getting snapped up quickly, including a number of these before public release. 

According to RP Data, Adelaide’s top five performing luxury suburbs (in terms of median sale price) were: #5 Toorak Gardens, which had the most number of million dollar sales in this group with a total of 33 sales and a median sale price of $1,306,249. Coming in at #4 was Medindie with a median sale price of $1,341,703. #3 was Thorngate with a median sale price of $1,594,258. #2 was Unley Park with 31 sales and a median sale price of $1,658,356 and the most sought after and luxury suburb last year in Adelaide was College Park with 17 sales and an outstanding median sale price of $2,111,236!

These results are already transitioning into buyer activity this year and our team are seeing really strong interest in the million dollar plus bracket of the market. Statistics released by RP Data show that in 2015 the top end suburbs with median sale prices over $1 million made up only 3.8% of the Adelaide market, but Team Toop is confident this percentage will certainly increase this year. 

What homes are the most popular? We are particularly finding those homes that have been fully renovated are proving very popular with clients’ looking to buy in this luxury market as they are more often than not, busy, time poor professionals who are looking to conveniently move straight in. 

Location is also another key decision making factor. We are finding that properties in prime locations, such as close to private schools, are generating significant interest from buyers. We are seeing that even those ‘time poor’ buyers will consider conducting renovations on the home, if it means they can secure a spot in these tightly held suburbs. 

What are we finding right now? We currently have some magnificent properties on the market and in the ToopVault including some of Adelaide’s finest suburbs such as College Park, Unley Park and Medindie. In the past month, we have had 602 buyer groups come through our million dollar homes. Team Toop currently has a total of 58 homes for sale over $1 million dollars and has 1,670 buyers registered, interested and receiving alerts in this area of the market. 

The luxury homes in these tightly held Adelaide suburbs are in demand, and with the current supply shortage in the market there is no doubt the million dollar buyers will be on the hunt this Easter long weekend!

From all of Team Toop we hope you have a wonderful long weekend and happy Easter!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

South Australia is paving the way nationally!

Thursday the 10th of March was a very special night for our team. Various real estate agencies from across the country gathered in Melbourne for the biggest night in the industry's calendar - the 2016 Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) National Awards for Excellence.

Representing South Australia in four major award categories, Toop&Toop was awarded the prestigious REIA Communications Award and REIA Innovation Award as well as being inducted into the Hall of Fame for Innovation.

You might ask, why are awards important to us? Team Toop have a lengthy history of entering industry and various business awards. We see these awards as a fundamental step in continuing to look at ways to do things better, improve our business and foster a culture of 'striving for excellence'. This is also key to not settling for the status quo. While being challenged, and continually benchmarking ourselves against local and national players, we constantly are looking at ways to deliver additional value and service to our clients.

Innovation Award for Excellence

My Maintenance is an industry-first system, built entirely in-house, that acts like a 'virtual handyman'. Maintenance information can be accessed '24/7' from any smart-phone, tablet or computer. This provides tenants, agents and landlords with real-time job updates from tradespeople out in the field. The smarts imbedded in the system have saved our landlords in excess of $38,400 in just 12 months! We also have 1,760 landlords signed up to 'Compliance & Preventative Annual Packages' which reduces costs further by helping avoid reactive maintenance requests.

The success of innovation within our business stems from teamwork and a culture of thinking differently. Our team embrace innovation and various ways of marketing, and are open to exploring the new platforms that are appearing daily. This is a part of who we are, and has been since our business started in May 1985.

Communications Award for Excellence

Our marketing products are based on strategies which showcase property in the best possible way. This includes innovative ways of communicating with buyers and sellers which allows us to achieve premium results for our clients. The ToopVault now has over 5,000 members and is gaining huge momentum. By registering on our ToopVault, buyers have the advantage of viewing properties prior to public launch!

The significant and proven benefits that My Maintenance and ToopVault provide to our clients has exceeded all expectations and are now gaining national interest.

South Australia is paving the way in real estate across the country and we are very proud of our team for such 
a remarkable achievement!

Suzannah Toop

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

ToopVault cracks 5,000 members!

On Tuesday at 11:05am we were so excited to see our ToopVault hit 5,000 members in our buyer bank! Our ToopVault is the chance for serious buyers to see our Toop&Toop properties before everyone else and has been extremely successful in marketing and selling clients' properties.

Databases are talked about in real estate constantly, however not everyone in our industry really understands how to operate a database and how to unlock its serious power and produce valuable results. Our four full time IT programmers work on our databases daily because we have found that when you truly understand database strategies and implement these correctly, the results are incredible!

The ToopVault is proof of this!

In our business alone we could quote a range of different database numbers... for example our master database of 84,650 people is impressive from a pure number point of view, however the question is, how valuable is this information when it comes to each clients' property sale? How does this large number help? You quickly realise, it is irrelevant!

ToopVault, our specific database for active buyers, is growing by over 100 members a week! Why? Because it is adding genuine value to buyers. They hear about property before the public, are able to refine their search criteria, view on any device (including exclusive extra features on our iPhone App) and choose how often they receive their property alerts from us.

As a result our clients' homes are the winners!

In February, ToopVault sent out 55,580 emails to registered members... that's 1,917 emails per day! 6,526 buyers clicked through to our client's specific property web page for more information. That's 225 buyers per day wanting to see the full description, floorplan, photos and videos of our clients' homes.

We sell properties every month through the Vault saving our clients time, hassle and marketing costs and we're helping buyers 
finally get ahead of the competition and purchase their dream property.

Taking the time and investing in the resources to understand how information can best be used is where your agent can add huge value to your selling strategy. For more information, make sure to have a chat to one of our team this weekend.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Ignorance is no longer bliss... 
It seems the reforms are here to stay.

We are approaching two years since the new Residential Tenancies laws have come into play in South Australia. It has certainly been an interesting period. Our team have intently followed the decisions made in the Tribunal since the changes in legislation were introduced in March 2014.

Landlords are being faced with Tribunal decisions themselves or are experiencing the ramifications of inherited decisions. It is no wonder some landlords are left thinking 'Is my agent really working for me?'.

As an investment business, we feel it is extremely important to have an in-depth knowledge of the legislative landscape. At Toop&Toop we invest heavily in our team through monthly training sessions with the Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA). This is to ensure we are continually up to speed on these reforms, and can help protect investors from what they might not know.

If you are investing in residential property here in SA, below are two interesting changes we are seeing at the moment:

1. Fly screens - Recent tribunal hearings have ordered that fly screens are required to be fitted to all opening windows. Our team have been advised that other implications (such as H.I.A. orders) may be triggered if this is not adhered to. This is now viewed as a basic living condition.

2. Carpet cleaning - Legislation and recent tribunal orders all indicate that requesting tenants steam-clean carpets upon moving out of a property is unlawful. We are told that steam-cleaning carpets cannot be a condition 
of a lease agreement.

Hefty fines of up to $10,000 may apply to any decision or action which is seen to be 'contracting outside of the Act'. Inserting a special condition into a lease agreement, as per the above examples, may prove very costly.

As time passes we have seen a number of Tribunal cases on the above matters increase; they are becoming the norm. Landlord responsibilities are increasing as tenants expect 
a higher standard to their living conditions.

Personally, I don't think this is a blip on the radar and I don't think it is going to go away. Everywhere you look higher standards are being introduced and law requirements are changing. This is appearing across a wide range of industries and property investment is no exception.

As a business we believe it is important to make these requirements known, so our clients can understand the new investing landscape and make sound decisions. We believe this is our role as a managing agent.

From what we are seeing the reforms are here for the long haul, and it is proving increasingly important to be informed. If you would like to know more, please don't hesitate to give our property investment team a call today; we'd love to have a chat.

Suzannah Toop