In the past landlords have had a much easier ride with letting properties and increasing their rental yields. Renters didn’t expect as much and were more accepting of homes that weren’t out of ‘Vouge Home’. However skip forward a few years (to now) and things are certainly changing! 

Renters want and expect more for their money. And with so many people jumping into the investment market, it brings more rental properties and therefore more competition.  What does that mean? Gone are the days of renters begging to lease a ‘rundown’ property because there was nothing else out there. 

Many property investors have already cottoned on to this and are renovating properties to meet these needs - and as quick as their properties are going up for rent they are being leased!  With all this competition, investors everywhere have to work harder than ever to make their properties desirable. 

I’m currently looking for a new abode and have spent the last few weekends trawling the net and attending inspections. There was one apartment in particular that really highlights  this change in the market. 

On Saturday I saw a beautiful, light filled, apartment that was completely renovated and had a large lock up garage. It had new flooring, freshly plastered and painted walls and a beautiful new kitchen. And the rooms were huge in comparison to anything else I had seen. As I walked through the property I thought ‘this is the one’ - until I reached the bathroom. To put it nicely it was horrendous. It was old, dated and completely untouched. I was completely shocked and disappointed – what happened? The rest of the apartment was so nice!

The agent said they had reduced the rent on the property already and the owner was open to any offers as they were desperate to lease it. He said they could not shift this property and it had already been vacant for six weeks. 

Another lady attending the viewing correctly pointed out ‘the reason the apartment hasn’t being let, is because of the awful bathroom’. I completely agreed with her. Surly that agent had passed this feedback onto the owner already? 

Needless to say I did find my dream property on Saturday – it was more expensive, didn’t have a lock up garage (or any parking for that matter) and was considerably smaller but the interior was absolutely beautiful. 

If the owner of the first property had spent a little more money and brought the bathroom up to the same standard of the rest of the property - it would have been leased in no time. People want to portray a certain lifestyle and living in a nice home makes them feel like they are living that desired lifestyle. 

So whether you’ve just bought a property or your current tenants are moving out, here are some top tips to give your property that competitive edge. But before I go on any further, there is one key element you need to get right: find yourself a fantastic property manager! They need to be organized, trustworthy and look after your property like it’s their own – and not leave it unleased for six weeks! 

Here at HomeSource, we offer a specialised property management service that ticks all the boxes. 

Our service, RentSource is designed to help you maximise the returns from your investments. We offer a range of service options tailored to suit different needs and budgets. We understand you are a property investor first and foremost and we are here to make this process as easy and financially rewarding as possible. To find out more, visit www.rentsource.com.au.  

So back to my tips on giving your property that competitive edge: 
  • Make sure the property is clean:  A property should always be presented in its best light. Always invest in professional cleaners. Arriving to view a fresh smelling property is an undeniable benefit in winning over potential tenants. Even if your property has all the mod cons and has the makings of a great home; if the walls are dirty and the carpet is stained your property could be sitting vacant for longer than you hoped.
  • Renovating:  Forking out money to improve your property may sting a bit in the beginning but the rewards can be worth it! It can help you boost your income from higher rents as well as help secure fantastic tenants who will love your property like it’s their own. A newly renovated kitchen and bathroom can significantly increase your rent. By simply repainting the kitchen walls, tiles and cupboards and replacing the handles with new ones can make a huge impact. Replacing taps, shower heads and other fittings will give your bathroom a new improved look.
  • Repaint the walls: There is nothing better than walking into a freshly painted home. It feels new, fresh and clean. Light pastel colours are a good option as they make rooms appear bigger. 
  • Carpets and flooring: If your budget allows, replace carpets. In my experience timber and laminate flooring appear to be a popular option with renters. It can also make rooms look larger and fresher. However quality carpets can make a room more warm and homely – it really depends on the target market you are trying to attract. If budget doesn’t allow make sure you get all carpets professionally cleaned and timber/wooden flooring polished. 
  • Improve the lighting: installing pendants and spot lights are a big plus in making your property appear newly refurbished. Ditch any fluorescent light as they can make the property look more 80s then stylish. 
  • Air conditioning and heating:  By installing an air conditioner you could increase your rent by $20 a week. Some tenants won’t even consider renting a property without heating and cooling - even if it’s beautiful! 
  • Storage: Built in wardrobes are a great selling point to renting a property. Rooms look more organised and it also saves the tenant paying out for new ones.
  • New blinds/curtains: by fitting new blinds/ curtains; your property will be instantly transformed.  
  • Security: security is high on the list for most renters when looking for a property. Consider installing a security door, alarms and motion lights for that added peace of mind. 
  • Landry and appliances: A washing machine, dryer are among the top three most desirable appliances for renters. Today it’s all about convenience and easy access – having to walk to the laundrette of a weekend is not convenient. 

So now you are armed with all the top tips, leasing your property will be a breeze! 

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