We all know the Darwin market is not where it used to be and it is no secret prices have dropped for many landlords over the last few years, right now we are in a tenants market but this certainly does not have to be something you as a landlord should be afraid of, I am suggesting that we embrace it.
Many Property Managers and landlords don’t recognize the small areas of opportunity in a market like this for rental properties and how implementing strategies with the right timing can have a major impact on your marketing campaign.
Now is the time to act and be on top of your game while other properties in your area sit vacant with no change, as the old saying goes.. if we keep doing the same things we will only get the same results, its time to make a change and shake things up for your investment property while others are asleep at the wheel using a slow market as the reasoning for the not so good results.
You might ask what can I do as an owner? The areas you need to look at are presentation, price and marketing. Are you ticking these boxes? Is your Property Manager ticking these boxes? Properties that sit vacant for weeks and sometimes months have usually fallen victim to one of these areas. Presentation is key, the same way when you go for a job interview you are wearing your Sunday best with your best smile on to create that great first impression, well we need to make sure your property is doing the same. Check items such as the paint, does it need freshened up? What about the curtains? Are they starting to look a little tired? Are the carpets a little worn? Small changes such as the curtains can have a huge impact on your property presentation and believe it or not these can be a huge factor in first impressions at an open inspection.
The next area to consider is the big one, price! For many landlords this is a huge decision and rightly so, after all you have worked hard for your investment property and you want to see it thrive. You need to look at your competitors objectively and be realistic with your pricing, what are other properties in the area offering for the price you have in mind? Can your property offer the same if not more? Maybe it can’t tick all of the boxes the other property can tick. You need to look closely at this. A lot of home owners unfortunately aren’t aware of the benefits of having a property priced competitively. If the property is over priced I can guarantee you that it will sit on the market longer than it should thus losing you valuable time and rental income in the process, why not cut this time right down and have the property earning an income for you faster than the industry standard!
The final aspect of my Big 3 is marketing, now a days everyone has to be on point with any marketing big or small, we have such a huge variety of outlets available to us as consumers in the marketing industry and we want to make sure we are using them all to the best of their ability. Sometimes it is simply not enough to run the standard ad online and you are required to think outside of the box. This is ok, in fact it’s a good thing. You want to be different in this area, this is how we gain traction. You need to be on the big websites for property searches, this should really be a non negotiable. Check your photos and compare them to others, are they of a good quality? To be in the best position we recommend engaging a professional photographer and the beauty of this is that you have these photos for future use so if your circumstances change and at some point you decide to sell you already have one job done – photography. Where is your advertisement sitting online? Which page? Are you 5 pages back or are you on page 1 at the top of the listings. Monitoring this closely and adjusting when necessary will benefit your campaign greatly.
If you do have a Property Manager think about the open inspections, how many are being conducted a week? Are you getting feedback from each one? Is the feedback detailed? Is your Property Manager following up prospective tenants who have viewed the property after the open inspection? You shouldn’t have to ask your Property Manager if they are doing these things, if they are you will already be aware of it.
My motto is make the most of any market and play to its strengths, in a down turned market like this one there are still strengths there but they are just harder to find which makes them all the more valuable!