6 Tips For Finding An Investment Property Tenants Will Love
When you are buying an investment property, look through the eyes of a tenant and ask yourself the question: 'Would I want to live here?' If the answer is yes, you're probably onto a good thing.
Remember that game Monopoly, where you frantically race to buy the prime properties on the four-sided board? Mayfair and Park Lane are at the top of everyone’s list because you’re almost guaranteed a handsome rental return.
But how can you do the same in the real world? Don’t just throw the dice in the hope that you have bought a good investment, you need to understand what your clients, aka tenants, are really looking for in today’s market.
Here are my six top tips for attracting and keeping tenants:
- Nab a property near the suburb’s selling points: Location is the key and can really drive that rental price up or down, so look at what attracts people to that area and buy a property close to the attractions. If there are good cafes, buy within walking distance to them. If it’s a suburb close to the beach, be within walking distance. Or if it’s parks, the same applies. If you are looking to invest in an area with all modes of public transport, buy close to the tram stop or train station, as these far outweigh bus service demands.
- Get outdoorsy: A little outdoor space in apartment living can really be appealing for inner city dwellers, whether this be a courtyard or balcony, tenants love being able to sit in a private area and enjoy the elements or create and maintain their very own garden.
- Stay on top of maintenance: Tenants take great comfort in knowing that any maintenance will be addressed without a battle between them, the Landlord and the Property Manager all thrown into the mix. If any maintenance needs doing, make sure it is done before showing prospective tenants through. Keep on top of maintenance requirements, so it doesn’t cost you more money in the long run – not doing so could cost you a great tenant. I’ve seen good tenants vacate a property due to outstanding maintenance items, only for the Landlord to repair these once the tenants leave. The Landlord then bears the cost of a vacant property, agent’s leasing fees and advertising costs on top of the overdue maintenance costs.
- Keep it cool: Most properties have heating and with the upcoming changes to the Residential Tenancies Act, it will be mandatory for heating to be installed in every rental property, but don’t forget about cooling. With the effects of global warming upon us, there is an increased need to have air conditioning installed and keep tenants comfortable. If Body Corporate rules do not permit installing air conditioning, then look at installing ceiling fans to help take away some of the summer sting.
- Safety first: Feeling safe and secure in your home is critical, so make sure that the property has good security – think deadlocks, security doors, security screens, window locks and a security system. But also look at the things that you can’t control like the neighbours or the state of the apartment complex, and how active the Owners Corporate is. Go to the property at different hours of the day and on different days of the week to get a true indication of the neighbourhood. A cheap buy is not always a good buy.
- Don’t be deterred by competition: Crowds of buyers or competition at auctions are a good sign and shows that the property, and the area, is appealing. The demographic of buyers are generally the same as the demographic of tenants, with the main difference being that one has a deposit and a pre-approved loan and the other doesn’t. Whether it’s a rental or sale property, a crowd of people at the open for inspection suggests a quality property in a sought after location. So when you are buying an investment property, look through the eyes of a tenant and ask yourself the question: ‘Would I want to live here?’ If the answer is yes, you’re probably onto a good thing.