Spending time and money creating a property that attracts the right tenants is one of the best investments a landlord can make.
It is obvious that if your property is attractive to tenants it will make your life easier: the quality of tenants you attract will be better, it will alleviate stress, financial and time pressures and most importantly make your investment work harder for you.
Choosing the most attractive property
Some things can be added to any home – appliances, new paint or flooring – but there are many desirable factors that can’t be changed.
That’s why it’s important when buying an investment property that you consider every aspect of potential properties from a tenant’s perspective.
The first and most obvious consideration is location. Being close to transport and retail centres, schools, parks, universities etc will increase your rental value, as will a nice view.
A major concern for many tenants, especially in the cities, is parking. Nowadays tenants expect double car accommodation. At the very minimum, make sure you look for a place that has off street parking for at least one car.
In many cases, extra features enable you to charge a higher rent and have the added bonus of reducing the amount of time your property is left vacant.
Every week a property is sitting vacant – and this can occur even in periods of low vacancy rates - is almost two per cent of your yearly income that you won’t get back.
It is important to make sure your property is at the top of its game. In a market where there might be 10 or 20 other similar properties available, it is not just about getting top dollar but also leasing your property faster than others.
Popular features that will attract good tenants:
good quality kitchen;
air-conditioning / heating;
good quality fixtures and appliances;
quality blinds, shutters or curtains;
good cable connection for internet and Wi-Fi, a strong signal for smart phones, and multiple power points to facilitate simultaneous connections across a multitude of platforms;
You should always try to present your property well, price it to meet the market and employ the services of a property manager who can oversee the whole operation.
What I can change?
Some quick changes such as a fresh coat of paint, some new fittings such as door handles, new kitchen bench top and light switches can go a long way in having your property rented to good tenants.
But if you want to make bigger changes be careful not to over capitalise on your property. At this point it is important to talk to your property manager as they can advise you on where you could add value and the expected rental return after these improvements.