Some­times you have to ‘sell’ a rental prop­erty

Herald Sun - Property - - ANDREW WINTER - An­drew Win­ter hosts Sell­ing Houses Australia on the Life­style chan­nel

IT ap­pears ob­vi­ous that at some point your in­vest­ment prop­erty will most likely be sold to an­other owner.

But I’m not re­fer­ring to that in this in­stance.

This week I want to talk about “sell­ing” your in­vest­ment prop­erty as a great rental op­tion to prospec­tive ten­ants, not buy­ers.

It’s likely many of you will have no idea or had lit­tle di­rect ex­pe­ri­ence of hav­ing to en­cour­age ten­ants to com­mit to your prop­erty.

I’m sure be­fore you bought you did your re­search, care­fully se­lected and ne­go­ti­ated well — there­fore ev­ery time one ten­ant va­cates, new ones are queued at the agent’s door.

But even in the strong­est, most se­cure mar­kets and best lo­ca­tions, at some point even af­ter decades of own­er­ship a slower mar­ket could pre­vail.

Then there are land­lords who have wit­nessed the phe­nom­e­non of the rental prop­erty with­out a ten­ant.

This sit­u­a­tion is to­tally frus­trat­ing as the weeks seem to be never end­ing, cost­ing a small for­tune and you sim­ply can’t un­der­stand why.

Re­cently some friends of mine, about to build, had sold up and needed a rental home for six to 12 months. Ac­quir­ing one would be a sim­ple task, you would pre­sume.

Then I hear of agents not call­ing them back, list­ings be­ing let but still ad­ver­tised — all the usual prob­lems.

So when the op­por­tu­nity came to tag along with them on a se­ries of three in­spec­tions, how could I re­sist?

Agent one told us the home had been empty a long time as he’d been on hol­i­days.

The home was clearly dated and cost too much to rent, yet no at­tempt was made to en­cour­age us to try an of­fer for a speedy move in.

In fact, no sales­man­ship was em­ployed in any way.

Truth­fully, I got the feel­ing it was all a bit of an in­con­ve­nience us be­ing there.

Agent two, although very nice, met us around the cor­ner ini­tially as ap­par­ently oth­ers were ex­pected.

So we headed to the house, waited and waited, then saw her drive past the end of the street.

Now rather con­cerned, we at­tempted to call the num­ber on the list­ing. It was au­to­mated and made about as much sense as a gov­ern­ment lead­er­ship battle.

Yes, she was lost, but even­tu­ally all came good and in we went.

Our sus­pi­cions were soon con­firmed as it was re­vealed this was a home she had never seen. Or seemed to know any­thing about. But, as I said, she was very nice.

Agent three was very good, a far bet­ter per­for­mance — just late.

As a land­lord my­self, gen­er­ally I’m happy with the ser­vice I re­ceive from man­ag­ing agents.

But there have been oc­ca­sions when it seems there is a dis­tinct lack of ac­tion, no sense of ur­gency, or cre­ativ­ity.

It has been me that has taken the prover­bial board by the post and got things mov­ing.

I re­alise there are many fan­tas­tic let­ting and man­ag­ing agents out there and, when many homes seem to let so eas­ily on list­ing, it’s hardly sur­pris­ing that some agents ar­rive at in­spec­tions know­ing ten­ants are ready to sign.

This, I be­lieve, has led to some rental staff not be­liev­ing they re­quire any form of sales skills — all they have to do is turn up, ap­pli­ca­tions in hand. Get­ting the ad­dress and time right is enough.

But what hap­pens if those mar­ket con­di­tions change, or the home is of a higher value, where de­mand is less?

Per­haps the prop­erty is a one-bed­der and ev­ery­one wants two. Maybe the home is sim­ply some­thing dif­fer­ent from the norm, then what?

Ten­ants may need some en­cour­age­ment to com­mit.

Agents need to know the key sell­ing points of the home. Maybe a deal could be done as most land­lords will tell you a lit­tle ne­go­ti­at­ing is bet­ter than no rental in­come for weeks on end.

Some land­lords are con­cerned a new lower agreed rent could af­fect the fu­ture sale value and that can be the case.

I have the so­lu­tion — don’t re­duce the rent but per­haps of­fer a free week or two. Think out­side the box to get the deal done and the in­vest­ment will be back on track.

So keep your agents in check, look at the ad­verts, keep an eye on the on­line list­ings and other prop­er­ties s sim­i­lar to yours. Is your price right? Should you con­sider im­prove­ments or in­cen­tives?

If you are re­ally con­cerned, talk to your agents and if you know some­one that could mys­tery shop on your be­half to check out their per­for­mance, why not?

You never know, there may come a time when you re­ally do need to sell your rental prop­erty to a ten­ant.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.